ITBA National Breeding & Racing Awards 2020

01 February 2021


The ITBA National Breeding & Racing Awards 2020 took place on Saturday 30 January 2021. The Virtual Ceremony, which was delivered across all ITBA social media channels, was hosted by Leo Powell with awards being released every ten minutes.

The evening commenced with an opening address by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who despite his extremely busy schedule took the time to acknowledge the success of the Irish Thoroughbred Industry and its importance to Ireland from both an economic and cultural perspective. 

This year’s inductee is the Irish National Stud. This is in recognition of the Irish National Stud’s invaluable contribution to the Irish thoroughbred industry over many decades and for the contribution it continues to make; from the stallions it stands, to its world-renowned thoroughbred breeding course and the impact the stud makes as a national tourist attraction. On behalf of the Irish State, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue accepted this most deserving award. 

President Michael D Higgins wrote a personal message on the Irish National Stud in recognition of its national importance. The message can be viewed on

The Wild Geese Award 2020 went to the richly deserving Gordon Cunningham of Curraghmore Stud in New Zealand. Gordon has flown the Irish flag with great pride for over two decades in the Southern Hemisphere.  He has taken the time to welcome and nurture many young and emerging Irish breeders who made their way to New Zealand over the years.

The year’s Special Recognition Award went to the much loved and respected Todd Watt, who has served Irish vendors at Tattersalls and Tattersalls Ireland so very well over many  years and is seen as “The Go To Man”.  

Commenting, ITBA chairman John McEnery said “Despite all the many challenges facing the industry in 2020, Irish breeders and Irish bred horses continued to excel on both the national and international stage. We are indebted to our loyal sponsors without whom we would be unable to stage these awards.  We were delighted with the level of participation and engagement by the many viewers, who tuned in from all corners of the bloodstock world via social media to acknowledge the wonderful people and horses who made 2020 such a memorable year for the Irish thoroughbred breeding industry.  Below  is a list of our ITBA National Breeding & Racing Awards 2020 Winners. Congratulations to all deserving winners!


ITBA National Breeding & Racing Awards 2020– Winners

Next Generation Award 2020: Clare Manning

Novice Hurdler of the Year Award 2020: Shishkin - Breeder: CJ & EB Bennett

Novice Chaser of the Year Award 2020: Champ Breeder: Philip & Jane Myerscough

Hurdler of the Year Award 2020: Paisley Park - Breeder: Michael Conaghan

Chaser of the Year Award 2020: Altior - Breeder: Paddy Behan

Breeder of the Year Award 2020: Ringfort Stud

2 Year Old Filly of the Year Award 2020: Aunt Pearl - Breeder: Ecurie Des Charmes & Ballylinch Stud

2 Year Old Colt of the Year Award 2020: Supremacy - Breeder: Kangyu International Racing

3 Year Old Filly of the Year Award 2020: Love  - Breeder: Coolmore

3 Year Old Colt of the Year Award 2020: Pinatubo - Breeder: Godolphin

Older Horse of the Year Award 2020: Ghaiyyath - Breeder: Springbank Way Stud

Wild Geese Award 2020: Gordon Cunningham

Special Recongition Award 2020: Todd Watt

Hall of Fame 2020: Irish National Stud 

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