Seven special stallions and a thriving family business: inside the Irish stud standing OBOS Quality 004

  • OBOS Quality 004 has put Coolballyshan Stud on the map. The stallion is the sire of last year’s Burghley winner, MGH Grafton Street, as well as numerous other event horses including Zara Tindall’s ride Class Affair and US-based Irishman Tim Bourke’s ride Luckaun Quality. His progeny also include top-level showjumpers such as Mark Q, Lisona and Castlefield Eclipse.

    H&H visited Coolballyshan Stud to see OBOS Quality 004 and the other stallions who stand there as part of the Kennedy family’s business…

    Liam Kennedy with OBOS Quality 004, who is now 28 years old.

    The stud’s main stallion man, Kieran Kennedy (Liam’s brother), with his father Bill and the thoroughbred stallion Barely A Moment.

    Kieran with his wife Natalie Kennedy and their children Christian, 11, riding his pony Suger Lumb and Georgia, 10, on Nina.

    Liam Kennedy trots up Chacoa, whose progeny include One Two Many, a European eventing team silver medallist under Nicola Wilson.

    The handsome Chacco-Blue son Conticco is a new addition to Coolballyshan Stud’s stallion roster for 2020.

    Caroline and Liam Kennedy with their children, Amy, five, and seven-year-old Conor.

    Kieran Kennedy shows off Future Trend, whose progeny include showjumpers, eventers and show horses, as well as all-rounders and hunter jumpers for the American market.

    Kieran and Liam’s sister Sinead puts KBS Apple Juice – a six-year-old by OBOS Quality 004 – through his paces.

    Inside the barn at Coolballyshan Stud. The family’s businesses operate out of two yards near to each other in Co. Limerick, as well as the original Kennedy Equine Centre in Co. Kerry.

    Vivant, who showjumped successfully at championship level, now stands at Coolballyshan Stud after being bought by Kieran in 2017.

    Sinead rides Lagans OBOS Quality, a six-year-old stallion by OBOS Quality 004 who the brothers purchased when he was just six days old.

    Three-year-olds dig into their haulage. Liam and Kieran breed around 60 foals a year and aim to sell most of them as four-year-olds.

    Pictures by siobhanenglishphotography.com

    Read our full interview with Kieran and Liam Kennedy in this week’s sport horse breeding special issue of Horse & Hound magazine (issue dated 5 March). 

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