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Tuesday 28 February 2017

Hunting and point-to-point part of the mix

Terence Leonard leading in Ross Kitty after her win in Lisronagh under Darragh Allen. Photo: Healy Racing
Terence Leonard leading in Ross Kitty after her win in Lisronagh under Darragh Allen. Photo: Healy Racing

Hunting is very much in the family blood with the Leonards and, in the coming weeks, Terence will be taking to the hunting field with gusto with his local pack, the Old Mill Foxhounds.

Along with his sister Ann, they are both very much involved in the running of the hunt. "I'd rarely miss a day unless I had a horse running," Terence said of his Sundays being booked up all winter between hunting and point-to-pointing.

In the early days Terence was a successful rider on the track, with victory in the Lady's Cup at Punchestown among his notable wins in the 1990s. He also trained Wolfie's Delight to place second in the La Touche Cup at the same venue.

Nowadays, Terence trains a few for the point-to-point track and earlier this year had a 100pc strike rate, with three winners from three runners with the aptly-named Tallyho winning in Belclare, Ross Kitty in Lisronagh, and King's Eclipse in Dawstown.

Operating under the Ballynoe Castle banner, Terence has also produced many successful event horses over the years, mostly notably Ballynoe Castle RM.

Purchased in Goresbridge as a yearling and ridden by Terence in the Future Event Horse League, the son of Ramiro B was later sent to US rider Buck Davidson in a deal brokered by Patricia Nicholson.

Now 16, Ballynoe Castle RM has done it all - including being crowned US Highest Scoring Horse of All Time in 2014 - and in recent weeks placed a creditable fourth in the Gold Cup Final of the American Eventing Championships.

Another former resident of Ballynoe Castle is Andromaque, a thoroughbred mare by Anshan also picked up as a foal, and who later went on to be crowned 'top eventing mare' in the States.

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Terence has also now built up a nice band of both thoroughbred and sport horse broodmares, including the former eventer Silver Thread, by Cruz Forever. "Between the pointers and the few young horses to break, there's plenty going on here," he concluded.

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