Sunday 4 December 2016

Willie Mullins to lose 'around 60 horses' after splitting with Gigginstown House Stud over fee dispute

Published 28/09/2016 | 10:30

Willie Mullins
Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins has announced he has "parted company" with owners Gigginstown House Stud.

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The champion trainer believes the owners opted to remove their horses from the yard after he decided to put up his fees this season.

Mullins told At The Races: "We're parting company - it's basically over fees, I imagine. I put up my fees for the first time in 10 years and Gigginstown chose not to pay them. That's it, we're just parting company. I'm not willing to try to maintain the standards I have (without putting the fees up), so that's the way it is."

Currently champion trainer in Ireland, Mullins nearly took Paul Nicholls' title in Britain last season such is his strength in depth.

Horses currently owned by Gigginstown who will be leaving Mullins include Cheltenham Gold Cup third Don Poli, Ryanair Chase runner-up Valseur Lido and dual Grade One-winning hurdler Apple's Jade.

Mullins went on: "Everyone that comes into my yard is treated the same. I see enough people going to the wall in Ireland all the time.

"We've evolved our methods of training, which obviously costs a lot, and we're not prepared to sacrifice that.

"They've been very good to us over the years, they've bought some fantastic horses and there's a fantastic team of horses going to whoever is going to get them, I don't know where they are going to go.

"It's only been in the last few hours this has come about. I wish them the best, it's the way it is, we move on.

"Whoever gets the horses will be a big challenge to me being champion trainer, they are a fantastic team of horses.

"They'll be very hard horses to replace. Even with all the money in the world, lots of people try to buy horses like that, but sometimes they just happen.

"We've put together a fantastic team with Eddie O'Leary and ourselves but that's it. It's there now and the team is there for someone else to train."

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