Irish racing and breeding has lost a much-loved member of its community with the death on Saturday of Pat Hyland of Oghill House Stud. He was 78.
With his brother Hugh and nephew John, Hyland ran the successful Kildare farm which incorporates the family’s own broodmare band along with a thriving boarding operation. His brothers David and Paul are also involved in the business and are the breeders, respectively, of G1 Racing Post Trophy winner Marcel (Ire) (Lawman Fr) and Washington DC (Ire), one of the stand-out performers from the first crop of Zoffany (Ire). The latter was bred in partnership with friends and clients Chris and James McHale. Notable Oghill House Stud graduates also include Third Time Lucky (Ire) (Clodovil Ire), whose seven victories include the 2015 Cambridgeshire for Richard Fahey and, more recently, the treble Group 3 winner Rose Of Kildare (Ire) (Make Believe GB).
Paying tribute to Hyland, Joe Osborne, managing director of Godolphin Ireland, whose Kildangan Stud neighbours Oghill House in Monasterevin, said, “The enthusiasm he had was so infectious. He was always smiling and he had a great work ethic. Pat was very much synonymous with the Oghill House brand and a lot of people who worked there down the years would have turned to him for advice. He was a big figure in the community: he was a local county councillor and would have helped a lot of people down the years.”
He added, “They have had a lot of success over the years through that knowledge that he had, picking the right stallions and the right mares, and as a boarding farm as well—we’ve done a lot of work with them and the Hylands are all great people to deal with. Pat is a huge loss to the industry and to the local community as well.”
Success on the track has gone hand in hand with some excellent results in the sales ring for Oghill House Stud drafts. Listed winner and Group 2-placed Repartee (Ire) (Invincible Spirit Ire), bred at the farm by Joseph Burke and Wansdyke Farms, was a 310,000gns Tattersalls October Book 1 yearling, while his full-sister Parlance (Ire) was sold for 450,000gns as a foal. The farm’s success with Invincible Spirit extends to Godolphin’s multiple winner and listed-placed Gifts Of Gold (Ire), a €280,000 Goffs November foal.
Henry Beeby, group chief executive of Goffs, said, “Pat was one of those backbones of the industry, the sort of person who is an example of what makes Irish breeders so successful, with a depth of knowledge and immersion in the business which was just extraordinary. The Hyland family has enjoyed great success and deservedly so, as they are so committed and put so much into it. It’s a terrible shame that Pat’s gone. He will be missed.”
John O’Kelly of Tattersalls also paid tribute to Hyland. He said, “I have known Pat since before he stood the stallion Maelstrom Lake (GB). Like all the Hyland brothers, and now extended family, he was a tireless worker, great stockman and just had an innate feel for his horses. A meeting with him was always educational and he was a great supporter of all sales companies. A lovely man who did not enjoy the best of health these last few years, he shall be much missed and my condolences go out to all his family.”
In January 2016, Oghill House Stud received the ITBA Special Merit Award in recognition of a season in which it produced 27 individual winners, including six stakes winners. “That was like the Oscars for us,” said Pat in a TDN interview at the time.
Pat Hyland is survived by his siblings Stephanie, James, Phil, Hugh, Vonie, David and Paul and by his nieces and nephews. Owing to Covid restrictions, a private family funeral will take place on Tuesday, with Requiem Mass in St Peter & Paul’s Church, Monasterevin at 11am. The funeral and burial can be viewed on www.streamlive.ie and Monasterevin Parish webcam.