We visited the Irish National Stud at Kildare, Ireland this
Friday morning. It is a 1,000 acre government/private farm dedicated to
breeding racing horses. It was established in 1900 and turned over the British
government in 1943 and then to the Irish government in 1945. It is today run by
a government owned company that works in partnership with private breeders to
produce superior thoroughbred horses.
This is no everyday horse pasture. Some of the top mares
here are worth between two and three million Euros. And they have many top
racing stallions too. Stud fees for good stallions are between 6000 and 8000
Euros and their top horse Invisible Man, who literally has an excellent track
record, has stud fees of up to 60,000 Euros per service.
It was raining during our visit so we didn’t spend a lot of
time hanging around the grounds, but it is a very impressive facility
established to promote the Irish Bloodstock Industry.
We finished today in Waterford, Ireland the first town (914
A.D.) established in Ireland by the Vikings and also home of world famous
Waterford crystal, although I personally wouldn’t know the difference between
that and a beer glass from Walmart, but some on the tour were very excited to
tour the factory and gift shop.
I was more impressed with Reginald Tower — a stone lookout
tower built on the Waterford harbor. It is about 80 feet tall, has walls 10
feet thick and was used as a the point of first defense against any invaders
coming up the River Suir into Waterford. It is 600 or 700 year old and as
sturdy today as it ever was. All the flat rocks used in building the tower are
held together by a mixture of sand, animal blood, animal hair, and male human
hair. Our guide says there is no explanation of why the human hair was important
in the mortar mixture but it is there throughout the structure.
After the tour around town we had a drink at T & H
Doolans, a pub that has operated on the site for 300 years and then we had
dinner at the family run Victorian Munster Bar which was built in 1822.
Both are excellent stops for refreshments and food.
It is an early morning tomorrow as we take a four hour ferry
from Waterford across to Wales.
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