A LOCAL charity has landed a major coup by securing a rare iconic horse racing photograph for a forthcoming auction.
World-renowned Irish horse-racing trainer Aidan O’Brien has donated a signed, framed, embossed photograph of his historic one-two-three winning horses in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last year to the Truck Run 4 Katie charity.
Once Aidan O’Brien heard about the charity, which raises money for medical equipment at the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit in memory of the late Katie Drennan who died in February 2015, he donated the photograph to her mother, Linda.
Katie and her boyfriend of almost six years Josh Halley had previously met Mr O’Brien and the latter’s father also works for the trainer.
When Linda’s brother, Rodger Lee, who is also involved in the horse-racing industry, approached the horse trainer to support the event, he was delighted to donate the photograph.
Linda said Mr O’Brien has only two framed photographs of his historic triumph, one for his own personal use and he has decided to gift the other to the charity.
“We are honoured that Aidan O’Brien got only two photographs of this great racing achievement framed in the world and decided to give one to us. It is now hanging up on the wall in our home above a photograph of Katie, who is looking up at it,” she said.
It is believed to be the first time a trainer has sent out the first three home in the Arc’s 96-year history and even the youngest among the 40,000 racegoers here are unlikely to see it happen again.
It is expected that the Arc photograph will be one of the star attractions at a charity auction over the coming months, with a date yet to be confirmed.
The charity has also received a signed All Blacks jersey, a Connacht jersey and is very hopeful of securing signed 2017 All-Ireland winning Galway senior and minor jerseys.
The Arc photograph is regarded as a major boost to the charity, which ensured that almost 500 trucks did a tour from Ennis to North Clare on Saturday without any major hitch.
By Dan Danaher