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Tag Archives: Ballyhannon House

Late Cheltenham-winning Clare trainer a thorn in bookies’ sides

When news filtered through earlier this week that 85-year-old Quin trainer, breeder and veterinary surgeon, John Hassett, had gone to his eternal reward, it marked the passing of one of racing’s most enduring characters, writes Michael Duggan. Widely regarded as one of the shrewdest judges of bloodstock of any era, the Ballyhannon House trainer came from a family steeped in all aspects of equine activities. A lifetime involved in the horse racing industry made the late Hassett a household name. Racing fans of a certain vintage will fondly recall a string of successful high-profile gambles orchestrated by the genial Hassett, who liked nothing better than to cane the bookies when the odds were in his favour. Horses such as Humble Pickings – who won at the now defunct Phoenix Park racecourse at odds of 50/1 when backed in betting shops all over the country – Gombos, Was I Right and Scotia King are just a few from a long list …

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Community races to aid of Clareman receiving cancer treatment

A QUIN man undergoing break-through cancer therapy in Germany has issued an emotional ‘thank you’ to those who are helping to fund his treatment. Johnny Hassett of Ballyhannon House, who is a very popular and highly respected member of the equestrian community, received a lung cancer diagnosis in June and has been having chemotherapy under the care of a leading specialist in a German hospital in recent weeks. The 49-year-old specialises in producing ‘breeze up’ horses, who are galloped or ‘breezed’ in front of prospective buyers. Since his diagnosis, members of the sector have rallied around Johnny and raised over €250,000 through a Gofundme campaign. The fundraising drive was started by members of the The Breeze-up Consignors Association (BUCA) to help with medical bills and has resulted in a huge outpouring of goodwill in Clare and much further afield. John Cullinan of BUCA told The Champion that the figure raised to-date indicates the high regard in which the Quin man …

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Quin equestrian company moves horse sales on-line

NECESSITY is said to be the mother of invention, and that’s certainly true during the Covid-19 crisis. With severe restrictions on movement hitting the sale of thorough-bred horses, Quin equestrian specialist Johnny Hassett has responded by moving his business on-line. The Bloodstock Connection, at Ballyhannon House, specialises in producing what are called ‘breeze up’ horses. These are generally two-year-olds, who are galloped or ‘breezed’ along a track where prospective buyers can assess them before inspecting them at the sales arena. Taking the business into the virtual world was very much a “make or break” response to the coronavirus outbreak. “We made the decision around seven weeks ago,” Mr Hassett said. “It has gone well in that we’ve sold some horses, but the really big benefit has been to raise our profile and keep our names out there. As a breeze up company, we had doubled up on horses, twice as many horses and upped the calibre significantly and the spend, …

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