With world markets revitalized, Runnymede Farm General Manager Martin O’Dowd is opening a new bloodstock management venture while continuing to oversee Runnymede’s international breeding and racing operations under a consulting agreement.
“We are pleased that Runnymede will have Martin’s keen insight, horsemanship and global network just a speed dial away on a continuing basis. Martin will remain an integral part of the farm for breeding, racing and strategic decisions,” said Runnymede President Brutus Clay.
O’Dowd, who has enjoyed remarkable success in acquiring outstanding broodmares and racehorses and advising on productive matings, will be in action for clients including Runnymede at the Keeneland November and Tattersalls December sales.
After beginning his career working with Coolmore in Ireland and later serving as stallion manager at Brereton Jones’s Airdrie Stud, O’Dowd has managed Runnymede since 1986. The Irish native intends to continue managing broodmares, foals and racehorses in conjunction with his bloodstock operation.
“Being with horses on a daily basis is a privilege that I cherish, and I have prized working with the Runnymede team and Catesby W. Clay over the past three decades,” O’Dowd said, referring to the farm’s chairman, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday. “Mr. Clay wholeheartedly supported efforts to build Runnymede into a unique breeding operation with roots extending from our base in Paris, Kentucky, to England, Ireland, France and Japan, and he has had a special vision that enabled us to produce the outstanding horses that are the hallmark of Runnymede even as we limited the broodmare band to a small but select group.”
Clay, a Thoroughbred Club of America and Kentucky Thoroughbred Association honoree, saluted O’Dowd, saying, “Martin’s equine savoir faire, love of the Thoroughbred and his unbridled optimism have been pivotal to the many accomplishments enjoyed by Runnymede on the breeding and racing fronts. We wish Martin every success as he diversifies to an expanded clientele and into new frontiers.”
Under O’Dowd’s management, Runnymede was among the only American-based farms to initially send mares to Coolmore’s Galileo, and the farm sold two resulting foals by the now global sire leader for a total of $2.5 million. O’Dowd also advised purchasing the dams of and/or recommended the matings that produced Japanese champion and $8-million earner Agnes Digital, the redoubtable multiple Grade 1 winner and $2.8-million earner Awesome Gem, other Grade/Group 1 winners such as Divine Park, Marylebone and Palace Episode, and Kentucky Derby runner-up, millionaire and sire Tejano Run.
From a small number of yearlings or weanlings recommended at auction, O’Dowd has selected stars such as European champion sprinter Catrail and Grade 1 winners Catinca and Fly for Avie.
Runnymede veteran James Profit will oversee day-to-day farm operations on an interim basis.