Press Release

Coolmore Repeats As Winners of John Deere Award Honoring Outstanding Breeders of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series and the World Championships

LEXINGTON, Ky. (November 28, 2017) – Powered by Breeders’ Cup Challenge victories from Hydrangea (IRE), Rhododendron (IRE) and the 2-year-old filly Happily (IRE), Coolmore Stud, one of the world’s most prominent racing and breeding establishments, has won the John Deere Award as the outstanding breeder of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

This is the second John Deere Award for Coolmore, which won the award last year.

The John Deere Award, presented by Breeders’ Cup Limited and NTRA Advantage, emphasizes the contributions of breeders to the Breeders’ Cup program. The industry’s breeders provide funding for the purses for the World Championships through the annual nominations of foals and stallions.

NTRA Advantage and John Deere will award a John Deere TS Gator Utility Vehicle to Coolmore.

The John Deere award winner is determined by the breeder who received the highest number of Graded/Group stakes first-place finishes in the 81 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and the 13 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races held this year. Coolmore-bred runners earned 44 points by winning four Grade/Group 1 races, and capturing one Group 3 race.

Besilu Stables, breeders of Gun Runner, who won the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs (G1) and the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga, finished tied for second with Godolphin, which bred Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Wuheida (GB) and Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Talismanic (GB), among its stars in the competition. Both Besilu and Godolphin runners earned a total of 30 points apiece.

Coolmore’s run for its second John Deere title began at Leopardstown on September 9, when its 2-year-old Nelson (IRE) won the Willis Towers Watson Champions Juvenile Stakes (G3) and 3-year-old filly Hydrangea (IRE) won the Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes (G1). Those two wins were the first of five Breeders’ Cup Challenge race winners for Coolmore breds in the John Deere competition. The following day at The Curragh, the 2-year-old filly Happily captured the “Win and You’re In” Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1). Happily was sent to France next and won the Qatar Prix Jean Luc Legardere (G1) against males at Chantilly. Later on the same card, the 3-year-old filly Rhododendron won the Longines Prix de l’Opera (G1).

“We congratulate Coolmore for repeating as winners of the John Deere Award, highlighted by the strength of their outstanding runners in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in Ireland and France,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “In addition to Coolmore, we would like to recognize all of the breeding programs who participated in the competition, and thank John Deere and NTRA Advantage for their sponsorship of this award.”

“We are very honored to again win this prestigious award from John Deere as the outstanding breeders of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships,” said Coolmore representative Dermot Ryan.  “We are equally proud of the winning performances by Happily, Hydrangea, Nelson and Rhododendron, horses which we have bred and raced against top flight competition in this series.”

“We are again extremely pleased to recognize Coolmore Stud as an Outstanding Breeder for 2017,” said Auston Till, John Deere Account Manager, Equine. “The continued passion and enthusiasm for great horses and breeding is evident by their success and we congratulate them again on winning the award.”

About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 Grade I races with purses and awards totaling more than $28 million, will be held November 2-3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. The Breeders’ Cup culminates with the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which was rated No. 1 in the world in the final 2016 Longines World’s Best Horse Race rankings. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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