Baroda Stud is one of Ireland’s best-known stud farms and it has a long and colourful history.
While the historic significance of the lands of Baroda can be traced back to as far as the 13th century and the founding of a highly-important priory in the vicinity, the event that put the wheels in motion for the transformation of what was then a dairy farm known as Connellmore into Baroda Stud was the purchase of a yearling full-brother to the Epsom Derby winner Dante for a record price of 28,000 gns by the Maharajah of Baroda in 1945.
Named Sayajirao, the colt won the Irish Derby and Irish St Leger in 1947 and with his owner being keen to stand him as a stallion, Connellmore was purchased and transformed into Baroda Stud under the guidance of stud manager Captain William Whitehead in 1948.
Sayajirao proved to be a success as a stallion, being crowned Champion Sire in Ireland in 1960 and siring the legendary mare Gladness, the Irish Classic winners Zenobia and Lynchris, as well as the three-time Irish Grand National winner Brown Lad.
Following the death of the Maharajah of Baroda in 1968, Baroda Stud became part of the Airlie Stud empire under the management of Captain Tim Rogers.
In 1978, Baroda was sold to stallion master Sean Doyle who stood the likes of Lypheor, Camden Town, Hard Fought and Coquelin there. Tragically, Doyle was killed in a riding accident before his full ambitions for Baroda could be realised and having passed on to his partner Susan McKeown, Baroda was sold to Philip Myerscough, then the managing director of Goffs, in 1999, before passing onto its current owners the Cox family in 2006.
Not only has Baroda Stud been owned and shaped by many colourful and influential individuals, it has also been something of a nursery for the some of the industry’s biggest players. Kirsten Rausing, owner of Lanwades Stud and Staffordstown Stud, Coolmore’s Paul Shanahan and John “Jock” O’Connor, manager of Ballylinch Stud, all worked at or managed Baroda Stud during the course of their careers.
Now under its current Ownership for the last decade by the Cox family, the farm is being restored to its highest level and many successful horses including the Group One winning Cloth of Stars (now a Stallion for Darley) have been raised on the farm.