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Beach Bunny Leopardstown 06.04.08

Hardisty co-bred the Group 1-placed Beach Bunny with Marston Stud

  PICTURE: Caroline Norris 

Death of prominent breeder David Hardisty

DAVID Hardisty, co-breeder of the narrow Pretty Polly Stakes runner-up Beach Bunny, has died following a short illness. He was 67.

Despite entering the breeding game on alarge scale until eight years ago, Hardisty - the founder and manager of a finance and leasing company - wasted little time in becoming a prominent breeder. With the assistance of Jenny Norris, he developed the 100-acre Oaklands Farm near Wineham, West Sussex, into a commercial bloodstock operation, producing high-class runners such as last season's Listed winner Persefona, Listed winner Needles And Pins and the Group 2-placed Drill Sergeant.

The latter's Galileo half-sister, Fascination, provided an early sale ring highlight for the stud when selling as a yearling for 290,000gns to John Warren on behalf of the Queen.

In addition, he also co-bred with Marston Stud the Listed winner Beach Bunny, who came within a whisker of Group 1 glory when second to Dar Re Mi in last season's Pretty Polly Stakes.

Hardisty also enjoyed success as an owner-breeder, most recently through Persefona's half-sister Sea Of Heartbreak. The daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar won a hot handicap for Roger Charlton at Newbury last month, her fourth consecutive win.

Oaklands, which is home to nine mares and is responsible for three fillies in training, will continue to operate under the ownership of Hardisty's wife Elizabeth and management of Jenny Norris.

Jenny Norris paid tribute to Hardisty, saying: "The farm was the realisation of David's dream and it had all just started to come together. He was really passionate about racing, loved walking around the farm and going to the sales. He got a real kick out of watching his horses run and doing well.

"The farm was nothing when he bought it - he put up all the fencing, the stable block and turnout barn. It's now a beautiful, quiet place. Liz is keen that it carries on and continues David's success. He will be sorely missed."

In addition to his wife Elizabeth, Hardisty is survived by a son, David, and daughter, Victoria. His funeral will take place at 11.45am at a local church on Thursday.




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