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Moyglare founder Walter Haefner dies at 101

MOYGLARE Stud founder Walter Haefner has died in his native Switzerland aged 101. Haefner bought Moyglare Stud, then a dilapidated dairy farm in Maynooth, County Kildare, in 1962 and developed it into one of Ireland's leading thoroughbred nurseries.

Moyglare Stud, managed by Stan Cosgrove since 1967, was originally a commercial operation but in the 1980s changed direction to race most of its homebreds, who carry the  operation's famous black, white and red silks.

Celebrities bred by the stud, now owned and run by Haefner's daughter Eva-Maria Bucher Haefner, include 2,000 Guineas winner Refuse To Bend, French Derby hero Assert and Japan Cup heroine Stanerra.

A bold internationalist racing policy with its homebreds saw Go And Go win the Belmont Stakes in 1990 - still the only European-trained winner of a US Classic - and Media Puzzle win the Melbourne Cup in 2002. Both horses were saddled by Dermot Weld, the trainer most associated with Moyglare Stud's success.

Weld trained Moyglare homebred Princess Highway to win the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, in the process emulating her dam Irrestible Jewel. Weld is also set to saddle Speaking Of Which for the operation in Saturday's Irish Derby.

A keen horseman, Haefner became Fegentri European champion gentleman amateur jockey on the Flat in 1963.

Involved in Irish racing at many levels, his most conspicuous contribution is the inauguration of the Moyglare Stud Stakes for two-year-old fillies in 1973, which has been a Group 1 since 1983. He was also a major shareholder in Irish auction house Goffs.





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