Aidan O’Meara, synonymous with Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Lexington for nearly two decades, left his post as long time stallion manager last year to develop his family’s Stonehaven Steadings a few miles away. The facility is owned by his in-laws Chiquita and Jeff Reddoch. O’Meara married their daughter Leah in her home state of Louisiana in 2010 and the couple now have three children. O’Meara was shopping at the January sale on behalf of clients and his own family with plans to sell at future sales. “This competitive market makes it a little trickier on this side of the business, but should hopefully bode well for success at the yearling sales later this year with our homebreds,” he said. O’Meara originally came to America in 1996 on an eight-month internship while earning his degree in equine science and business from the University of Limerick. He returned full time in 1999 for a position in the Hill ‘n’ Dale’s stallion division, his only job until taking on his responsibilities with Stonehaven Steadings. He was instrumental in developing Hill ‘n’ Dale into a renowned stallion station that now boasts superstars Curlin and Kitten’s Joy and leading freshman sire Violence among its residents. He was especially fond of Theatrical, who died at age 30 in 2012. Prior to his rise as a world-class sire, the son of Nureyev was an American Champion after making his first two starts in his native Ireland. “He took my horsemanship to the next level,” O’Meara said. “He wasn’t mean but was highly strung. You had to be on your game every time you were with him. He had a phenomenal presence and character and he demanded that his personal space be respected. It was an honour to work with him for those 10 years.”

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