Beechcourt Stables outside Naas in County Kildare has been synonymous with success since the late 1970s.
Under the guidance of the late Michael O’Brien, who died at the age of 68 in December 2011, three Irish Grand National winners were trained here - King Spruce (1982), Vanton (1992) and Glebe Lad (1999) - while the first notable British success came in 1980 when
Bright Highway completed the Mackeson Gold Cup (now known as the Paddy Power Gold Cup) – Hennessy Gold Cup double.
The latter that year became the first Irish-trained winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup since the legendary Arkle 15 years earlier.
Cheltenham Festival wins followed complements of Shawiya (1993 Triumph Hurdle) and Kadoun (2006 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle) while other big names to emerge from Beechcourt included 2006 Gold Cup third Forget The Past , In Compliance, Chorelli and Essex, who landed the 2005 Pierse Hurdle before following up in the Totesport Trophy at Newbury on his next start. Beechcourt also produced Galway Plate winner Dovaly in 2000
Michael O’Brien, confined to a wheelchair following a fall that resulted in a serious spinal injury in the Carolina Cup back in 1974, was regarded as one of Ireland’s top jump trainers during his time at Beechcourt.
Two years before his death, Michael handed over the reins to his son-in-law Denis Cullen, who gained a wealth of experience from his former tutor.