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.
Spanning 55 acres of lush county Kildare pastures and situated just a few minutes drive from Naas town, Beechcourt Stables has three gallops including two sand-based and one all-weather. With 35 boxes and two paddocks within the complex that includes a horse walker and equine spa, horses stabled at Beechcourt get every chance to fulfill their potential.
Work Gallop & Schooling Fences
At Beechcourt no stone is left unturned. Denis Cullen and his wife Ann-Marie, daughter of the late Michael O' Brien and also a former amateur rider under Rules, use the best available riders on their horses. Grand National-winning rider Robbie Power is a regular visitor to Beechcourt. Other top class riders employed over jumps include former dual Irish Champion Barry Geraghty in between his busy schedule as stable jockey to the powerful Nicky Henderson yard in Britain. On the Flat, multiple Classic-winning rider and dual Irish Champion Joseph O'Brien is regularly called upon. In October 2013 he won on the stables Dysios at Navan to crown a memorable day after breaking the 20-year record held by Mick Kinane and his 117th winner of the season. He went on to ride 126 winners to retain his Irish Title that year.
Former amateur and Cheltenham Festival-winning rider Denis Cullen spent several years as assistant to his late father-in-law Michael O'Brien before taking over at the helm of Beechcourt in November 2009. Despite commencing his career in the depths of Ireland's crippling economic downturn which saw several high profile owners go to ground, Denis has managed to fly the flag for the yard enjoying wins at the Galway summer festival and Leopardstown at Christmas along the way. The attention to detail at Beechcourt ensures every horse stabled here gets every chance to reach their potential.