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Horse Racing: 'His legacy to Ireland will be appreciated by future generations' Death of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey.

JOHN MAGNIER yesterday led Irish racing's tributes to former Taoiseach Charles Haughey, the man credited with laying the foundations for the country's booming bloodstock industry, writes Brian Fleming.

The boss of Coolmore said: "We would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Charles Haughey on their sad loss.

"It is widely recognised that the transformation of Irish bloodstock breeding from a cottage industry in 1969 to a world-class one today can be largely attributed to his far-sightedness and strategic thinking.

"The introduction of a tax exemption on stallion fees enabled Ireland to build on its natural attributes and to stand the best stallions, rather than exporting them, benefiting the rural economy and associated businesses.

"Through its introduction, Charles Haughey created something out of nothing, and at no cost. His legacy to Ireland will be fully appreciated by future generations, and history will be kind to this man."

Horse Racing Ireland chief executive Brian Kavanagh echoed those sentiments, saying: "Throughout his career, Charlie Haughey could only be described as a true friend of Irish racing. His innovative approach to the breeding industry through the introduction of progressive tax policies has stood the test of time and has been the cornerstone of the recent worldwide success of Irish racing and breeding.

"On a personal level, Mr Haughey had a deep love and understanding of the industry and enjoyed considerable success as both an owner and a breeder, most notably through Flashing Steel, Vulforo and Aristocracy. Our deepest sympathies are extended to the entire Haughey family, including, of course, [daughter] Eimear Mulhern, chairman of Goffs Bloodstock Sales."

Haughey had been an honorary member of the Turf Club, whose chief executive Denis Egan said yesterday: "The stewards and members of the Turf Club and INHS Committee are saddened to learn of the death of Charles Haughey.

"Charles had been an honorary member of the Turf Club since 1991, and there is absolutely no doubt that he was instrumental in the laying of the foundations for the current unprecedented success of the Irish bloodstock industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family at this sad time."

Jim Dreaper, who trained Vulforo, described Haughey as "the perfect owner".

Dreaper also trained minor winners Counter Charge and home-bred Lady Helga for the former Taoiseach, and he added: "He was like every owner should be and did not interfere whatsoever. He was first class and the perfect owner and took defeat and victories exactly the same."

A state funeral is being held for Haughey on Friday in Dublin. The current Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, will deliver the graveside oration following Requiem Mass at Our Lady of Consolation Church, Donnycarney in Haughey's old constituency.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2006
Words:451
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