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Oldtown Stud owner de Burgh dies at 89.

Byline: Martin Stevens

MAJOR John de Burgh, the former master of the prestigious Oldtown Stud in County Kildare, died on Saturday in Tallaght Hospital in Dublin after a short illness. He was 89.

Educated at Stowe, de Burgh served with the 16th/5th Lancers inWorld War Two, was awarded the military cross, and in 1950 retired from the army with the rank of major.

He established Oldtown Stud on the estate in Naas that had been in the family for more than 300 years.

Despite never keeping more than 12 mares, the stud produced a long list of top-class horses until he put the estate on the market in 1999.

De B u rg h ' s c ro w n i n g achievement as a breeder was Fair Salinia, who in 1978 became the first filly to win the Epsom, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks.

Oldtown Stud also consigned Fair Salinia's daughter by Great Nephew to the 1984 Tattersalls Houghton Sale, where she became the first yearling filly to sell for 1,000,000gns.

Among the other highflying Oldtown graduates were Sunset Handicap and Man O'War Stakes winner Galaxy Libra; triple Hong Kong Group 1 winner Indigenous; Ribblesdale Stakes winner Miss Petard; Richmond Stakes scorer Godstone; 1964 Middle Park Stakes hero Spanish Express, and also the dam of North American champion turf mare Just A Game.

De Burgh was a pioneer in importing cheaply bought mares with top pedigrees from America, and he purchased the dam of Fair Salinia for just $14,000.

De Burgh, who was also a leading amateur jockey in the post-war years, and later a member of the Irish Turf Club and Racing Board, will be buried at St David's Church of Ireland in Naas at noon tomorrow.

He is survived by his wife Clare, two sons, prominent bloodstock agent Hubie and California-based bloodstock consultant William, and a daughter, Caroline, as well as eight grandchildren.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Dec 8, 2010
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