Bloodstock Team of WinStar Farm
Stallion Seasons Director
Darren, who hails from Co. Roscommon, Ireland, has been pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred industry for most of his life. He grew up on a small family farm and was around horses from a young age. He followed his passion by completing his degree in Equine Science from the University of Limerick. During his time there he completed summer work placements with Rathbarry Stud and Ballyhane Stud in Counties Cork and Carlow respectively. During his 3rd year Darren travelled to the US to work at Knockgriffin Farm in Paris, Kentucky.
Darren pursued a Masters in Entrepreneurship also from the University of Limerick to hone his aptitude for business leading to management roles with GE Capital and Tote Ireland. Darren then completed a 2-year managment program with Darley Flying Start. This provided exposure to every facet of the industry and its major players in Ireland, England, the US, Australia and Dubai. Upon completion of this Darren worked as a member of the Nominations team at Darley America, a role which he occupied for 4 years until assuming his current position at WinStar.
Director of Bloodstock Development
David brings to WinStar over 30 years of experience in the horse industry. Born in Ballina, Co. Mayo, Ireland, he grew up in Western Ireland hunting and riding ponies. After high school, he spent 5 years training with Iris Kellett, Lady’s European Champion and renowned trainer of many top riders. He competed internationally, representing Ireland in both eventing and show jumping. David also spent 5 years in Europe. He spent 2 years in Holland riding for Stall Salland le Cheval and 3 years in Germany riding for European champion Paul Schockemöhle, where his duties included show jumping, performance testing young stallions, and evaluating their progeny.
Later, David returned to Ireland and while still competing, he became involved in thoroughbreds through Murray McDonnell and managed Whitechurch Farm for 7 years. During that time, David began training some of the farm’s homebreds. David also got involved in pinhooking weanlings to yearlings through connections of Mr. McDonnell. He then became a public trainer training stakes and graded stakes winners such as Golden Apples, Lidanna, Be My Hope, Connamara, Rosie’s Mack, and Coney Kitty.
In 2001 David relocated to Kentucky to expand his bloodstock interests. Throughout his pinhooking and training career, he has been the breeder, buyer, or co-owner of the following grade 1 winners: Golden Apples, Forest Secrets, Rebelline, Ultimate Eagle, Pool Play, and the following grade 2 winners and grade 1 placed horses: Chief Seattle, Cat By the Tale, Soul Warrior, Cassandra, Storm Treasure, Musical Pursuit, Referendum, and more.
Stallion Season Sales
Chance is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. His father was a jockey and rode for over 15 years. A graduate of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, Chance was able to experience a great deal during his time there. His opportunities included interning with Vessels Stallion Farm, working on the starting gate at the local race meet, and galloping and starting colts for many local horsemen.
Upon graduation from the University of Arizona, Chance moved to Kentucky to work for Tommy Eastham and Mark Toothaker. During that time, he was accepted to the Darley Flying Start program. Upon completion of Flying Start, he spent two years working for John Fulton as an assistant bloodstock agent based in Lexington. His duties focused primarily on the American market while traveling extensively abroad.
Leanna's introduction to the horse industry came about at a very young age when she started riding quarter horses for pleasure. Hailing from Wooster, Ohio, she started out as a stable hand at a local farm, which gave her a first taste of the various facets of the Thoroughbred industry. Leanna graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2009. After graduation, she worked for Richland Hills in Midway, Kentucky as part of their nominations team. She was later promoted to Sales Director where she was responsible for nominations, mare bookings, stallion books, and sale contracts.
Aspiring to learn more about the international bloodstock market, Leanna spent the 2012 sales season working for Eliza Park Stud in Victoria, Australia. Leanna says, “Working a season in Australia was a real eye opener for me. I had the opportunity to work with some great people, and it has helped me bring some fresh perspective back to the U.S.”
Brian's initial introduction to horse racing was grooming Standardbreds at Blue Bonnets Raceway in his native Montreal following a chance meeting with a prominent owner who was also returning home on a flight from Miami. "After my first morning on the job I was hooked." The following year found him at Woodbine in Toronto where he groomed horses for the powerful Sam-Son Farm stable as well as for Frank Stronach. He then moved on to assistant trainer jobs with Tony Mattine and later Mike Doyle at Payson Park in Florida. The latter landed him here in Lexington where he has resided ever since. "I was very fortunate to have worked around some wonderful horses like Awesome Again, Classy 'N Smart (herself a Canadian champion and dam of champion Dance Smartly), Dauphin Fabuleux (Canadian Horse of the Year) and Richter Scale."
Between his many years of hands on experience and attending the races every opportunity he had, Brian has gained a good understanding of the game which he hopes to apply here at WinStar. "I've seen more races and read more Racing Forms than I care to admit, but I wouldn't trade that experience for anything."
Growing up in Kentucky, Amy had a lifelong love of horses and the Thoroughbred Racing industry, so she was thrilled with the chance to join WinStar as a Bloodstock Assistant and the opportunity it presents to continue to learn about thoroughbred breeding and racing operations. “I am glad to be part of the WinStar team – it feels like a family.”
Amy is a graduate of Centre College and started her career in the Thoroughbred industry in the accounting and equine insurance divisions of Hopewell Farm.
Amy lives in Versailles with her husband, Bill, and their children.