University Honours Racing Masters

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Dermot Weld & Jim Bolger with President Jim Browne
Dermot Weld & Jim Bolger with President Jim Browne

As the Galway race festival continues, NUI Galway today conferred honorary degrees on two outstanding individuals from the world of Irish horseracing: Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger.

NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony, said: “With the sporting world’s attention on Galway and Ballybrit this week, we are proud to celebrate the horseracing heritage of our city by recognising two of Ireland’s greatest racing trainers and breeders. 

Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld are global figures in the world of horseracing.  They have distinguished themselves as breeders, trainers and leaders of the sport and in so doing have burnished Ireland’s reputation as a global centre for the equine industry. By honouring these two truly outstanding men, we pay tribute to their achievements by awarding them the highest honour which the University can confer, thereby associating their names forever with NUI Galway.”

Dermot Weld, one of Ireland’s most renowned and successful racehorse trainers, at home and abroad, was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts honoris causa. To date, Dermot has trained in excess of 3,700 winners. He has trained the winners of twenty-two European Classic races and remains the only trainer outside of the US and Canada, to have won a leg of America's famous Triple Crown. Dermot has won races at both the Cheltenham Festival and at Royal Ascot and has enjoyed success at both meetings this year.

Australia has been a country of note in his career with two wins in “the race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup. Dermot was the first trainer based in the northern hemisphere to win this most prestigious race when Vintage Crop stormed to victory in 1993.

A qualified vet, Dermot was a leading amateur rider and was crowned champion on three occasions. He also rode winners in South Africa, the UK, France and in the US. Dermot was a long-serving director of the Irish National Stud and also served on the board of the Irish Horseracing Authority.  He is currently in his second term as a director of Leopardstown Racecourse. In 20l1, he was made an honorary member of the Galway Race Committee.

Introducing Mr Weld, Dr John Newell, Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics at NUI Galway, reminded guests on Galway Plate Day, the highlight of the Galway racing festival, how synonymous this trainer is with Galway. “His attachment to the festival began when, as a nine-year-old, he led his father's horse, Highfield Lad, into the winner’s enclosure after victory in the Galway Plate.   Six years later, Dermot rode his first ever winner, steering Ticonderoga to victory in the Galway Amateur Handicap.Dermot holds the record of 17 winners over the seven days and won the Leading Trainer award for the 27th time last year.  So dominant has he been at Ballybrit over the last two-and-a-half decades, Irish bookmakers, Paddy Power suggested renaming the Galway Races to the ‘Dermot Weld Retirement Fund’.”

Jim Bolger was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts honoris causa. In a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, at 71 years of age; he remains one of the single most iconic figures in the game.

At the age of 35, the Wexford native left his job in finance and began his training career in a yard at Clonsilla near the old Phoenix Park training ground. A farmer’s son who first dabbled in buying and selling show-jumpers, Bolger possesses rare vision and an insatiable work ethic.

A master of his profession and a born leader, he has nurtured the careers of many of  leading figures in Irish racing, including Paul Carberry, Willie Mullins, Peter Scudamore and his now son-in-law, Kevin Manning all of whom emerged from his famously uncompromising academy. Since moving to Coolcullen’s Glebe House in Co Kilkenny in 1982, he has developed one of the most acclaimed training centres in the world.

Professor Michael Kerin, Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and Research Director of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), explained the honour for him in introducing Mr Bolger, “The elite realm of international flat racing is dominated by wealthy sheikhs, royalty and commercial conglomerates but Jim Bolger has fashioned a unique empire based on his eye for a horse, intellect, enthusiasm, ambition and hard work. It is a great honour for me to present Jim Bolger, Champion Horse Trainer and Breeder, Family Man, Educator, Organiser and Inspiration for the Doctor of Arts here at NUI Galway today.”

The two graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood.

-Ends-

 

Bronnann an Ollscoil Onóir ar Mháistrí na Rásaíochta

 

Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céimeanna Oinigh ar Dermot Weld agus ar Jim Bolger

 

Agus féile rásaíochta na Gaillimhe faoi lánseol, bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna oinigh ar bheirt mór le rá i saol na rásaíochta capall in Éirinn inniu: Dermot Weld agus Jim Bolger.

 

Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt ag an searmanas bronnta: “Agus aird an domhain spóirt ar Ghaillimh agus ar Bhaile an Bhriotaigh an tseachtain seo, táimid bródúil oidhreacht rásaíochta capall na cathrach a cheiliúradh trí aitheantas a thabhairt do bheirt de na traenálaithe agus tógálaithe capall is fearr in Éirinn. 

 

Tá aithne i bhfad is i ngearr ar Jim Bolger agus ar Dermot Weld i saol na rásaíochta capall.  Tá cáil bainte amach acu dóibh féin mar thógálaithe agus mar thraenálaithe capall agus mar cheannairí sa spórt agus ag an am céanna tá cáil bainte amach acu d'Éirinn mar ionad domhanda don tionscal eachaí.  Tá an onóir is airde is féidir le hOllscoil a bhronnadh ar dhuine á bronnadh ar an mbeirt iomráiteach seo as a gcuid éachtaí, rud a chiallaíonn go mbeidh a gcuid ainmneacha luaite go deo le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.”

 

Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána honoris causa ar Dermot Weld. Tá an tUasal Weld ar cheann de na traenálaithe capall rása Éireannacha is mó cáil agus is rathúla, sa bhaile agus thar lear.Go dtí seo, tá breis is 3,700 buaiteoir traenáilte ag Dermot. Tá dhá chapall is fiche traenáilte aige a bhuaigh ag rásaí Clasaiceacha Eorpacha agus is é fós an t-aon traenálaí, lasmuigh de Mheiriceá agus de Cheanada, a bhuaigh staid de Choróin Thriarach cháiliúil Mheiriceá. Tá rásaí buaite ag Dermot ag Féile Cheltenham agus ag Royal Ascot agus d'éirigh go maith leis ag an dá ócáid seo i mbliana.

 

Bhí baint mhór ag an Astráil le saol gairme Dermot agus bhí an bua aige ag Corn Melbourne faoi dhó, rás a ndeirtear faoi go stopann an tír ar fad le breathnú air. Ba é Dermot an chéad traenálaí lonnaithe sa leathsféar thuaidh a bhuaigh an rás iomráiteach seo le Vintage Crop sa bhliain 1993.

 

Is tréidlia cáilithe é Dermot agus bhí sé ina shármharcaí amaitéarach agus ina sheaimpín trí huaire. Bhí an bua aige chomh maith ag marcaíocht san Afraic Theas, sa Ríocht Aontaithe, sa Fhrainc agus i Meiriceá. Bhí Dermot ina stiúrthóir ar feadh i bhfad ar Ghraí Náisiúnta na hÉireann agus bhí sé ar bhord Údarás Rásaíochta Capall na hÉireann chomh maith.  Tá sé faoi láthair i mbun a dhara théarma mar Stiúrthóir ar Ráschúrsa Bhaile na Lobhar. Sa bhliain 2011, rinneadh ball oinigh de Choiste Rásaíochta na Gaillimhe de.

 

Agus é ag cur as Uasail Weld i láthair, chuir an Dr John Newell, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Bithstaitisticí in OÉ Gaillimh, i gcuimhne do na haíonna a bhí i láthair ar Lá an Galway Plate, buaicphointe fhéile rásaíochta na Gaillimhe, cé chomh mór is a shamhlaítear an traenálaí seo le Gaillimh.  “Thosaigh a ghrá don fhéile agus gan é ach naoi mbliana d’aois nuair a thug sé capall a athar, Highfield Lad, isteach i gclós na mbuaiteoirí tar éis dó an Galway Plate a thabhairt leis.   Sé bliana ina dhiaidh sin, bhí Dermot sa diallait dá chéad bhua riamh ar Ticonderoga i gCisrás Amaitéarach na Gaillimhe.Is ag Dermot atá an churiarracht as 17 mbuaiteoir thar na seacht lá agus bhuaigh sé an gradam don Traenálaí is Fearr don 27ú huair anuraidh.  Bhí sé chomh ceannasach i mBaile an Bhriotaigh le cúig bliana is fiche anuas gur mhol na geallghlacadóirí Éireannacha, Paddy Power, gur cheart “Ciste Scoir Dermot Weld” a thabhairt ar Rásaí na Gaillimhe feasta”.

 

Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána honoris causa ar Jim Bolger. Bhí gairm den scoth aige a mhair caoga bliain, agus tá sé fós, agus é anois in aois a 71 bliain, ar cheann de na daoine is mó cáil i saol na rásaíochta capall.

 

In aois a 35 bliain, d'fhág fear Loch Garman a phost le cúrsaí airgeadais agus chuir sé tús lena ghairm thraenála i gclós i gCluain Saileach gar do sheanfhaice traenála Pháirc an Fhionnuisce. Mac feirmeora é Bolger a thosaigh ar dtús ag díol agus ag ceannach seóléimneoirí agus tá fís ar leith aige chomh maith le heitic oibre dhoshásaithe.

 

Máistir a ghairme agus ceannaire ó thús, is iomaí duine mór le rá i saol na rásaíochta capall in Éirinn ar chabhraigh sé leo, ina measc Paul Carberry, Willie Mullins, Peter Scudamore agus Kevin Manning, atá pósta lena iníon anois. Tháinig siad ar fad amach óna acadamh a bhfuil cáil na diongbháilteachta air.  Ón uair a bhog sé go Teach Gléibe, Cúl an Chuilinn i gCo. Chill Chainnigh sa bhliain 1982, tá ceann de na hionaid traenála is mó cáil sa domhan forbartha aige.

 

Mhínigh an tOllamh Michael Kerin, Ollamh le Leigheas in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir Taighde na hInstitiúide Náisiúnta um Thaighde ar Ailse Brollaigh (NBCRI), an onóir a bhain leis an Uasal Bolger a chur i láthair, “Tá domhan éilíte na rásaíochta ar an gcothrom faoi cheannas móruaisle saibhre, lucht ríoga agus ilchuideachtaí tráchtála ach tá impireacht uathúil cruthaithe ag Jim Bolger le cúnamh ón gcumas nádúrtha atá aige féin ag plé le capaill, a chlisteacht, a dhíograis, a mhian agus obair chrua. Is mór an onóir domsa Jim Bolger, Traenálaí agus Tógálaí Seaimpín Capall, Fear Teaghlaigh, Oideachasóir, Eagraí agus Inspioráid a chur in bhur láthair inniu don Dochtúireacht sna Dána anseo in OÉ Gaillimh.

 

Beidh an bheirt seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood.

 

-Críoch-

 

Keywords: Alumni

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway, NUI Galway
« Back

Press office

E info@nuigalway.ie
T +353 (0)91 493361

Press member?

Visit our press centre

Connect & share

Connect with us:

Facebook icon 32px YouTube icon 32px LinkedIn icon 32px RSS Icon 32px

Bookmark and Share