John Magnier (born 10 February 1948; also known as "The Boss")is an Irish business magnate. He is Ireland's leading thoroughbred stud owner and has extensive business interests outside the horse-breeding industry.
Magnier has also been a Senator in the upper house of the Irish Parliament, Seanad Éireann.He is based at Coolmore Stud at Fethard in County Tipperary, considered one of the world's pre-eminent stallion stations, and a nursery of thoroughbreds.
He was born in Fermoy, County Cork, the eldest son of Thomas Magnier (died 1962) a County Cork land owner (son of Michael Joseph Magnier of The Manor House, Fermoy, County Cork) by his wife Evelyn Margaret Hallinan (born 1925), younger daughter of Major Thomas Francis Dennehy Hallinan of Ashbourne, Glounthaune, County Cork.[ citation needed ] His aunt Mary Elizabeth Hallinan married Rupert Watson, 3rd Baron Manton, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club 1982-5, effectively the chief executive of the British horse-racing industry.
He received his formal education at Glenstal Abbey in County Limerick but had to leave school at 15 on the death of his fatherto take charge of the family estate near Fermoy.
Magnier later moved to Fethard, County Tipperary, where he transformed Coolmore Stud into a multi-million Euro international business. The business is headquartered in County Tipperary where a number of other stud farms are part of an extensive network which includes Longfield and Castlehyde studs. The operation also has branches in Versailles, Kentucky and at Jerrys Plains, New South Wales, Australia.
Magnier began his association with Coolmore in partnership with his father-in-law and champion racehorse trainer, Vincent O'Brien, and Vernon's Pools magnate, Robert Sangster. They developed the best racing horses and breeding stock, mainly by purchasing the progeny of the great Canadian stallion Northern Dancer. Their forays to the bloodstock auctions at Keeneland Sales furthered their rising stock at home. Eventually, Magnier came to head the operation and thus began an upward spiral of success. His racing empire, which became arguably the most successful on the planet, is nowadays powered by a huge string of blue-blooded thoroughbreds trained at Ballydoyle by Aidan O'Brien, plus dozens of others in the care of a number of other trainers.
Champion sires to have stood at Coolmore include the incomparable Sadler's Wells who was leading sire (by prizemoney won) in Great Britain and Ireland in 14 of the 15 years between 1990 and 2004, though his success in his later years was somewhat eclipsed by the astonishing exploits of three other Coolmore stallions, namely Danehill and his own sons Galileo and Montjeu. Other notable Group 1 winners who have turned successfully to stud duties are Danehill Dancer, Giant's Causeway, and Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral.
Less successful at Coolmore was George Washington, winner of the 2,000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 2006. George Washington proved infertile, was returned to racing, and suffered a fatal breakdown in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic. George Washington was replaced at stud by another son of Danehill, Holy Roman Emperor, removed from training at the start of his three-year-old season. The strength of thoroughbred talent residing at Coolmore is indicated by the fact that eleven of the fifteen winners of the blue riband of the turf, The Derby, between 1998 and 2012 were sired by Coolmore stallions (High Estate, Fairy King, Grand Lodge, Sadler's Wells (two), Danehill, Montjeu (four) and Galileo).
Outside the equine business, Magnier has proven to be an astute investor and together with associates J. P. McManus, Dermot Desmond, Joe Lewis, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith has enjoyed phenomenal success. A high-profile venture was his stake of 28.89 per cent shareholding in the famous football club, Manchester United F.C., which was sold in May 2005 to Malcolm Glazer, an American businessman. A personal friendship with manager Alex Ferguson was tested in a dispute over bloodstock rights to prolific Group 1 winner (seven wins) Rock of Gibraltar which currently stands at Coolmore.
Magnier is said to be the most influential man in horse racing and breeding worldwide, even over Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. While his fortune is in the realms of speculation, The Sunday Independent estimated his wealth at €2.3 billion in 2018, although this is conservative as Coolmore Stud is valued at more than €4 billion alone, in addition to his personal property portfolio and other investments and holdings.
He is married to Susan O'Brien, a daughter of Irish racehorse-trainer Vincent O'Brien. The couple have five children.
Robert Edmund Sangster was a British businessman, thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder. Sangster's horses won 27 European Classics and more than 100 Group One races, including two Epsom Derbys, four Irish Derbys, two French Derbys, three Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes, as well as the Breeders' Cup Mile and the Melbourne Cup. He was British flat racing Champion Owner five times.
High Chaparral was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from September 2001 to October 2003, he ran 13 times and won 10 races. His win in the Racing Post Trophy made him one of the highest-rated two-year-olds of 2001. In 2002, he defeated Hawk Wing in The Derby and won the Breeders' Cup Turf. At four, he defeated Falbrav and Alamshar in the Irish Champion Stakes and won a second Breeders' Cup Turf.
Galileo was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from October 2000 until October 2001 he ran eight times and won six races. He is best known for having won The Derby, Irish Derby Stakes, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2001 and for his rivalry with the Godolphin champion Fantastic Light. He was named the European Champion Three-Year-Old Colt of 2001.
Vincent O'Brien was an Irish race horse trainer from Churchtown, County Cork, Ireland. In 2003 he was voted the greatest influence in horse racing history in a worldwide poll hosted by the Racing Post. In earlier Racing Post polls he was voted the best ever trainer of national hunt and of flat racehorses. He trained six horses to win the Epsom Derby, won three Grand Nationals in succession and trained the only British Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky, since the Second World War. He was twice British champion trainer in flat racing and also twice in national hunt racing; the only trainer in history to have been champion under both rules. Aidan O'Brien took over the Ballydoyle stables after his retirement.
Danehill was a Thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in the United States. During his stud career, Danehill became a champion sire on both sides of the Equator. He is the most successful sire of all time with 349 stakes winners and 89 Group/Grade I winners. He was the leading sire in Australia nine times, the leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland three times, and the leading sire in France twice.
Coolmore Stud, in Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland, is headquarters of the world's largest breeding operation of thoroughbred racehorses. Through its racing arm, Ballydoyle, Coolmore also has raced many classic winners and champions. The operation is currently owned and run by the Magnier family, which has been associated with a long sequence of top-class stallions since the 1850s, originally in County Cork, where stallions still stand as part of Coolmore today.
Sadler's Wells was a thoroughbred racehorse who was bred in the United States but raced in Europe, winning the 1984 Irish 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes and Phoenix Champion Stakes. He also finished second in the Prix du Jockey Club and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He was named the champion miler in France, and was rated sixth overall in the International Classification for 1984.
Ballydoyle is a racehorse training facility located in County Tipperary in Ireland. It is a sister thoroughbred facility to Coolmore Stud, and both are owned by John Magnier, son in law to the racehorse trainer Vincent O'Brien. The current trainer at Ballydoyle is Aidan O'Brien, who succeeded Vincent O'Brien in 1995. The current stable retained jockey is Ryan Moore.
One Cool Cat, was an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire.
Dylan Thomas is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. In a racing career which lasted from June 2005 until December 2007, he ran twenty times and won ten races. After winning two minor races in 2005 he improved to become one of the leading European three-year-olds of 2006, winning the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes as well as finishing a close third in The Derby. In 2007 he won three of Europe's most important weight-for-age races, taking the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, a second Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. His performances led to his being named European Horse of the Year in 2007.
Scorpion is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. As a three-year-old in 2005 he won the Grand Prix de Paris and the St. Leger Stakes. In 2007 he won the Coronation Cup.
Duke of Marmalade is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. He is best known for winning five consecutive Group One races in 2008, for which he was named European Champion Older Horse. Upon retirement at the end of the 2008 racing season he stood as a stallion for Coolmore Stud, being moved between stud farms in Ireland and Australia. In July 2014 he was sold and relocated to Drakenstein Stud in South Africa where he currently stands.
Footstepsinthesand is a retired, undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in the United Kingdom but trained during his racing career in Ireland. He won both his races as a two-year-old in 2004 and won the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket on his three-year-old debut in 2005. Footstepsinthesand sustained an injury during the race and never ran again, retiring to stud undefeated after a career of only three races.
Mozart was an Irish champion Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He was named European Champion Sprinter as a three-year-old in 2001, when his victories included two Group One races in England, the July Cup and the Nunthorpe Stakes. He was retired to stud but died as a four-year-old in May 2002 after siring one crop of foals.
Milan, is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in Britain but trained in Ireland. In a career which lasted from October 2000 until May 2002, he ran ten times and won three races. He recorded his most important success when winning the Classic St. Leger Stakes as a three-year-old in 2001. In the same year also won the Great Voltigeur Stakes and finished second in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He was retired after being injured in his only race as a four-year-old.
Shahtoush was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare best known for winning The Oaks in 1998. In a racing career which lasted from August 1997 to September 1998 the filly ran eleven times and won three races. Shahtoush won only one minor race as a two-year-old, but showed top-class form when she finished third in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes. In 1998 she finished second in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse and then returned to England to win the Classic Oaks over one and a half miles at Epsom. She was beaten in her two remaining races, finishing unplaced in the Yorkshire Oaks and the Irish Champion Stakes.
Wing Commander Timothy Ashmead Vigors, was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot and flying ace during the Second World War, in which he fought in the Battle of Britain and in the Far East. In civilian life, Vigors began the development of the Coolmore Stud that transformed the breeding of thoroughbred racehorses.
Again was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. She was one of the leading Irish two-year-old fillies of 2008, when she won three of her five races including the Debutante Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes. She recorded her most important win when taking the Irish 1,000 Guineas on her three-year-old debut, but was beaten in her three subsequent races.
Black Minnaloushe is an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. Bred in Kentucky, he was sold as a yearling and sent to Ireland to race for the Irish-based Coolmore Stud organisation. After winning both his races as a juvenile, he was initially disappointing in the early part of 2001 but then showed marked improvement to win the Irish 2000 Guineas and the St James's Palace Stakes. He was beaten in his last four races and was retired to stud at the end of the year. He has had success as a breeding stallion in the United States, New Zealand and South Africa.
Spartacus was an Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He showed his best form as a two-year-old in 2002 when he ran in four different countries and recorded Group 1 victories in the Phoenix Stakes and the Gran Criterium. He failed to show any worthwhile form in the following year and was retired to stud. He stood as a breeding stallion in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia and had modest success as a sire of winners. He died in 2012 at the age of twelve.