Hilda Rothwell wins Dungar Quality Oats NH Breeder Prize

Congratulations to Hilda Rothwell who is the 2024 winner of Dungar Quality Oats Cash Prize for National Hunt breeders.  The €2,500 cash prize was given by NH breeder and owner of Dungar Quality Oats Tadhg O Leary as a gesture to recognise the contribution that Irish National Hunt breeders do for the racing industry in Ireland.

Presentation Hilda Rothwell 2

Pictured ; Daryl Deacon, Correna Bowe, Hilda Rothwell, Tadhg O Leary, Rosalyn Drew

Photo credit: Healy Photography

Carlow native, Hilda Rothwell bred the four year old filly Echoing Silence who achieved a sale topping price of £410,000 stg at Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale in March this year for Sam Curling and Correna and JJ Bowe.  Hilda had sold Echoing Silence to them in the Tattersalls July sales the year before as a 3 year old for just €28,000.  The daughter of Doyen and out of Taipan mare Taipers, this filly is also half sister to Deafening Silence who won the Grade 2 Winter Novices Hurdle at Sandown last December.

Echoing Silence Tattersalls
Echoing Silence / Tattersalls

A shrewd breeder, Hilda remembers choosing Doyen to cross with her mare Taipers as she liked his conformation and felt he would complement her mares breeding.  When asked if she had noticed anything special about Echoing Silence as a foal and youngster she replied ‘Oh yes, Echoing always had great presence.  Her conformation and walk made her very eye-catching in the parade ring.  She was always easy to handle and I understand from Correna that they were riding her within a week after getting her!’  Hilda also acknowledges the valuable advice she has had from Daryl Deacon of The Borotown Stud who helped her prep Echoing Silence for sale.

With a family history of horses and breeding, Hilda grew up doing Pony Club and Hunting.  She also used to ride out for local trainer Michael McCullough and maintains this is when she got bitten by the racing bug.  Her late brother George also shared her interest in horses and breeding and they had some luck over the years winning at various National Hunt and Point to Point meetings.

The prize was presented by Tadhg O Leary at the Ormond Hunt point to point in Ballingarry on Sunday 26th May.  The prize was open to any breeder of an Irish bred 4 or 5 year old mare that had ran in a maiden Point to Point in Ireland between 01.01.24 and 31.05.24 that was then sold in one of a number of named point to point sales.  More details on the competition can be found at the following link.  After each sale, a potential winner was identified having qualified the various criteria and entered on a league table as seen below.  Hilda Rothwell was the clear outright winner due to Echoing Silence huge sales price in March.

Final Results Table 2

Explaining why he was giving the prize, Tadhg said ‘As a breeder myself I understand the challenges that NH breeders face and as we all know that without the breeder there would be no horses so I felt it important to reward the work they do.  I am in business just over thirty years now and these people are my customers so it is my way of giving back and saying thank you.’  Tadhg said that Hilda is a most deserving winner and wishes her many more future successes with her horses.

Upon receiving her prize Hilda said that she was delighted to win the prize and she thanked Dungar Quality Oats saying ‘It is great to see breeders recognised in this way.’ and she also wished the new owners and connections of Echoing Silence all the best for the future.


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