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History of the Stud

Plantation Stud, Newmarket, was formed as part of a grand plan hatched by the 'uncrowned kings of Lancashire' more tha a century ago. The Stanleys of Knowsley were determind to breed and own the winner of the race that bore their name - the most famous horse race on earth - The Derby.


Having given his name to the world's most famous and most imitated race, first run in 1780, the 12th Earl of Derby had won it seven years later, with Sir Peter Teazle.


On succeeding his brother in 1893, the 16th Lord Derby, together with his son and heir Lord Stanley, determined to resurrect the family's racing and breeding fortunes. Plantation Stud was to play its role in achieving Turf success ' beyond dreams of avarice'


Half a century later the 18th Lord Derby sold Plantation Stud to another peer of the realm who also longed to breed and own a winner of The Derby, just as his father had asprired to do in his time on the Turf. Once again Plantation Stud played its crucial role in turning Lord Howard de Walden's dreams to reality.


At the time of his death in July 1999, Lord Howard had bred and raced the winners of over six hundred races, including numerous high-class racehorses and stallions.


In July 2005 Plantation Stud changed hands for only the second time in its 100-year existence. In aspiring to continue Plantation's successful connection with the Derby, the O'Rourkes bid to sustain Irish associations with the world's greatest race inaugurated as long ago as 1781, when Irishman Denis O'Kelly bred and owned Young Eclipse.



Silver Springs Stud, located 6 miles northwest of Paris, KY consists of 305 acres of prime farmland in the Historic Coopers Run Agricultural District.


Silver Springs, named for its natural limestone spring, was purchased in 1983 by the late John Costelloe and his wife, Maire, of Co Kildare, Ireland. Beginning in 1985, under the care and management of Randy Roberts, the farm was developed into a stud farm. Prior to 1983 this acreage had produced crops and cattle.


In 2007 Silver Springs was purchased by Dermot and Perle O'Rourke, owners of Plantation Stud, Newmarket.


At Silver Springs, Willow Oak trees line the drive to paddocks surrounded by Burning Bush. The lush pastures at Silver Springs support the mares, yearlings and foals all year round as well as a draft of cattle for the grazing season.


There are currently 28 box stalls in three barns with access to small paddocks and larger fields. Water is supplied to water tanks in each field from the limestone spring.


The recent purchase of 45 acres adjoining Silver Springs will allow additional paddocks to be added for quarantine purposes as well as additional separation of colts from the broodmares and foals.