Jacqueline O’Brien (b. 1926)
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Jacqueline O’Brien (b. 1926)


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Track 1: Her background in Western Australia, and her family name, Wittenoom. Visiting Ireland in 1951, where she met Vincent O’Brien, her future husband. The couple made their home in Ballydoyle. Track 2: The business of training race horses and sourcing markets overseas. Track 3: Discussed a challenging time for the business, when Vincent’s horse training licence was revoked, and the stance taken by the family on the matter. Raising a young family, and combining this with the requirements of business, which included extensive travel, to the USA in particular. Track 4: The occasion on which Vincent invested in Phoenix Park racecourse, and the unsuccessful nature of this endeavour. Vincent’s partnership with John Magnier and Robert Sangster in owning and training horses at the new Coolmore Stud. Track 5: The setting up and management of Coolmore Stud. The excellent bloodline of Northern Dancer, which brought great success to Coolmore. The visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Coolmore in 2011, where she inspected her mares in training. Track 6: Discussed favourite horses and favourite racecourses, and superstitions surrounding the sport of horse racing. The occasion when Vincent objected to a Steward’s decision regarding Kings Lake, who won the Irish 2,000 Guineas (1981), demoted to second after a Curragh stewards’ enquiry, only to be reinstated following successful appeal to the stewards of the Turf Club. Track 7: The introduction of new techniques for training horses, and the many jockeys who worked with Vincent over the years, including a number from Australia. Track 8: Reminiscences of her own family in Australia.

Additional information



Audio series:

Horse Racing Ireland Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

7.91 MB; 10.12 MB; 11.70 MB; 8.94 MB; 9.90 MB; 4.08 MB; 9.16 MB; 6.08 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Vincent O’Brien’s widow’s recollections of an extraordinary life

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore