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Introducing David Murtagh

26 June

The challenges the thoroughbred industry are faced with presents the opportunity for innovation and development to change how we approach and shape the future of racing, and these challenges cannot be conquered without the hard-working people behind the scenes.

At Westbury, our goal is to produce quality thoroughbreds, giving them the best start to life which they will take with them throughout their career, and it is the passion and dedication of our people that enables us to realise the full potential of our horses. 

The desire to build a robust team stems from the recent growth at Westbury with our Waikato division now boasting 525 acres of prime soil to cater to our extensive broodmare band. The expansion complements the Karaka and existing Matamata operations providing idyllic conditions to grow and shape the future of racing as the additional acreage has been a wonderfully kept dairy farm with rich soil and lush pastures.  

These developments have prompted the need for innovative changes and a new look at the internal support structure, and the outcome of this has seen the Westbury family further complimented with David Murtagh joining the senior management team. David brings a vast range of expertise and skillsets that the entire team (horses and staff) can benefit from as David’s involvement will be spread throughout all areas of the operation. 

David’s interest in horses began while growing up in Ireland’s County Cavan, helping his Grandfather who bred show jumpers, which eventually saw him working at a small stud farm called Corbally Stud during his school holidays. Admiration for the thoroughbred grew and a move to Sydney had him working under successful trainer Chris Waller as a foreperson for nearly four years. His career soon shifted to New Zealand and spent the next five years at Windsor Park Stud managing stallions and assisting with general farm operations and sales.

The time David has committed to thoroughbreds has allowed extensive involvement with a variety of aspects of breeding and racing,  including a trip to Inner Mongolia as a guest of the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Industry who raced Mongolian Khan, who retired to Windsor Park Stud. All cannot be said and done without the influential and knowledgeable people who have helped shape his career along the way.

If he is not relaxing at home with his partner Haylie and their children, David is kept busy with the many shares he currently owns in horses, admittedly too many! Some of which he bred, or bred in partnership, who are in training with Cody Cole in Tirau who he believes does a fantastic job in preparing his horses.

David had been on the lookout for the next challenge in his career and could not pass up the role Westbury had presented. The role has provided David a great opportunity to enhance his career while being part of an accomplished team and he looks forward to being involved in the future of the Stud.