Eddie spent his early days in finance before following his roots into training racehorses. Initially Eddie's focus was on flat racing but the arrival of Captain Cee Bee moved the operation towards jump racing. Captain Cee Bee won twice at the highest level including at the Cheltenham Festival and raced for an incredible 10 years, a testament to his trainer's careful handling.
Patrick's interest in horses and racing grew when his father started training and upon finishing school he left for England to work for champion trainer Nicky Henderson. Patrick spent five years as assistant to Nicky, working with some of the best jump horses seen in recent times. He returned home to Kildare with his wife, Harriet, in 2015.
Family is a major part of Harty Racing as Marie, Eddie's wife, is one of Ireland's top veterinary surgeons and very much a part of the day to day running of the stable. Their daughter, Carolyn, now lives in the UK but plays a major role in maintaining social media and riding out whenever she is home. Patrick's wife Harriet is a keen photographer and takes many of the photos on our website and social media as well as taking videos and updates for owners of their horses while at exercise.
Mulgrave Lodge is a purpose built yard on the edge of The Curragh, Kildare. The house and yard were designed with the Harty's future as Curragh trainers in mind.
Mulgrave Lodge is less than 1km from the state of the art Curragh Gallops and Training Grounds allowing easy access for the horses' daily exercise.
The Harty family history is long and colourful, so much so that there have been quite a few books written on them. Their family history is best summarised by Mark Costello in his The Irish Field feature;
The Harty family can trace its Irish racing roots back to 1860 when John Harty rode winners. At that time jockeys were licenced but trainers were not, so it is possible there were family members training even then.
Three generations later came Cyril Harty who was a star show jumper for the Irish Army in the 1930s. He later trained thoroughbreds and won the Irish Grand National with Knights Crest in 1944.
Cyril’s three sons Buster, John and Eddie all went on to have distinguished careers in racing. Eddie rode the 1969 Aintree Grand National winner Highland Wedding before becoming a trainer. Two of his sons, Eddie and Eoin (in America), have now had success at the highest level as trainers themselves. Buster’s daughter Sabrina is also a multiple Grade 1-winning trainer.
Eddie said: “As long as there has been training licences issued in Ireland, a Harty has held one. It is nice to have that continuity – I think Patrick is the fifth generation, at least.”
Not included in the article was that prior to becoming a Grand National winning jockey Eddie Harty Snr represented Ireland in the 1960 Olympic Games in three day eventing. His younger brother John also earned his place on the Irish Olympic team 4 years later before going on to ride an Irish Grand National winner for his brother in law Guy Williams.
Sign up to hear from us about races and special events.