Local farming and equestrian community saddened at passing of Dennis Macauley
The local farming and equestrian community was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Dennis Macauley on Saturday.
Based at the family’s Ballynahinch farm Dennis combined mixed farming with breeding racehorses having been a successful amateur rider in his younger days and trained numerous winners notably multiple winner Night Ace and Nightmaster – the pair homebred.
In more recent years he was twice Chairman of the Northern Ireland Region of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
Dennis was a quiet gentleman but multi-talented. He was a very keen follower of ruby having played himself and took great pleasure in following the success of his son Stephen who followed in his father’s footsteps in the game.
He was a lifelong member of the Balmoral Show and headed the equestrian aspects for numerous years.
He was held in such high regard by his peers he was invited to act as judge at many of the top equestrian shows at home and cross channel for the ridden hunter classes with his talent in the saddle a major factor and being a proper horseman.
Dennis entered the history books having bred dual Cheltenham Festival winner Brave Inca – winner of the Supreme Novice Hurdle in 2004 prior to landing the Champion Hurdle at the festival in 2006 having finished third in the championship race the previous year.
The brilliant Brave Inca also claimed an Irish Champion Hurdle in 2009, Europe Champion Hurdle and the Punchestown Champion Hurdle in a massive tally of Grade 1 victories for trainer Colm Murphy.
It amassed almost a million pounds in prize money for connections winning a total of fifteen races the majority at the top level.
Condolences are offered to his wife Susan, daughter Victoria and son Stephen and extended family circle.
The funeral takes place at St Malachy’s Church Ballykilbeg on Wednesday and afterwards at Downpatrick racecourse.