Mark McStay’s Career in Bloodstock
Mark McStay has been described by his Avenue Bloodstock colleague, John Ferguson , as “a walking encyclopaedia on pedigrees” and it is no wonder as McStay’s bloodstock education in the thoroughbred industry started at the earliest opportunity when growing up on his family’s Oaklawn Stud. Privately run by Mark’s parents, John and Clodagh McStay, Oaklawn Stud is to be found in the heart of the premier Irish racing and bloodstock scene, just beside the Curragh.
Mark McStay went on to graduate from University College Dublin and then the Smurfit Business School. With the combination of a top class education and a natural affinity with the bloodstock world behind him, it was no surprise that McStay was quickly taken on by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley and Godolphin operations.
Mark went on to spend 15 years working for Sheikh Mohammed. Initially involved in nomination sales, Mark worked with breeders assisting with their mating plans, he went on to spend his last three years with Godolphin as Bloodstock Manager. During this time Mark McStay’s bloodstock career was focused on the horses in the training side of the business and was instrumental in both private and public purchases.
As a breeder in his own right, Mark McStay bred and co-owned multiple Group 1 winner and Champion, Covert Love. Mark was also responsible for the acquisition of Grade 1-winning fillies, Dubawi Heights, Miss Keller and the dam of Group 2 winner Endless Time. Whilst at Godolphin McStay was involved with the Stud Careers of top class stallions Cape Cross and Dubawi and later, as Bloodstock Manager, with top class racehorses Barney Roy, Harry Angel, Pleascach and Ribchester.
McStay has described his time at Godolphin as “the best of educations” and it was during this time that he developed his association with former Godolphin Chief Executive John Ferguson. Having worked so closely and successfully together for a number of years, it was a natural next step for the pair to start working together under the Avenue banner and they have made a successful start. As well as taking on the management of Prix de la Foret winner Aclaim’s stallion career, the Avenue team have made their mark at the 2018 breeze up sales both in the UK and France.
Mark McStay’s bloodstock experience and unparalleled knowledge of pedigrees and the global market will surely prove to be invaluable to all future Avenue Bloodstock clients.
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