Graham J. Beck's Gainesway Farm announced that syndicated stallion Irish River has been pensioned and joins fellow pensioned farm stallions Big Spruce, Lyphard, and Stop the Music for a life of leisure. The 25-year-old classic-winning son of classic winner Riverman stood all but one of his seasons at stud at the Lexington nursery. Former farm owner John R. Gaines acquired him privately for stallion duty starting in the 1981 breeding season.
"His fertility was declining over the last several years," said farm representative Annette Covault about the two-time French champion. "We had marginal luck with him last season. He covered 20 mares and five are believed to be in foal. He's doing fine and seems to be enjoying himself."
Irish River has sired 83 stakes winners and is represented as a broodmare sire by more than 80 added-money winners. His richest runner, Paradise Creek, earned $3.4 million and was a champion grass male. A daughter, Hatoof, also earned an Eclipse Award and was a multiple champion in France. Paradise Creek won the 1994 Arlington Million (gr. IT), and Hatoof won the distaff version of the race, the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT), the same year. Two of Irish River's group I winners, Brief Truce and Orban, were European champions.
Irish River, who was produced from the Klairon mare Irish Star, won the mile classic Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr-I) and six other French group I events during a two-year career in which he won 10 of 12 starts. He earned $623,257.
This year, Irish River is represented by five stakes winners, including grade I winner Irish Prize and grade II winner Navesink. The latter's most recent win came in the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park in September.