Eamon Cleary, owner of Clearsky Farm near Lexington, died Friday, Sept. 21, of cancer. He was 52.
An Irish native, Cleary got started in the horse business overseas in 1987 and established Clearsky in 2009. The farm was a leading consigner at the recent Keeneland September yearling sale, selling a dozen yearlings for $2,527,000 including a Sea The Stars colt for $675,000. The 12 averaged $210,583.
Earlier this year, Clearsky, through Stephens Thoroughbreds, sold a Tapit colt for $1 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training in March.
Cleary, who at the time of his death had 37 broodmares in Kentucky, raced horses in several countries. His runners included New Zealand group I winner Rags To Riches, who was campaigned in partnership.
According to published reports, Cleary left school at age 11 to work on his father’s farm. The future billionaire later worked in construction and started his own building business while not yet 20.
Cleary later operated various businesses in such locales as Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Europe.