Growing up, surrounded by my father’s busy race horse training business at Curragh Grange on the Curragh (Co. Kildare) certainly peaked an interest in equines. But it was in those early days that my passion for nutrition was also ignited.
(L to R) Charles St. George, Dick McCormick & Richard (aged 4) @ Curragh Grange.
The stables were a very busy place with wonderful owners, jockeys, staff & visitors. My mother, Una was formidable as mother, racing secretary, cook & chauffeuse to my father, Dick McCormick (who didn’t drive after surviving a significant hunting accident while out with the Meath Hunt in the late 1930’s). Amid the vibrancy of this successful business was a an oasis of calm, order & the location of the most embracing aromas. The stand-alone boiler house, just across the driveway, next to the stables was the realm of Ned Wilmott, an older man entrusted with the important task of preparing daily feeds for the equines in training. It was here, fueled by logs & some turf, where mashes (consisting of oats, flaxseed, barley & sometimes a few turnips) were cooked for the horses. Enveloped in the warmth of the boiler & surrounded by great company (of both Ned & my older brother Mark, all 3 of us sharing a love of comic books. The Beano & Dandy being firm favourites). It was the place to be on a cold winters day!
As a young, impressionable boy, I was a frequent traveler to the early morning training sessions at the Curragh training grounds. Crossing paths with the esteemed Cecil Brabazon, Champion Trainer (1940) was a frequent occurrence. Indeed, I recall him telling my father “Dick ,you will never get him to go to school”, on spotting me hanging out of the window of the car & watching the string trotting for their pre-workout inspection. I had learnt young that reputations & pecking order were irrevocably altered on the basis of a minutes work. That attention to detail mattered & that what was fed to the horses had a critical impact on their performance on the track. Despite Cecil Barbizon’s assertions, I did engage in formal ‘schooling’ & many years later acquired 11 letters after my name. Suffice to say, the lifelong passion in optimizing nutrition for peak performance continues.
For more information about Dr. Richard Mc Cormick, visit https://www.belmontequineproducts.com/about-us