Barry Irwin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Barry Howard Irwin (born on April 21, 1943 in Long Beach, California) is the owner of the Thoroughbred horse racing stable of Team Valor International in Versailles, Kentucky. He is the owner and breeder of the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, and the Breeders' Cup winner Pluck.


Interested in racehorses from a very early age, 1969 Irwin became a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine in Kentucky. Over the next decade, he also worked as the editor of The Thoroughbred of California, and was a syndicated columnist for southern California in The Daily Racing Form. He hosted a twice-weekly, two-hour radio program, as well as a weekly, one-hour television show. Irwin left the Form at the close of the 1978 Del Mar meet to become a bloodstock agent. For the next decade, Irwin bred, raced, syndicated, bought, and sold several hundred horses, including It's the One, African Sky, Moscow Ballet and Torsion.

In 1988 Irwin founded Clover Racing Stable, which became Team Valor when a partner in Clover Racing opted out. In 2007 Barry Irwin bought out long-time partner and friend Jeff Siegel and became the sole proprietor of the stable. At that time, because of the changing focus toward foreign racing and foreign thoroughbred acquisitions, Irwin changed the name of the stable to Team Valor International.[1]

The nickname given him by some friends has stuck and Barry Irwin is known among his clients as “B Eye,” using his initials to refer to his uncanny ability that has gained him “legendary” status in ferreting out talent from some of the most unlikely venues the world has to offer.

In 2002, Irwin had his story about his favorite racehorse, Swaps, published by Eclipse Press as part of its biographical series of racehorses.

In 2004, 2005 and 2006, Irwin purchased yearling horses at public auction which later went on to win Grade 1 races.

Irwin was a founding director with the equine-related charity "Race for Education," [2] which raises money to provide college scholarships to the offspring of backstretch and farm workers. One percent of the purse money earned by Team Valor horses (with a matching amount from Irwin) went to the Race for Education to provide these much-needed scholarships. In 2006, Irwin became the organization’s inaugural recipient of the “Valedictorian Award.” His participation with this charity spanned from its founding through 2009.

In 2010, Irwin's horse Pluck, which he bred from a South African mare he had earlier imported, won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

In 2011, Irwin's horse, Animal Kingdom, which he bred from a German mare he had earlier imported, won the 137th Kentucky Derby. The Derby winner's sire, the Braziliant-bred horse Leroidesanimaux, had earlier been purchased for stud duty by Barry Irwin on behalf of a Kentucky breeding farm.

In 2013, Irwin's horse, Animal Kingdom, won the world's richest horserace - the $10-million Dubai World Cup, which is held annually in late March in the United Arab Emirates.

Personal life[edit]

Barry Irwin lives in Versailles with his wife Kathleen. He also has a daughter, Chloë. Barry Irwin is an avid collector of Art, being particularly interested in works of Racing and Sporting Art, such as those by Raoul Dufy and Lee Townsend.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barry Irwin Buys Out Long-time Partner Jeff Siegel, Team Valor International, Press release, July 3, 2007
  2. ^ Race for Education website