Ken Condon grew up in Ballyhea, Co. Cork. A small parish of 1000 people, he played hurling and football at underage level for club winning North Cork and County honours. He inherited a strong work ethic and a love of all sport from his parents. His father Barry, a native of Inniscarra, just west of Cork city was a GP in the area from 1976 until his retirement in 2017. Ken got his particular passion for horses from his mother Mags a daughter of a local cattle dealer and landowner who also had a few horses in training. Ken along with his three brothers hunted with the Duhallow Foxhounds from a young age, following a family connection that still exists today. Ken went on to represent Ireland at eventing and studied accountancy for two years before following his true passion; that of training racehorses.
Experience was gained across the globe, spending five years with John Oxx and stints with Coolmore, the Niarchos Family, Lanes End Farm and Neil Howard led to him taking out his own license in 2002 and originally seeing him setting up base at Ridge Manor stables on the famed Curragh plains. From here he developed a much-respected reputation and whether it is a juvenile performer or a seasoned campaigner Ken has shown that he can deliver in all divisions of racing. He is also an excellent communicator which is very important in keeping owners abreast of his thinking.
2018 was a milestone year for Ken, training his first classic winner when he sent out Romanised to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas. In the last four years alone, he has also handled the ultra-consistent Success Days winner of the Sky Bet York Stakes Gr. 2 July 2017, Ballysax Stakes Gr. 3, Derrinstown Derby Trial Gr.3, Royal Whip Gr.3 beating Fascinating Rock and twice finishing in the frame in the Tattersalls Gold Cup Gr.1. Landfall, the highly talented and unbeaten 2yo who won the Juvenile Stakes Gr.3 at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend. Newsletter was narrowly beaten when placed in the Queen Mary Stakes Gr. 2 Royal Ascot, before gaining success when a Listed winner and Group performer in 2015 and the vastly improved sprinter In Salutem who under his care won the Dubai Duty Free Dash over 5f on Shergar Cup day at Ascot. Elusive Beauty placed in the Grangecon Stud Stakes Gr.3 at the Curragh and went on to win the EBF Stallions.com “Eternal” Stakes Listed over 7f in Carlisle in June 2017.
2018 was also the year that Ken and his wife Pauline purchased Osborne Lodge. Situated on the Northern edge of the Curragh plains, it has been lucky to its previous incumbents with an Irish Classic haul to date of 18, including 3 Irish Derby winners – Flax Park in 1905, Wild Bouquet in 1908 and later Zarathustra in 1954 – not to mention latterly through the highly successful tenure of the Hughes family, Champion Hurdle and Grand National winners. Built in 1897 by James Dunne, Ken and Pauline hope to continue the classic legacy here and write their own chapter in a rich and successful history.