How it all began
Knockeen, Co. Waterford has been the de Bromhead family stead of training for many years with Henry taking it on from his father Harry’s lead in 2000. The yard is best known for its successes in the national hunt field but is now building up a competitive contingent for the flat upsides its jumping stable stars.
"Dad was an original thinker, a bit unorthodox but he was successful at what he did and it enabled him to get the yard up and running. He had some great days".
Although learning his craft at home, Henry also spent time with Robert and Sally Alner, Sir Mark Prescott and the world renowned Coolmore Stud.
I went on to work as assistant to Sir Mark in Newmarket for two years. The first year he pretty much knocks the spots off you, the second year he moulds you into a trainer. He's a fascinating man and I've never met someone so willing to teach you, he'd talk you through everything.
Following Newmarket I went to Coolmore. It was a phenomenal job, seeing the breeding/business side of the operation, but I just had this thing in me that I wanted to train horses."
Henry returned to Waterford and took over the licence from his father on the first day of the new millennium and sent out a winner with his first runner that day in Tramore.
In the years that followed, Henry worked hard to build his reputation at Knockeen into one of Ireland’s foremost training establishments. His graft was rewarded with his first Grade One winner in 2008 with the since infamous Sizing Europe winning the AIG Irish Champion Hurdle. "Europe" would go on to cement his place in National Hunt folklore with an incredible further seven Grade One's. In all Sizing Europe won 22 of his 45 races, placing on a further 13 occasions and earning over €1.8 million in prize-money, a clear testament to Henry's ability to source, train and place horses at the optimum level.
“He really was the horse of a lifetime and he had a great impact on showcasing our business, and he helped to raise our profile.”"
A stellar 2016/2017 season confirmed his profile in no uncertain fashion. Henry sent out 75 individual winners, five at Grade One level. Among those Grade One was Special Tiara, who gave Henry his fourth Cheltenham Festival winner when winning the Queen Mother Champion Chase. In 2018 the yard celebrated winning the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham with Balko des Flos and have had continued success.
"We've had a great few years and I'm delighted with where we're at. You are always tweaking things and you always need to improve, but we have a great team of staff here and the support of some brilliant owners, so you'd like to think we can keep competing”.