"Going out on our own," as they say in our business, has always been our goal - both individually and as a couple. We jumped at the chance when the right piece of land came up, just right around the corner from where Sarah grew up on Marula Park Stud, the commercial breeding operation owned and operated by her parents, Tony and Susan Holmes. The name Norevale comes from the River Nore which runs through Kilkenny, Ireland - where Leo grew up. The iconic ten-arch Inistioge bridge was built in 1763, on site of an older bridge circa 1700, in the stunning village of Inistioge in South Kilkenny.
In his home country of Ireland, Leo gained work experience from a young age at Jim Bolger's racing stable, Ballylinch Stud, and a yearling prep season at Ecurie Des Monceaux, France. Leo's first work experience in Kentucky was at the late, highly respected Gerry Dilger's Dromoland Farm. Gerry was a great mentor to Leo until his passing. After graduating from University College of Dublin with an Equine Science degree, Leo spent 4 years working at Hunter Valley Farm in Versailles, KY before moving to Indian Creek Farm in Paris, KY where he worked as Broodmare Manager for 2 years.
Leo enjoys all aspects of the industry, particularly prepping young stock for sale and following racing in the US and in Europe.
"I learned early in my industry experience at Jim Bolger's that if I made this my career, I'd never feel like I was getting up to go to work; I'd always be getting up in the morning to do something I truly enjoy, that I'm really passionate about."
After graduating from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY with an Economics degree, Sarah completed the Irish National Stud Course and immediately following, went on to complete the 2013-2015 Godolphin Flying Start course. Upon graduating Sarah spent a sales season at Bluewater Sales before her 2 years at Hunter Valley Farm as Sales Coordinator. She then spent a year in the Bloodstock department at Lane's End Farm, followed by a move back to the family farm, Marula Park Stud, where she assists her parents in office administration and bloodstock work.
Sarah most enjoys the breeding stock aspect of the industry - the arrival of the Keeneland November sales catalogs every year is like Christmas morning.
"Growing up in this industry, and as a kid tailing around after my dad at the Keeneland November sales, I was always sure this would be my career path. Seeing the way of life that my parents have created through their business has definitely instilled a desire in me for that same living."
From Co. Clare, Ireland, Erin has been passionate about horses from a young age. She gained a degree in Equine Science at the University of Limerick which included a work placement at Ballylinch Stud, where Leo was also working at the time. Erin stayed on full time for 4 years. In 2017, she made that infamous trip across the pond to Kentucky, to work for the late Gerry Dilger at Dromoland Farm. "Gerry was the most amazing mentor and my abilities and confidence grew immensely during my year there," she says fondly.
Erin returned to Ireland and spent a breeding season working for Paul and Marie McCartan of Ballyphilip Stud, but Kentucky pulled her back again - to Dromoland Farm, then a yearling prep season at Don Alberto, and she joined Norevale Farm in November of 2020.
Erin particularly enjoys working with foals and yearlings and thrives off of seeing horses progress and develop. "I love having horses from birth to sales as you get to learn them and their personality and what methods work best for them. They are all unique and what works for one might not work for another and I love a bit of a challenge."