Colonel William Hall-Walker, who in 1900, bought the land where the The Irish National Stud stands, believed that horses should be bred and raced according to their horoscopes. Stalls were built with skylights so that the stars could favorably influence his prospective winners.His methods were unorthodox, but within 10 years the eccentric colonel’s horses had won all of Europe’s top races. In 1915 he gave his farm to the British Government. It was presented to the Irish Republic in 1943 and two years later became the Irish National Stud. While stationed in India with the British Army, Walker developed a fascination with Eastern philosophies, including Buddhism and astrology. In 1900, he bought the land at Tully in Kildare. Today, his eccentric fingerprints are all over the stud and its Japanese Gardens.The Colonel meticulously recorded a foal's time of birth, and drew up the birth charts himself. If he didn't like the stars, regardless of bloodline, the foal would be sold immediately.
In the stud's Horse Museum, a horoscope book in a glass display cabinet lies open on the chart of a bay colt named Lord of the Sea. The verdict is not good: "Saturn in his 5th House… makes him very little good for racing or stud purposes... no good at all except for selling."
In the stables, skylights that were installed on the Colonel's insistence that horses be able to see the moonlight and stars, are still visible.