Episode 6 What’s the story: Visiting Michael Orlandi in Co Westmeath to talk equine breeding and his journey into it


Watch the latest video in our series of Whats the story with Michael Orlandi.


Introduction to Michael Orlandi: Michael Orlandi is a prominent figure in the thoroughbred breeding industry, known for his management of Starfield Stud in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. Orlandi’s passion for horse racing and breeding began in his youth and has driven his successful career in this competitive field.

Career Beginnings and Influences: Orlandi’s journey in the thoroughbred industry started early, working at Coolmore Australia before completing his International Commerce degree at UCD. He then gained significant experience working with Maurice Burns at Rathasker Stud and later with renowned trainer Mark Johnston. These experiences equipped him with a comprehensive understanding of both the breeding and training aspects of the industry.

Establishment of Starfield Stud: Orlandi established Starfield Stud, where he manages a roster of stallions under the Compas Stallions banner. The 95-acre facility is located near Lough Owel and offers a picturesque and efficient environment for thoroughbred breeding. His strategic approach involves acquiring and standing stallions with proven potential, thus attracting top breeders and ensuring high-quality progeny.

Notable Stallions and Success Stories: Starfield Stud houses several notable stallions, including Kuroshio, Cappella Sansevero, and more recently, Space Traveller and Sands Of Mali. Kuroshio, for example, has been well-received by breeders, covering over a hundred mares in a season and producing high-quality foals. Cappella Sansevero’s first crop included the Group 2 Mill Reef winner Pierre Lapin, showcasing the stud’s success in producing competitive racehorses.

Challenges and Learnings: Orlandi has faced challenges, such as the initial unsuccessful venture with Strath Burn, but these experiences have been valuable learning opportunities. His ability to bounce back and secure successful stallions like Smooth Daddy and My Dream Boat highlights his resilience and strategic acumen in the industry.

Impact and Vision: Orlandi’s vision extends beyond immediate commercial success; he aims to leave a lasting impact on the thoroughbred breeding industry. His approach emphasizes return on investment for breeders, ensuring that the stallions he stands meet high standards and offer tangible benefits to those who utilize their services. Orlandi’s dedication to quality and innovation positions Starfield Stud as a key player in the thoroughbred breeding landscape.

Conclusion: Michael Orlandi’s career at Campus Stations in Mullingar and his leadership at Starfield Stud reflect his deep commitment to the thoroughbred industry. By combining his extensive experience with a strategic and resilient approach, Orlandi continues to contribute significantly to the breeding of high-caliber racehorses, ensuring a bright future for Starfield Stud and its stakeholders.