On January 1st, 1989 Stephen Hillen left Derry set on a career in the “Sport of Kings”. At the age of 18 he became pupil assistant to multiple Classic winning trainer Barry Hills at the historic Manton Estate. Under the watchful eye of Barry, Stephen gained valuable insight into the management and training of racehorses.
After spending four years with Barry, he then moved to Lambourn, the Valley of the Racehorse, where he was assistant trainer to Paul Cole for ten years. It was during his time at Paul’s that Stephen began to source good value National Hunt horses which would be trained by Jessica Harrington in Ireland. Some of Hillen’s earliest purchases included Studmaster, a Ladbroke Hurdle winner at Leopardstown and a Grade 1 winning Novice Chaser by the name of Bust Out.
Stephen started up as a bloodstock agent back in 2003 and one very successful purchase was a horse named ‘Benbaun’ who cost him £10,000. During his racing career Benbaun would go on to win 8 Group races including The Prix de l’Abbaye Group 1 at Longchamp, the race staged prior to the Arc de Triomphe, earning in total over £850,000.
The Grey Gatsby was purchased by Stephen Hillen Bloodstock as a yearling at €24,000. The admirable Grey has won over £2 million in prize money to date.
Based in Newmarket, Stephen has quickly established himself as one of the leading independent bloodstock agents in Europe. He has built up a strong reputation for identifying top quality racehorses and breeding stock. His success can be seen throughout both National Hunt and Flat racing with past purchases including Astaire, Benbaun, recent Cheltenham Festival winner Call The Cops, Glass Office and The Grey Gatsby.