Father of eight, Eamon Cleary has died at his horse stud in Kentucky. The oldest of a large Irish family, Mr Cleary left school at 11 to work on his father's farm, later marrying at 24. The last public accounting of his financial accomplishments listed his wealth at $1.2 billion, with a range of assets across four continents.
Eamon Cleary moved to New Zealand in about 1994, using the proceeds to invest in farming, building a fortune converting sheep farms to dairy farms. While he indulged his love for breeding racehorses, he did not live an extravagant lifestyle. For a time he owned the 22,000 hectare Coronet Peak Station, although last year he sold it to Robert 'Mutt' Lange.
This wonderful man, fabulous father, and generous lover of New Zealand, it's land, and it's racehorses, will be much missed.