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Irish Sport Horse Studbook breeding programme delivers

Thursday, 08 April 2021
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The Irish Sport Horse Studbook wishes to congratulate the breeders who have bred the current superb cohort of Irish Sport Horses that are winning at International level in show jumping. The newly designed Irish Sport Horse breeding programme was initiated by Horse Sport Ireland in 2010, and in the spring of 2021, with the support of progressive breeders making insightful breeding decisions and using all the tools and initiatives made available to produce their youngstock here in Ireland, it is now delivering with consistent Irish bred show jumping horse’s winning at International level. 

The breeding goal introduced at that time was:

“To produce a performance horse that is sound, athletic with good paces and suitable temperament and capable of winning at the highest international level in FEI disciplines.”

For many years the Irish Sport Horse has been renowned for International Event horses, but now changes and decisions made by Irish breeders, lead and supported by Horse Sport Ireland breeding programme, has resulted in Ireland being back on the map as a destination to purchase potential top level showjumpers. 

Chairman of SJI Eamonn Rice said recently” the quality of horses bred in Ireland has improved immeasurably over the past 7-9 years. The improved quality means there are many more enquires for potential top-level jumpers being sourced here. The number of enquires has increased significantly for top young horses and there is also no longer any need for parents to go shopping to the continent for junior and young rider’s horses, they are being bred and produced in Ireland.”  

It is a long road breeding a top international jumping horse. However, the policy introduced by the Breeding Board of Horse Sport Ireland in 2010/12 to focus all their breeding schemes on quality performance horses. The policy provided additional information to breeders, through IHR online, enhanced classification and Linear profiling methods, increased research and development and finally provided the best possible production young horse competition series. All of these measures are now truly paying off for the Irish Breeders. 

There have been consistent “Green Shoots” of overall improvement in breeding at the FEI/WBFSH Young Horse Championships year on year. Since 2013, Irish Sport Horse’s have won 14 medals, (six gold, five silver and three bronze) 12 of which were won by Irish riders. 

Illustration © Horse Sport Ireland Irish sport horse medals at FEI/WBFSH young horse championships 2013-2019

In 2019 alone we enjoyed huge success at Lanaken taking home medals of all three colours. Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes-Kennedy, won gold in the 7-year-old final with Cuffesgrange Cavadora (ISH), bred by Eamonn Sheahan and Carlow’s Jason Foley also won gold with Rockwell RC (ISH), bred by Ronan Byrne and owned by Sean Cubitt, in the final for 5-year-old horses. While Kildare’s Mikey Pender collected a Silver medal with MHS Cardenta (ISH) in the 6-year-old final when finishing just a tenth of a second behind the winner’s time. MHS Cardenta was bred by Thomas Brennan.

The consistent results of the young Irish Sport horses over the last seven year’s is now translating into steady results at international level at 1.50m fence height. In the first three months of 2021 show jumping in CSI3*-CSI5*, Irish Sport Horses have won, or been placed in a total of 38 International 1.50m+ classes. 

The breakdown is very impressive indeed, Irish Sport Horses bred and produced as young horses through the Irish Sport Horse and RDS classes in Ireland have won:

Four Grand Prix’s, Three, Table A 1.50m+ classes and have been placed in thirty one 1.50m classes at International shows.

Specific congratulations are due to the breeders of these winning horses. The Grand Prix winners are, Javas Miss Jordan (ISH) who has won two Grand Prix’s in Thermal, CA (USA) and was placed in a number of other classes, she bred by Judy Murphy, Co. Louth. Castlefield Vegas (ISH) with Bertram Allen who won the Wellington, FL (USA) Grand Prix for breeder John Clarke from Co. Cavan. He also placed in several classes over the period. At the end of February Lapuccino 2 (ISH) (AKA Lapuccino) (ISH) ridden by Michael G Duffy won the Grand Prix at Vejer De La Frontera (ESP), he was bred by Sven Kapp, Co. Galway. 

Illustration © Horse Sport Ireland Pictured from L-R: Castlefield Vegas (ISH) (Breeder: John Clarke), Javas Miss Jordan (ISH) (Breeder: Judy Murphy) & Lapuccino (ISH) (Breeder: Sven Kapp)

The 1.50m Table A class winners were, Sligo Balou Boy (ISH) bred by Padraig Howley, Co. Sligo and ridden by Darragh Kenny (IRL). Pacino Amiro (ISH) bred by Simon Scott, Co. Donegal and ridden by Bertram Allen (IRL) to win Wellington, FL (USA) at the end of January and in February Castlefield Vegas (ISH) won another Table A 1.50m class for breeder John Clarke.

Illustration © Horse Sport Ireland Pictured from L-R: Sligo Balou Boy (ISH) (Breeder: Padraig Howley) & Pacino Amiro (ISH) (Breeder: Simon Scott)

Irish Sport horses worthy of mention that were pipped into second places in very competitive Grand Prix’s in Wellington (USA) were, the very impressive Kilkenny (ISH) (AKA MHS Fernhill) bred by the late, Ita Brennan, from Co. Kilkenny and ridden by Cian O’Connor (IRL). Dougie Douglas (ISH) – 2005 gelding bred by John O’Brien of Co. Limerick and ridden Katherine A. Dinan from United States of America. In Portugal, HHS Calais (ISH) was second in the Grand Prix for Michael Pender (IRL), he too was bred in Kilkenny by the late Ita Brennan.

Illustration © Horse Sport Ireland Pictured from L-R: Dougie Douglas (ISH) (Breeder: John O’Brien), Kilkenny (ISH) (Breeder: Ita Brennan) & HHS Calais (ISH) (Breeder: Ita Brennan)

Finally, up and coming gelding KBS Major Player (ISH) won the Al Ain (UAE) CSI2* Grand Prix in early March for breeder Peter Rice from Co Monaghan and rider Jack Ryan (IRL). 

Illustration © Horse Sport Ireland Pictured: KBS Major Player (ISH) (Breeder: Peter Rice)

It augers well for the future if we can continue build on this foundation of using performance mares, bred with sound, suitable performance stallions to produce more quality youngstock to be carefully produced through the young horse classes in Ireland. 

Ger O’Neill said ‘All our Irish Sport Horses are produced slowly through the ISH Studbook Series and Vegas was no exception. The venues offered are the best in the country with the best course builders. These competitions allow breeders every opportunity for young horses to be educated in the best available arenas. We have had many horses go through the ISH SJ Series over the years and we are delighted to have had such success at both national and international levels with Castlefield Vegas, Columbcille Gypsy and Killossery Kaiden to mention a few. I believe that these classes build a great foundation for our horses and give them the confidence and ability to progress to international competitions. As producers we are grateful that the breeding departing in Horse Sport Ireland continuously seek our feedback and implement the useful suggestions we make. Their aim is to further develop these classes over the years, while always being mindful of appropriate young horse production to allow the breeders see their horses develop in Ireland. We will continue to produce our horses through these classes for years to come.’ 

From Horse Sport Ireland and the Irish Sport Horse Studbook, Director of Breeding Alison Corbally wishes sincere “Congratulations” to the 26 different Irish breeders from all parts of the country responsible for breeding and producing these successful Irish International Show jumping horses. May each of you inspire another successful Irish breeder for the future…”

Illustration © Horse Sport Ireland L – R: Ger O’Neill (owner) Castlefield Vegas (ISH) ridden by Jason Foley pictured with Keith Manning and Martin Egan (owner, until recently)

Illustration © Horse Sport Ireland HHS Javas Gucci (ISH) ridden by Mikey Pender presented with rug and rosette by Alison Corbally Director of Breeding and Programmes in Horse Sport Ireland.


Breeding Details:

Javas Miss Jordan (ISH) – 2009 mare by Luidam (KWPN) out of Ally Angel (ISH) by OBOS Quality 004 (OLD). Breeder: Judy Murphy, Co. Louth. Owner and Rider: Nicky Galligan (IRL). 

Castlefield Vegas (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Cassino (SWWB) out of Clarkes Quiet Optimistic (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeder: John Clarke, Co. Cavan. Owner: Martin Egan. Rider: Bertram Allen (IRL).

Lapuccino 2 (AKA Lapuccino) (ISH) – 2008 gelding by SIEC Livello (HOLST) out of Cabaret III (ISH). Breeder: Sven Kapp, Co. Galway. Owner: Carl Hanley Sporthorses GmbH. Rider: Michael G Duffy (IRL).

Sligo Balou Boy (ISH) – 2009 gelding by Balou Du Rouet (OLD) out of Catiana (LBP) by Caletto I (HOLST). Breeder: Padraig Howley, Co. Sligo. Owner: Michael Kearins. Rider: Darragh Kenny (IRL). 

Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory. Rider: Bertram Allen (IRL). 

Kilkenny (ISH) (AKA MHS Fernhill) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of MHS Pembrook Lady (ISH) by Guidam (SF). Breeder: Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Ronnoco Jump Ltd. Rider: Cian O’Connor (IRL).

HHS Calais (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) out of MHS OBOS Cruise (ISH) by OBOS Quality (OLD). Breeder: Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Bravo Hughes Ltd. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL).

Dougie Douglas (ISH) – 2005 gelding by ARD VDL Douglas (KWPN) out of Neills Girl (ISH) by High Roller (ISH). Breeder: John O’Brien, Co. Limerick. Owner: Grant Road Partners LLC. Rider: Katherine A. Dinan (USA).

Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory. Rider: Bertram Allen (IRL).

KBS Major Player (ISH) – 2012 gelding by OBOS Quality 004 (OLD) out of Tattygar Lasts Rolo (ISH) by High Roller (ISH). Breeder: Peter Rice, Co Monaghan. Owner: Kennedy Bros Sport Horses. Rider: Jack Ryan (IRL).

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