Saturday last saw a record number of pure-bred Irish Draught horses turned out for the Irish Draught Horse Breeders Association (IDHBA) National Show, at Punchestown Racecourse in county Kildare.
One of the most highly-anticipated classes of the day was the National Performance Irish Draught Championship, sponsored by Irish Horse Gateway. Half of the class entries had qualified and competed at last month’s Stena Line Dublin Horse Show and among the entries was the Dublin Champion, Gortfree Lakeside Lad who also won this class in 2017.
Each competitor began by completing a flatwork phase comprising eight movements, each of which were marked out of 10. The flatwork phase was followed directly by a strong 1.10m jumping phase designed to test the horses’ technique over fences. This was then followed by a conformation assessment.
After the initial three phases had been completed, each horse’s marks were tallied, and the top 10 horses were ridden by the judge for the final phase.
Among the final line up were four horses that had competed at the 2018 Dublin Horse Show; Gortfree Lakeside Lad, Crossgales Silver Diamond, DS Ballagh Bouncer and Welcome Jack Diamond. It also came as no surprise to see the 2016 champion of this class, King Flagmount called back for the final phase.
The champion sash was deservedly awarded to Sean Barker’s stallion Gortfree Lakeside Lad and Alicia Devlin Byrne’s Kind Flagmount was presented the reserve champion sash.
Full results, including pedigrees, are listed below:
1st – Gortfree Lakeside Lad (ID), 6yr old grey stallion by Gortfree Hero (ID), dam Springvale Rose (ID), bred and owned by Sean Barker, ridden by Linda Murphy.
2nd – King Flagmount (ID), 12yr old chestnut gelding by Welcome Flagmount (ID), dam Spring Days (ID), owned and ridden by Alicia Devlin Byrne, bred by Denis Clynes.
3rd –Crossgales Silver Diamond (ID), 7yr old grey gelding by Gentle Diamond (ID), dam Grey Line (ID), ridden and owned by Helen Keatley.
4th – DS Ballagh Bouncer (ID), 6yr old grey stallion by Moylough Bouncer (ID), dam Mountain Diamond Princess (ID), owned by Liam Lynskey and bred by Brendan Duffy.
5th – Welcome Jack Diamond (ID), 6yr old chestnut gelding by Welcome Diamond (ID), dam Mounteenlass (ID), owned by Alice Copithorne and bred by Patrick Murphy.
6th – The Rhythm Of Time (ID), 5yr old grey gelding by King Of Mourne (ID), dam Malan Peg (ID), owned by Aoife McNicholl.
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