Each September some of the world’s most promising five, six and seven year-old horses congregate in the small town of Lanaken, Belgium, to participate in the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses.
In recent years the Irish Sport Horse studbook has been well represented and enjoyed well deserved success in the young horse championships. 2009 saw Capt. David O’Brien take the silver medal in the six year-old division aboard Drumiller Lough (ISH). This gelding by Heartbreaker (KWPN) out of Pearl Diver (ISH), by Mountain Pearl (ID), was bred in Armagh by Paul Dillon. With the sweet taste of success still fresh in the mouths of the Irish contingent the studbook representatives upped the ante in 2010. Clem McMahon and the Irish Sport Horse stallion NLS Coole Al Clover clinched the Gold medal in the six year-olds. By Aldatus Z (OLD) out of Laurel Lodge (AID), by Clover Hill (ID), NLS Coole Al Clover was bred by Brian Kenny of County Laois. Next up was the seven year-old final with Tipperary’s Greg Broderick riding Ballypatrick Mystique (ISH). The pair produced a double clear and collected the Bronze medal. Ballypatrick Mystique (ISH) is by Heritage Fortunus (HANN) out of Lady Ligustra (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) and was bred by Ita Brennan in Kilkenny’s Mill House Stud.
Forward on to September 2013 and Greg Broderick was again Lanaken bound on the back of an incredibly successful season on Ireland’s National showjumping circuit. Broderick and Arraghbeg Clover (ISH) topped the Irish Sport Horse Studbook showjumping series league for five year-olds and followed up with a win in the Irish Breeders Classic making the pair strong contenders at the Championships. Unsurprisingly the pair did not disappoint and qualified for Sundays final where they put on quite a show to the delight of strong Irish support to win Gold. Ireland’s Bertram Allen boosted the Irish spirits claiming the silver medal aboard Denver. That afternoon Allen added to his tally by winning the Gold medal in the seven year-old class riding Barnike.
Accepting the well deserved Gold medal Greg Broderick delivered an admirable speech praising his mount Arraghbeg Clover (ISH) and the sport Horse Industry in Ireland. Arraghbeg Clover (ISH) is by the Clover Hill (ID) sired Irish Sport Horse stallion Captain Clover, a Lanaken competitor himself as a five year-old with Gabriel Slattery in 1997. The dam, Blidsworth Lion Queen, by Bonnie Prince (TB), is a half sister to Windgate’s Paragon ridden by Ireland’s Conor Swail. The proud breeder of Arraghbeg Clover, Agata Leonard, was in attendance to witness the victory and collect a breeder’s prize. Having taking a break from sport horse breeder the win has inspired Agata Leonard to start breeding again.
The five year-old consolation final was won by another Irish combination – Alexander Butler and the Irish Sport Horse mare Talks Cheap. Bred in County Limerick by Ronnie Kelly, Talks Cheap is by Tinaranas Inspector out of the Colin Diamond (ISH) mare Dreaming (ISH).
This years FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses was a demonstration to the world of the quality of horses and riders that Ireland has to offer.
Congratulations to all involved from the Irish Horse Gateway.
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