There was yet another Irish Sport Horse winner of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby this year. Victory went to the fourteen Year Old Irish Sport Horse Golvers Hill, ridden by Britain’s Nigel Coupe. They were one of just two combinations who jumped clear over the demanding Hickstead Derby first round, coming out on top after a jump-off against fellow GBR rider Harriet Nuttall riding the Irish Sport Horse A Touch Imperious.
This means that Irish-bred horses have now won the prestigious Hickstead Derby three years in a row, demostating their versatility. Last year’s winners were William Whitaker (GBR) and the Irish Sport Horse Glenavadra Brilliant, while the 2015 Derby was won by Ireland’s Trevor Breen abd the Irish-bred Loughnatousa WB.
Bred near Craughwell in County Galway by Patrick Lynch, Golvers Hill is sired by Kedrah House Stud’s Ricardo Z and is out of a 15’2HH Clover Hill mare Hill Of Clover. The winning mount Golvers Hill has competed in a number of Derby class throughout Europe including Falsterbo and Hamburg, as well as Nations Cup outings in Al Ain and Spruce Meadows. Yesterday’s Derby win however has been Golvers Hill’s most significant victory to date.
County Down’s Dermott Lennon with Irish Sport Horse Gelvins Touch shared third place in The Al Shira’aa Derby with Cork’s Billy Twomey, riding Diaghilev, and Holly Smith (GBR) on-board the Irish-bred Quality Old Joker.
Rupert Nuttall, father of Harriet, purchased the runner up, A Touch Imperious, through Goresbridge auction in May 2009. He later went on to be part of the all Irish-bred squad for Great Britain who won the Nations Cup of Odense in 2014 (pictured below).
Breeding details of above Irish Horses:
Golvers Hill (ISH) – 2003 gelding by Ricardo Z (ZANG) out of Hill of Clover (RID), by Clover Hill (ID). Breeder: Patrick Lynch, Co. Galway. Owner: Susan Simmons. Rider: Nigel Coupe (GBR)
A Touch Imperious (ISH) – 2004 gelding by Touchdown (ISH) out of Cavimperius (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Leo Rice, Co. Monaghan. Owner: Rupert Nuttall. Rider Hariet Nuttall (GBR)
Quality Old Joker (ISH) – 2008 gelding by OBOS Quality 004 (OLD) out of Little Joker (WNTR), by Slyguff Joker VII (WNTR). Breeder: Roberta Dowley, Co. Kilkenny. Owner/Rider: Holly Smith (GBR)
Gelvins Touch (ISH) – 2006 gelding by Touchdown (ISH) out of Whitestown Diamond (ISH), by Diamond Lad (ID). Bred by John McCann, Co. Roscommon. Owner: Victoria Loane. Rider: Dermott Lennon (IRL)
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