By Helen Sharp PhD
Photography: Simon Carman, Ni Rian, MHS Stud
It was four years ago when I last headed to Tipperary to interview Olympian Greg Broderick, and I met his sister Cheryl, who manages the breeding programme at Ballypatrick Stables. Cheryl’s passion for breeding was as infectious then as it is now, and her vision for Ballypatrick breeding has gone from strength to strength based on that passion.
Since my last visit, their impressive new barn has gone up and just five minutes down the road Cheryl has a brand new 220-acre farm; specifically, for broodmares, foals, stallions, and young horse production.
Like many other Irish equestrians, the Broderick family originally farmed cattle, but father Austin also had a slight eye for a horse: He had racehorses and also bought a couple of sport horses with international rider Shane Breen. Greg rode at the Dublin Horse Show at the age of 18 riding Ballypatrick Rebel (bloodline not recorded) and won the class, eventually going on to represent Ireland in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with MHS Going Global ISH (Quidam Junior - Gowran Lady x Cavalier Royale) bred by the late and renowned Ita Brennan.
Alongside representing Ireland in Rio, Greg and ‘Junior’ won numerous competitions including jumping double clear in the 2015 Agha Khan Cup at the Dublin Horse Show, helping Ireland to victory in front of a roaring home crowd, indeed I was one of those roaring! In 2016, MHS Going Global was sold to international rider and shipping heiress Athina Onassis in a multi-million euro deal, and Greg focused on building the facility at home for a while.
Since the outset, the whole family have worked together to build an elite showjumping team, breeding programme, and stallion roster, and as the broodmare herd settles into their new farm, Cheryl and Greg share a vision of breeding future champions.
When I met Cheryl in 2017, it was the day after a long night with no sleep and the tragic loss of a foal. She told me it was the first foal she had ever lost during foaling, and in the informal setting of the yard lab, it was clear by the tears in her eyes that Cheryl cared about what she does beyond simply the business of it. Four years later, she is based at the new breeding farm which is equipped with a stallion collecting area, lab, stocks, facilities for breeding and producing young horses, plus a large house which will be renovated and will eventually offer seminars, breeding conferences, and open days. The aim is to have facilities to match any in Europe and to improve the Ballypatrick results even further. The new yard has plenty of turn-out for young horses including wood chips and paddocks – Cheryl is a firm believer in getting the young stock out daily for optimum mind and joint health. She foals 50 to 60 foals and buys a number each year to upgrade. There are around 40 broodmares in the herd and six that are working under saddle with Greg and that come in for reproductive work when required... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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