Piggy March (GBR) rides Brookfield Inocent during the dressage phase of the 2021 European Championships in Avenches, Switzerland

By Nadia Rea / HSI
Photography: FEI/Richard Juilliart

You may be forgiven for thinking John Mulvey is a ‘one trick pony’ as the Facebook page of the Irishman modestly states: “Showjumper based in Ireland, specialising in training of all levels of rider. Clinics and private lessons available.”

In fact, this introduction is something of an understatement as he’s a former Grand Prix rider himself, and runs John Mulvey Equestrian – a breeding, sales, livery, and training centre in Kilternan, Co. Dublin. And for someone who admits his breeding is very small scale – one broodmare at a time – his own-bred horses have carried some of equestrian sport’s best-known names, including Olympians.

Q Tell me about your mare’s pedigree and the breeding operation at home?
Tullibards Lux Sensational – by Lux Z x Cruising x Clover Hill. ‘Lilly’ was an athlete herself being in the four-year-old final of the Royal Dublin show after winning her qualifier. She got injured soon after and that’s when we got her. Her sister Taima (Argentinus x Cruising) jumps 1m45, brother Creevagh Ferro (Ferro x Concorde) jumps 1m50, another sister by Moneybroom Dancer (Je t’Aime Flamenco - Tullibards Irish Meisje x Ekstein) jumped 1m50 with Jack Ryan. This family also produced the Nations Cup horse Santa Cruz (Ballinvella Lad x Clover Hill), and 1m60 HH Memphis (Armitage x Cruising, bred by Mary McCann), competing in the USA.
We only ever had one broodmare at a time as we are a small yard based in Wicklow. The first broodmare we had, Shalies Pet, produced Brookfield Inocent (Inocent x Kings Servant) who just won team gold and individual silver at the Europeans. Now, Tullibards Lux Sensational produced Tranquility Bay who competed in the six-year-old [WBCYH] final in Lanaken. Next year we increase by 100% by adding one of her daughters. She is a four-year-old by Emerald Emerald who is in foal to Castlefield Kingston (Cinsey - Cascarina x Cascari) for 2022.

Q When choosing a stallion for your mare what do you look for?
The two of us (myself and good friend Kerrie) usually sit down and discuss the choice of stallions together, trying to use one that complements the mare, are competing at a high level, and/or have a great damline.
Emerald is super in front and was an up-and-coming stallion at the time, so we went with him back in 2014. Such a good foal, so we went back and have now bred four Emeralds and all are super intelligent. She has had two Cornets too (Cornet Obolensky/ex Windows vh Costersveld) and both are looking very special... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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