Cooley Master Class (Ramiro B - The Swallow x Master Imp xx)carries Oliver Townend (GBR) to victory in Kentucky 2018

IRELAND (by Susan Finnerty) One win, so nearly two. The Irish Sport Horse studbook got off to a flying start in this year’s World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) rankings with top placings in the Land Rover Kentucky Horse Trials and then one week later at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton trials. Not that the Irish studbook has ever faltered in dominating the WBFSH rankings, having monopolised the eventing title race each year, bar in 2010 and 2011, since the rankings first began in 1994.

However, until last year, the combined points were often harvested from steady results at three-star level, rather than some spectacular four-star win by a household name event horse such as La Biosthetique Sam (Stan The Man xx - Halla x  Heraldik xx, bred by Günter Seitter).
The Irish Sport Horse’s Olympic medal tally continued at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where Mighty Nice (Ard Ohio - Sarazen x Penistone xx, bred by William Kells) claimed individual bronze for Philip Dutton (USA), one place above another Irish Sport Horse in Paulank Brockagh (Touchdown - Calendar Girl x  Triggerero xx, bred by Paula Cullen). With Mighty Nice ruled out of this year’s World Equestrian Games due to injury, Paulank Brockagh still continues to clock up results for Sam Griffiths (AUS) and she was one of just five mares to win Badminton when she joined the history books in 2014.
(And then along came the British-bred Classic Moet (Classic xx - Gamston Bubbles x Bohemond xx, bred by Elaine Hepworth) to make it six this year).

You have to go back to 2014 when Irish Sport Horses last won two of the six four-stars in the world in the one year. Paulank Brockagh matched the Rolex Kentucky win of the Bryan McGuire-bred Bay My Hero (Cult Hero xx - Bing Power x Tomgar Crest). Interestingly, both Cullen and Maguire live on the east coast of Ireland in counties Wicklow and Wexford, respectively, and it was the same two counties that produced this year’s best of the Irish-breds...

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO BREEDING NEWS

SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE BY LOGGING IN AND RETURNING TO THIS PAGE