Analysis by Susan Finnerty: Irish Sport Horse eventers were back in the four-star winners enclosure in 2014 with Paulank Brockagh (Touchdown - Calendar Girl x Triggerero xx) and Bay My Hero (Cult Hero xx - Bing Power x Tomgar Power Crest) bred by Paula Cullen and Bryan Maguire, respectively, successful in the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** and Rolex Kentucky CCI**** events.
And when the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses rankings were released at the beginning of October, both horses were the main contributors to the ISH studbook once again retaining its title.
Paula Cullen and her husband Frank (hence the ‘Paulank’ prefix) were in Kenya, when the rankings news was announced, where they were assisting several Irish-born charity workers in their efforts to educate Nairobi street children. Such philanthropic work is typical of the couple who live in the scenic Wicklow countryside, south of Dublin, with Brockagh named after one of the nearby peaks in the Wicklow hills.
Born in the Dublin suburb of Blackrock, Cullen progressed from ‘owning’ a pony, used by her uncle to deliver milk to the local dair y, to a course of riding lessons presented by her aunt Pauline Taylor. “My father said it was the most expensive present I ever received as it cost him a fortune for years to follow! I started riding in 1959 in Iris Kelletts in Mespil Road. I spent all my holidays there and worked for lessons on many occasions”.