By Horse Sport Ireland / HSI
Photography: Laurence Dunne/Jumpinaction
The 2023 Horse Sport Ireland Foal Championship was held on 25th October in Co. Kildare’s Coilóg Equestrian Centre. The Championship was contested by the winners of the four regional qualifiers held nationwide.
With over €26,000 in prize money available across five categories in the Championship and qualifiers, it boasted the best of Sport Horse and Sport Pony breeding in Ireland.
Since its inauguration in 2015, the Horse Sport Ireland Foal Championship, which is funded under National Breeding Services by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has sought to identify, and evaluate foals with the potential to be competitive at the highest international level.
Foals are judged under the criteria of functional conformation, walk, trot, canter, overall athleticism and balance, as well as pedigree, with bonus points available for foals from successful competition families.
Horse Sport Ireland would like to extend their congratulations to all competitors on their success throughout the competition and to all breeders, owners and connections of the 2023 Foal Championship finalists and Champion foals.
Of the 20 qualified foals, four competitors were presented in each of the following four categories: Pony Showjumping Foal, Pony Eventing Foal, Horse Show Jumping Foal and Horse Eventing Foal. The top four Traditionally bred horse foals from across the qualifiers were judged and presented with the top Traditionally bred foal for 2023.
Horse Sport Ireland were delighted to be joined by an expert judging panel across each category. Active breeders Andrew Hughes and Norman Allen assessed the athleticism and potential aptitude of the showjumping foals. Eventing foals and Traditional foals were judged, separately, under the expert eyes of Olympians Mairead Ryan and Sam Watson.
Eventing Pony Foals
The final began with the pony eventing section, with Marjorie Hardiman’s colt Creganna Smarty Pants (ISP) taking the title and the judges commending his loose movement and lightness off the ground. Creganna Smarty Pants (ISP) is by HSF Lucky Boy (ISP) and out of Creganna Gypsy O (ISH) by Road To Happiness (TB). Creganna Smarty Pants qualified for the final at the last qualifier in Tubberbride EC.
Marjorie was delighted to see her foal take the win having bred the dam herself and has had the damline for five generations, and also having bred a half-sister to this colt foal. She has plans to keep and produce these ponies with her daughters, making it a family affair... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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