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HSI crowns top foals at Irish championship final

National eventing pony champion: Silken Link (ISP), bred by HelenTroughton

By Antonette Doran
Photography: Laurence Dunne

The final of the Horse Sport Ireland foal championship took place at Cavan Equestrian Centre on Tuesday, October 22. The championship series aims to identify, evaluate, and reward breeders who have bred a foal that has the potential to be competitive at the highest International level in the disciplines of showjumping or eventing.

The final followed six competitive qualifiers held nationwide, and a prize fund of over €24,000 was available across the championship with €8,000 allocated for the final. Four national champions were crowned: champion showjumping horse and pony foals, and champion eventing horse and pony foal. There was also a special prize for the overall best traditionally bred foal. Foals were judged on their functional conformation, walk, trot, canter, overall athleticism, and balance, as well as pedigree.
The eventing pony foals were the first to take to the ring where the national eventing pony champion foal of the year was awarded to Silken Link (ISP). After impressing the eventing-section judges, Clare Lambert and Fraser Duffy, breeder Helen Troughton said; “I’m very pleased with him, Silken Link is by Masurenfuerst who is the sire of the champion sports pony of the year in England. His dam, Honeyhill Lady, has really done her job. She has really good bone and is well put together. She does what she’s supposed to do, breeds and jumps.”
According to Clare Lambert and Fraser Duffy; “Fraser and I were very impressed with how uphill the foal was built and his ease of movement. We judged based on what we saw today – the standard was extremely high. The winning foal for us had the blood and the reserve as well there was something about them that had an ‘event’ stamp. In general, in this section we saw so many nice foals that we were almost disappointed they didn’t all win.”
Champion showjumping pony foal Seafield Dynamite B (ISP), breeder/owner Jerry Lenihan – l-r: Alison Corbally, Ger O’Neill, Barry O’Connor, Andrea Etta, Kate Lenihan, Jerry Lenihan
The national showjumping pony champion foal of the year was awarded to the filly Seafield Dynamite B (ISP) bred by Jerry Lenihan, who said; “Out of a Moores Clover mare – you couldn’t go wrong, and then the Celtic Hero cross, we were hoping for big things. She’s a really sweet foal. This is the mare’s fifth foal, and they all jump. It’s great to win. The foal is very like her full sister who was in the three-year-old loose jumping final in Millstreet, and she’s a fantastic pony. Seafield Dynamite B has a great temperament too – like the father, who is going very well over in the US. He has just won two 1m40 classes.”..To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber