Home In previous issues Irish-bred horses to the fore at 2023 Badminton Horse Trials

Irish-bred horses to the fore at 2023 Badminton Horse Trials

Capels Hollow Drift (ISH) and Tom Jackson

By: Horse Sport Ireland / HSI
Photography: Irish Eventing Times

The 2023 edition of the prestigious Badminton Horse Trials took place from May 4-8 , and the event saw a stellar field of Irish Sport Horses take to the field. From a starting field of 85 horses, a total of 24 were Irish-bred and 22 represented the Irish Sport Horse studbook, for riders representing Ireland, Great Britain, the United States of America and New Zealand.

Of those 24 – of which a total of 14 were Irish-bred – 12 12 Irish Sport Horses, successfully completed all three phases of Badminton’s five-star event to finish inside the top 30. This once again highlights why the Irish Sport Horse was the leading studbook for eventing horses in 2022.

Ballaghmor Class (ISH) and Oliver Townend

Overall second place went to Oliver Townend riding his ever-reliable 2007 gelding, Ballaghmor Class (ISH), by Courage II (Holst) bred by Noel Hickey in Co. Limerick out of the mare Kilderry Place (ISH). This combination is no stranger to podium finishes having previously won and been placed in venues such as Kentucky (USA), Burghley (GBR), Burnham Market (GBR), Ainwick-Burgham (GBR) and Ballindenisk (IRL), as well as representing Great Britain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.
Fifth place went to Britain’s Tom Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift (ISH) by Shannondale Sarco (BWP). This combination ranked 23rd on the WBFSH list for 2022, and along with the 14th-ranked Ballaghmor Class (ISH), were among the six counting horses that elevated the Irish Sport Horese Studbook to rank number one.
Jackson and Capels Hollow Drift (ISH), bred by Jeanette Glynn in Co. Clare out of the Lucky Gift (TB) mare Lucky Crest (ISH)[TIH], had previously taken the runners-up spot in CCI5* Burghley in 2022, and in the seven-year-old eventing World Breeding Championships for Young Horses (WBCYH) in Le Lion d’Angers 2018.
Britain’s Pippa Funnell rounded out the top 10 in 10th place aboard the traditionally bred gelding Maja’s Hope (ISH)[TIH], bred by Jack Murphy in Co. Kilkenny. This gelding by the Thoroughbred stallion Porter Rhodes (TB) out of Brown Sue (ISH)[TIH] by Flagmount King (IDC1), was having his second attempt at Badminton having finished 16th there at his last attempt in 2019. Since then, Majas Hope (ISH)[TIH] has successfully completed the CCI5* events at Bicton (GBR), Burghley (GBR), and Kentucky (USA).

Blackthorn Cruise (ISH) with Dan Jocelyn

The next best of the Irish went to 12th place Oughterard Cooley (ISH)[TIH], another traditionally bred Irish Sport Horse. This 2010 gelding by Puissance (ISH)[TIH], bred by Gerard Lynch in Co. Clare, is out of the mare Oughterard Sky Cruise (ISH)[TIH] by Cruising (ISH)[TIH]. Ridden by Great Britain’s Wills Oakden, this gelding was having his second attempt at a CCI5*, having finished in 13th place in Burghley in 2022. This gelding is a full brother to the mare Oughterard Diva (ISH)[TIH], currently competing with Ireland’s Patrick Byrne at CCI3* level eventing, and CSI2* level in showjumping. This same family also produced the international eventer Limbo Rock (ISH)[TIH].
Notably, Wills Oakden’s second mount Arklow Puissance (ISH)[TIH] was also sired by Puissance (ISH)[TIH], out of a mare sired by Cruising (ISH)[TIH], Cruising Jewel (ISH)[TIH]. Though they suffered an unfortunate elimination on the cross-country course, it was a big week for Arklow Puissance (ISH)[TIH] as he made his debut at CCI5*. Bred in Co. Wickow by Michael Byrne, Arklow Puissance (ISH)[TIH] is a full brother to Irish Olympian Michael Ryan’s CCI4*-S winner from Ballindenisk in 2022, Claragh Mountain (ISH)[TIH].

Away Cruising (ISH) and Harry Meade

Traditional Irish bloodlines were also to the fore for the 16th placed Away Cruising (ISH) with Britain’s Harry Meade in the saddle. No strangers to this level of competition, having completed Badminton’s CCI5* course in 2022, and also previously competed at top level events in Burghley (GBR) and Luhmuhlen (GER). Bred by Eamon O’Flaherty in Co. KIldare, Away Cruising (ISH) is by Cruise On (ISH)[TIH], and out of Parklands Princess (ISH) by Able Albert (TB)... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber