By Antonette Doran / HSI
In recent weeks, Irish horses and riders totally dominated the action at the four-star show in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with Kildare’s Mikey Pender and Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan both claiming victories with Irish Sport Horses.
Riding the Irish Sport Horse HHS Fortune, Pender produced the fastest of four clear rounds to win the Al Shira’aa Derby in Abu Dhabi, and in the process won the first new car of his showjumping career. HHS Fortune is a 2011 mare by Catoki (Holst) out of HHS Daisy (ISH) by Ard VDL Douglas (KWPN). HHS Fortune was bred and is owned by showjumper and breeder Marion Hughes from Co. Kilkenny. The Irish Sport Horse mare showed promise from early on, winning the seven-year-old series at Coilog and Mullingar and finishing third in the final of the Irish Sport Horse studbook series in 2018. She also competed at Lanaken in 2017.
Pender completed a hugely impressive few days at the four-star show in Abu Dhabi, UAE, by also taking a third place finish with the Irish Sport Horse HHS Calais in the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix which is part of the Arab League. Pender was one of 12 riders who made it through to the jump-off after jumping an impeccably clear first round with the nine-year-old gelding HHS Calais (ISH), who is owned by Miguel Bravo and Marion Hughes. He took the lead early in the jump-off with another clear against the clock in 39.88 seconds which proved good enough for third place at the finish. Germany’s Christian Ahlmann took the winners prize with Solid Gold Z (39.16) while Abdel Said (EGY) finished as runner-up with Arpege du Ru (39.49).
HHS Calais is a 2011 gelding by Cavalier Royale (Holst) out of MHS OBOS Cruise (ISH) by OBOS Quality (Oldbg). This gelding was bred by the late Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Again this gelding is a studbook series graduate and competed at Lanaken in 2018. The dam MHS OBOS Cruise is still a young mare who has also produced MHS Fernhill Showtime, successfully jumping at 1m40m and finishing second in the seven-year-old consolation final at Lanaken in 2019 with Kate Derwin.
In the earlier SERC U25 Grand Prix at the same venue, Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan continued his superb start to the season, by claiming a fantastic victory with the Kennedy Bros Sport Horses-owned Irish Sport Horse KBS Major Player. Eighteen-year-old Ryan was one of just two riders to make it into the jump-off. Mohamed Omran Ahmed Ali Al Owais (UAE) went clear when first to go with Caravelli, however Ryan finished almost a second faster to take the winner’s prize of €6,350. KBS Major Player (ISH) is by OBOS Quality, out of Tattygar Lasts Rolo (ISH) by High Roller (ISH). KBS Major Player was bred by Peter Rice from Co. Monaghan, and his dam also produced KBS High Quality who is competing at 1m45 level with Derek Morton (GBR).
Meanwhile, in the Basel CSI five-star World Cup event in Switzerland, Gerard O’Neill won the 1m40 and finished sixth in the 1m50m class riding the Irish bred Castlefield Vegas.
Also, in Villeneuve-Loubet in France, My Cool Passion (ISH), a gelding by Passion (WEWB) out of Skerrymores Coolcorron (ISH)[TIH] by Coolcorron Cool Diamond (ISH) finished first in the 1m45 GP with rider Roberto Turchetto (ITA). This gelding was bred by Charles Howard Cranston and is owned by Gregor Terglav.