By Antonette Doran / HSI
Photography: Laurence Dunne/Jumpinaction.net

Horse Sport Ireland recently held five qualifiers in the HSI Foal Championship 2020, which offered an overall prize fund of almost €25,000. There regional qualifiers had separate categories and sections for horses and ponies, as well as for potential showjumping foals and potential eventing foals.

The aim was to identify, evaluate and reward breeders who have bred a foal that has the potential to be competitive at the highest level in showjumping or eventing.
The qualifiers were held in September and four foals from each regional qualifier advanced to the final; the best showjumping type and the best eventing type in each category (horse and pony). HSI were pleased to include a prize at each of the qualifiers for the best traditionally bred (TIH) foal in the horse sections. In this year’s final, €10,000 was awarded across the categories.
This year the competitions were judged by Janet Murray, Lindsay Graham, and Comdt Gerry Flynn. Following the competition Graham said; “This is a great and well organised initiative by Horse Sport Ireland’s breeding department. It offers opportunities to breeders to show their foal on a platform for sales, and provides experience to the foal before entering a sale or indeed an arena.
“Excellent prize money was offered for competing in these foal championships, which is a huge incentive for breeders to continue in the right direction. I was particularly impressed by the emphasis that was put into performance pedigree lines. I think it bodes well for the future of Irish Sport Horse breeding. I would like to con-gratulate Alison Corbally and her breed-ing team for all the work that goes into organising and running a successful championship such as this.”
Comdt. Gerry Flynn added; “Without a doubt the quality of foal and pedigree is improving year after year in Ireland. All mares, foals and handlers were exceptionally well turned out and the foals were well handled. The pedigree bonus points played a major role in our scores and I think this encourages breeders to make informed decisions when choosing the correct sire for their mare. We are definitely progressing in the right direction with our performance pedigrees in Ireland and I feel we are on par with our European counterparts.
“Breeders are much more aware of the value in breeding from both performance mares and stallions. Well done to the breeding staff at Horse Sport Ireland for organising this championship, I am sure it was much appreciated by all breeders given the battle everyone in the industry has suffered due to the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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