By Nadia Rea / HSI
Photography: Laurence Dunne
The Army Equitation school’s primary mission is to promote the Irish horse, support Irish breeders, and to advertise the Irish-bred sport horse through participation in international events in both eventing and showjumping at the highest level. Since its establishment in 1926, army riders have competed at top international events from Nations Cups’ to the Olympic Games, all while riding and promoting Irish Sport Horses.
Tempo Manor (ISH) formally known as Candy Man is by Sligo Candy Boy (ISH) out of Roxy Lux (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). This 2012 gelding was bred by Noel Wright in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo. Noel has a mixed farm with suckler cows, beef cattle, and two broodmares. His 80 acres is located between Enniscrone and Easkey in County Sligo. Noel’s first love of horses came from spending time with his uncle who used to keep horses. Like many Irish breeders, Noel then decided to jump in and buy his first mare, Roxy Lux. This mare is by Lux Z (Hann) and out of a Don Juan de La Bouverie (sBs) mare.
When buying this mare Noel liked her pedigree, type, and temperament, saying; “I have such a soft spot for this mare. From day one she was my pet, so I then decided to breed her. Sligo Candy boy was a good fit and the Howley’s are so easy to deal with. Tempo Manor was her first foal and he is such a nice type. Unfortunately, the following year our mare was hit by lightning. It was touch and go. The vet wanted to put her down. We loved her too much to allow that to happen. Six months of sleepless nights and willing her back to health eventually got her back on her feet.
“It was a tough time, but she came through with plenty of TLC. For a life with animals you need to love them, and this means not giving up on them. Now because of this, money couldn’t buy her. Two years ago, we decided to put her back in foal after her accident and our plan is to continue to breed with her. Last year we had a full brother to Temple Manor who is also a lovely type. We hope he will go down the same road, with some luck we will sell him to someone who will give him every opportunity to compete to the top level. We were very lucky with Temple Manor, we sold him as a three-year-old and he was then broken by Vincent Howley before going to Gabriel Tunney where he began his competition career. I have followed him to various shows and its always a pleasure to watch him compete.
“I have also visited McKee Barracks where is was a real joy to see him and to know how well he is being cared for there by the grooms. Geoff [Curran] keeps in touch and is always happy to have a chat with us at the competitions. I am so happy that he has ended up in the army, he has every opportunity to go all the way to the top in the capable hands of Captain Geoff Curran and Captain Charlene Kehoe. When he does, we will plan a trip to see him compete at one of the bigger international shows.”
Noel has now decided to expand his breeding plan and has purchased a second mare, Dapple Clover (ISH) by Castlemly Boy (IDC2) out of Uzzi Clover (ISH) by Marcuzzi (HANN). This mare is now also in foal to Sligo Candy Boy (ISH), and Noel is excited to see the progeny and hopes for the same success.
Tempo Manor began his national showjumping career with Gabriel Tunney when he competed as a four-year-old in the RDS qualifiers. He then progressed through the Irish Sport Horse studbook series, where he had multiple clear rounds in the five- and six-year-old competitions at various legs of this league. Gabriel and Tempo Manor qualified for the RDS in both 2016 and 2017. According to Gabriel; “He was quite weak as a four- and five-year-old, but he was always very careful with quick reactions. I really think a lot of this horse, so I took my time producing him. I always felt that this horse had so much more to give. I can see him competing at the top level and I am delighted that he is with Captain Geoff Curran. A rider of this calibre is exactly what this horse needs to take him to 1m50 level.”.. To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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