By Helen Sharp
Photography: Laurence Dunne, and private collection
The DPS prefix comes from the name of Fiona and Dara O’Malley’s Deerpairc Stables in Turloughmore, County Galway, Ireland. Coincidentally, they are the first breeders to put an Irish Sport Horse under the saddle of Germany’s world-renowned Marcus Ehning.
Working parents, as well as the breeders of the five-star international DPS Revere (Hermes de Reve - Celerina x Cento), Fiona and Dara O’Malley admit that the horses get done when their children are at school, and they fit the shows around the kids’ sports activities.
Incidentally, in 2023, it was the first time in many years that no foals were born at DPS, simply because a few of their older mares are now retired from breeding. However, the couple harbour hopes to invest in a new mare or two soon and have recently purchased a Carrera VDL x Indoctro filly foal from an auction in Europe.
The proof of good breeding
Standing a good 17-hands (close to 173cms) tall, nothing is particularly ordinary about DPS Revere. Once seen never forgotten. The striking gelding was born a chestnut-roan colour then started going grey, getting lighter each year although, uniquely, his mane and tail have stayed black.
Fiona and Dara bought his dam, Celerina (Cento -Grischuna x Louella Inschallah III), about 15 years ago and DPS Revere or ‘Cooper’ as he is known on the yard, was the second foal Dara and Fiona bred from her. “We purchased the mare from Joe Owens in Lissava Stud, back in 2008,” Says Dara. “We liked that she was by Cento, as there wasn’t many of them around.
“We were doing the Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) young horse studbook series and had noticed there were a few horses competing in it by Hermes de Reve. They seemed to be careful and consistent types: Pacino was standing with Clem McMahon at Hilton View Stud at the time and was probably the more popular choice with breeders, but he was still quite young and it was our intention to use him in the future.” (Pacino was sadly lost in 2013, although this year McMahon revealed the clone Pacino II born at his stables in 2020).
Dara continued by explaining; “When Cooper was born, we loved him so much that we went back to Hermes de Reve again the following year and bred a full brother to Cooper – DPS Revelry, who is currently competing at four-star eventing in the UK.
“I was getting another mare covered at the Lissava Stud in Tipperary with Joe, Celerina was owned by an English lady called Tracey Priest. I think the mare was down there for covering or down there to be foaled, and I think only because I was on the lookout for a mare with different lines, he said to me ‘what do you think of her?’ I said, ‘Well, I’m impressed with her breeding but not to look at her! She looks like a Connemara pony.’ She was only 15 hands and, you know, a small mare.”
Fiona continues the story: “It’s funny, because the first foal we got we used a Cassini stallion because he was really, really big. And that first foal we sold in Galway is over 18 hands. So, then we knew size wasn’t going to be an issue. She was a small mare, compact herself, but Celerina was going to breed plenty big enough... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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