Draught show entries on the rise
One of the best selection of Irish Draught mares seen this year were on display during the annual show hosted recently by the Irish Draught Horse Breeders' Association at Punchestown.
Previously held at Mullingar, the show was this year relocated to the Co Kildare venue, and it proved to be a popular one for exhibitors, with entries up by 50pc from last year.
Among those contesting the older mare classes was the Dublin Horse Show winner Baltydaniel Silver Queen and runner-up Elm View, but on this occasion the places were switched and Seamus Sloyan's eight-year-old Elm View stood top of a well-filled class judged by Vicky Matthews and Aidan Jones. Standing third was James Duffy's Kilmovee White Carnation, a recent winner of the Leitrim Breeders' title.
Sloyan later returned for the foal classes with his colt by Fast Silver, but had to settle for second spot behind James Hoare's colt by Crosstown Dancer.
Hoare's colt went on to claim the reserve sash, with the foal championship title going to Maeve O'Meara's filly by the UK-based sire Avanti Amorous Archie.
Entries were also well up in the younger mare classes, and among the winners here was Padraig Bohan's Gortfadda Star, by Star Kingdom. However, there was little surprise in the line-up for the mare championship as Elm View continued her winning streak to stand ahead of Baltydaniel Silver Queen.
Over in the young horse ring, Martina Murphy was delighted when her three-year-old filly Holycross Grace claimed the young horse championship to add to her multiple wins and placings this summer.
These include runner-up spot at the Dublin Horse Show and wins at Bonniconlon and Mullingar.