Irish make their mark at badminton
Irish-bred event horses accounted for over 40pc of the entries at the recent Badminton Horse Trials and it was particularly encouraging to see three of them finish in the top-10 on the final day behind eventual winner William Fox-Pitt on Chilli Morning.
These included Ballylynch Adventure, ridden by Ireland's Michael Ryan, and Paulank Brockagh, winner in 2014 with Australian Sam Griffiths.
Leading the charge for the ISH Studbook in seventh was One Two Many, ridden by Britain's Nicola Wilson. By the Holsteiner stallion Chacoa out of Cul Na Breathar, by Colin Diamond, the 13-year-old gelding lay 21st after dressage but rose three places with a fast cross-country round. The pair then moved up to seventh position with one of only a handful of show jumping clears to complete on a penalty score of 51.0.
Bred in Limerick by John O'Brien, One Two Many has been a consistent performer for Wilson in the past two years and last autumn won the Blair Castle CIC*** before placing eighth at Pau in France.
Next best on the leaderboard was Ryan with the 15-year-old gelding Ballylynch Adventure. The pair also made an impressive rise up the rankings after dressage, where they placed 48th, to 21st after cross-country when adding just 1.2 penalties to their early score of 52.1. Another show jumping clear put them in contention and into ninth spot which was a career best for the Cork-based rider at the venue.
Ballylynch Adventure was bred in Co Meath by well-known stallion handler John Hughes and is by Hughes' former resident sire Don Juan de le Bouverie out of the thoroughbred mare Stanman Girl, by Standaan.
This was the gelding's first attempt at Badminton, having finished 16th at Burghley in 2014. Last year Ryan received the Armada Dish for five Badminton completions.
Completing the top-10 finish was the 2014 winner Paulank Brockagh. Ridden again by Sam Griffiths the 12-year-old was down the field in 31st after dressage but impressed when adding just 1.6 time penalties on the cross-country and moved up to 16th. Despite making one error in the show jumping they had still done enough to complete on a final score of 53.8.