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Sunday 4 December 2016

Irish-bred 'wonder horse' to receive hall of fame award

Siobhán English

Published 02/12/2015 | 02:30

Nick Skelton had much success with Transmission on the US and Canadian circuits
Nick Skelton had much success with Transmission on the US and Canadian circuits

Heritage Transmission, the Irish-bred gelding ridden to numerous successes on the international show jumping circuit by his breeder Marion Hughes, is to receive the Equine Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Award for 2015.

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Initiated by the California Professional Horsemen's Association in 2005, the award has previously been won by fellow Irish-breds Y2K and Flexible, in addition to other star horses Robinson, Double Take, Petrus, Glen Eagle, Amadeus, Rumba and Lifetime.

"A wonder horse" is how he has been described by current owner Hunter Hoffman who, along with his daughter Zazou, has been riding the horse since his retirement from international competition.

"He has the most joyful attitude and I ride him every day. He is a delightful horse who is genetically programmed to jump - his ears perk up and he checks out every jump we pass on the cross-country track where I ride in Sullivan Canyon."

Now 20, the son of Cavalier Royale first came to prominence with Hughes when winning the four-year-old championship at the RDS.

In the following years, despite being plagued with injury for a time, the combination were members of several winning Nations' Cup teams and represented Ireland at the 2007 European Show Jumping Championships in Germany.

British legend Nick Skelton took over the ride on the gelding the following year and their list of achievements included wins at Spruce Meadows and second in the Nations Cup in Wellington.

American Richard Neal was next to partner Transmission when the horse was purchased from Skelton by a consortium and the pair soon gelled to place 10th in the $200,000 Lamborghini Grand Prix in 2011.

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The award ceremony takes place in Las Vegas in early January.

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