Steeped In Luck on the market
Lionwood Kinsale's Lad is just one of a number of US-bred Irish Draught stallions which have been imported into this country in recent years. However, a horse bred here, in the form of Steeped In Luck, has now just come on the market and it is believed there will be serious interest from Irish breeders in the coming weeks.
The 14-year-old, who received much publicity in recent months for his performances in high-level dressage in Florida, has covered a number of mares in the States, but his owners, Canadians Keith and Elizabeth Douglas of Pairadox Farm, are now keen to see him forge a career at stud outside of the US. "We would like to see him go to Ireland or alternatively Great Britain where we think he would cover more mares than he is doing here in North America," commented Ms Douglas.
"With him competing it is difficult to use him as a sire as breeders prefer fresh semen and this is not possible. He does have quite a number of offspring on the ground though, with some of the eldest now nine-year-olds."
Bred here by James Lee, the bay son of Mount Diamond Flag was sourced by Eamon and Gladys McArdle as a foal. Standing an imposing 170cms, he made history last month by competing in the CDI*** in Wellington, Florida with Denielle Gallagher-Legriffon in the saddle.
"We were absolutely thrilled to see him competing against all the top combinations who were vying for placings for the World Cup," commented Keith Douglas. "The plan now is to keep him here in Florida for a while longer and hopefully take in another few competitions before the end of the Festival."
Over the years American breeding enthusiasts who favour the Irish Draught have sadly seen a sharp decline in the numbers of mares breeding pure-bred foals. Much of this is due to the fact that there are currently less than 20 Registered Irish Draught stallions between the US and Canadian studbooks.
Another horse to have left the US for Ireland in recent years is Harkaway Lionhawk. He was discovered in the States by Liz Freeman and purchased from his breeder Maggi Tyler as a foal. After a successful showing career there, the Class 1 stallion by Snowford Bellman, was later sold to Ireland. He now stands with Martin Murphy at Castle Gate Stud in Co Mayo.
Mountain Pearl, meanwhile was actually born here and sold to the States, only to return here years later. The son of Mountain View passed his performance testing here before being exported in 1997. Owned by Diane Petrie and Pat Petrie Jensen of Fox Hollow Sport Horses, he covered a limited number of mares before returning here in 2007.