Crack Irish team on a mission for medals as they confront the best of the world's showjumping horses in Lanaken, Belgium
Fifteen Irish Sport Horses were today travelling to Lanaken in Belgium in the hope of proving that Irish-bred horses have what it takes to beat the rest of the world in showjumping.
The 15 horses were selected by Horse Sport Ireland to represent the Irish Sport Horse Studbook at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2012. The championships begin this Thursday and the gruelling competition continues right through Friday and Saturday, with only the best horses reaching the championship finals on Sunday. Speaking ahead of the competition, Horse Sport Ireland director of breeding Alison Corbally said: "Competition is tough at Lanaken, as is to be expected at a World Championships.
"Sunday will see the championship finals being held in the main arena and we will be aiming to qualify as many Irish Sport Horses as possible for those finals and hopefully repeat the medal success we have achieved in recent years."
Last year, six Irish horses reached the final stages of the competition, from a total of 800 horses that entered.
These six included the mare Coco Chanelle and the gelding LCC Silver Fox, who got through to the five-year-old final. The pair, ridden by Declan Egan and Linda Courtney respectively, saw off competition from 280 other horses in the opening two rounds to make it to the final. Unfortunately, poles on the floor for both combinations put the ISH studbook out of contention for a medal.
In the six-year-old final, Derryinver Luxury Cruise was ridden to ninth place overall by Harry Marshall.
There were three Irish-bred horses in the seven-year-old final, namely Rosie Bee, Oldtown KC and NLS Coole Al Clover. Of these, the stallion Oldtown KC finished best of all, securing seventh place overall.
Of course, NLS Coole Al Clover has the distinction of achieving Ireland's best ever result in the championships, when he was crowned six-year-old world champion in 2010.
Ridden by Clem McMahon to a double clear round in the final, the stallion was by Aldatus Z (OLD) out of Laural Lodge (AID), by Clover Hill (RID). Shortly after his remarkable win, Laois man Eamon Kenny sold the stallion to Andre Ollevier of Finland.
Other top results for the Irish Sporthorse Studbook include a silver medal for Drumiller Lough and Captain David O'Brien in the 2009 six-year-old final and a bronze medal for Greg Broderick and Ballypatrick Mystique in the 2010 seven-year-old championship.
Earlier this week, Ireland's chef d'equipe Comdt John Ledingham said he was looking forward to the showjumping action of the coming days.
"We have a really nice team of horses travelling and I would like to wish all owners, riders and breeders the very best of luck at Lanaken this year," he said.
Five horses will represent the ISH studbook in Lanaken this week. These are:
nCodarco (ISH) a 2007 bay stallion by Darco (BEWB) out of Vereedom G (KWPN), by Orame (KWPN). Codarco was bred by Thomas O'Brien from River Villa, Peakroe, Athenry, Co Galway and will be ridden in Lanaken by his owner, Thomas O'Brien.
nHarlequin Bay (ISH) is a 2007 bay gelding by Harlequin Du Carel (SF) out of Ballykealy Girl (ISH), by Rimilis (TB). Breeder Eamon Kenny, from Ballykealy, Durrow, Co Laois will be hoping this horse can repeat the success of Coole Al Clover in taking home a gold medal from the championships. Harlequin Bay is owned by Robert Nethercote and ridden by Gareth Nethercote.
nLalique (ISH) is a 2007 grey stallion by Diamant De Semilly (SF) out of Rincoola Abu (ISH), by Cruising (ISH). Owned and bred by Harold McGahern of Rincoola, Granard, Co Longford, the stallion will be ridden by Joe Owens, who runs his own breeding empire at Lissava Stud in Cahir, Co Tipperary.
nLux Classic (ISH) is a 2007 bay mare by Lux Z (HANN) out of Nadja S (KWPN), by Holland (KWPN). Bred by Patrick Walsh of Tomgar Stud, Ballycanew, Gorey, Co Wexford, Lux Classic is owned by Noel Delahunty and will be ridden by Thomas O'Brien.
nMHS Shamrock (ISH) is a 2007 bay stallion by OBOS Quality 004 (OLD) out of Mill Royale (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Ita Brennan, Mill House, Upper Grange, Gowran, Co Kilkenny, the stallion is owned by Austin Broderick and will be ridden by his son Greg Broderick. MHS Shamrock is one of three horses qualified by the Broderick team for Lanaken.
Moving to the six-year-old championships, there are three geldings and two mares flying the flag for the Irish Sporthorse Studbook. These are:
nBronson De Reve (ISH), a 2006 bay gelding by Hermes De Reve (SF) out of Oktober (ISH). Bred by Eamon McGuirk from Point Breeze, Dundalk, Co Louth, the gelding is now owned by Eileen Duggan and will be ridden by John Floody.
nCoco Chanelle (ISH) is a 2006 brown mare by Lux Z (HANN) out of Orchid Hill (ISH), by Clover Hill (ID C1). Bred by Eamonn Gleeson of Clongouna, Bealnamulla, Athlone, Co Roscommon, the mare is owned by Galway-based Deirdre Bourns and will be ridden by Declan Egan.
nCushions (ISH) is a 2006 chestnut mare by Flexible (ISH) out of Ard Flo (ISH), by Flagmount Diamond (ID C1). Bred by Catherine Doyle, Punchestown House, Rathmore, Naas, Co Kildare, the mare is owned by Manuela Martinelli and will be ridden by Edward Doyle.
All three will be hoping the mare can follow in the footsteps of her famous sire, ridden by Rich Fellers of the USA.
nMHS Going Global (ISH) is a 2006 bay gelding by Quidam Junior I (KWPN) out of Gowran Lady (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST).
Bred by Ita Brennan, Mill House, Upper Grange, Gowran, Co Kilkenny, this is the second of Greg Broderick's rides, this time for owner Sinead Byrne.
nReminisce One (ISH) is a 2006 bay gelding by Harlequin Du Carel (SF) out of Astragele (SF), by Jalisco B (SF).
Bred by Don Hadden of Johnstown, Tinahely, Co Wicklow, the gelding is now owned by Kieran Ryan and will be ridden at Lanaken by Gary Quinn.
Looking at the seven-year-old championships, three geldings, two mares and one stallion have been selected to represent the Irish Sporthorse Studbook. These are:
nBP Blondey (ISH), a 2005 chestnut stallion by Harlequin Du Carel (SF) out of Cummer Beauty (ISH), by Clover Hill (ID C1). Bred by Michael Ryan of Ross Cottage, Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co Tipperary, the stallion is owned by Canadian outfit Caledonia Stables and is the third of Greg Broderick's mounts at Lanaken.
nCoco Chic (ISH) is a 2005 brown mare by Touchdown (ISH) out of Rincoola Abu (ISH), by Cruising (ISH).
This is another horse bred and owned by Harold McGahern of Granard, Co Longford, and Michael Duffy will ride the mare.
nMilano (ISH) -- 2005 bay gelding by Lux Z (HANN) out of Royal Irish (ISH), by I'm A Star (TB). Bred by Richard Thornton from Derreens East, Letterbreen, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, the gelding is owned and will be ridden by his daughter Catherine Thornton in a real family effort to secure a medal.
nMullentine Loughgall is a 2005 bay gelding by Tlaloc M (SF) out of Crosskeys Cavalier (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by George Allen from Mullentine Farm, Portadown, Co Armagh.
The horse is jointly owned by Captain Eoghain Lavelle and the Minister for Defence and will be ridden by Captain Michael Kelly.
nRenolli (ISH) is a 2005 chestnut gelding by Poltarf (TB) out of Coolmannon Porsch (ISH), by Porsch (BWP).
Bred by Anthony Connolly of Coolmannon, Doolanlet, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, the gelding is owned by John Scally and will be ridden by Gary Quinn.