Cruising offspring prove his worth on the global stage
The great Irish Sport Horse sire Cruising once again proved his merit as a multi-purpose sire of both showjumping and event horses in the line-up at the four-star event in Pau, France.
Three of the top 10 ten horses in the tough event were sired by Hartwell Stud's resident sire: Mr Medicott under US rider Phillip Dutton took fourth place; Mr Cruise Control was fifth with New Zealand rider Andrew Nicholson and Ireland's own Joseph Murphy finished in eighth place on Electric Cruise.
Now 28 years of age, Mary McCann's stallion Cruising is still hale and hearty and even put in a guest appearance at the Equus Live show in Punchestown over the weekend.
The sire is a great example of Irish breeding for performance. Cruising is by the Irish Draught stallion Sea Crest, out of the three-quarter bred mare Mullacrew.
Sea Crest's bloodlines include Tara, dam sire of the renowned jumper stallion Clover Hill and Artic Que, another jumping sire. Sea Crest himself jumped to grade A level on the national circuit and Mullacrew was an international jumper with the Irish Army's Equitation School under John Ledingham.
Remarkably, Cruising was only her second and, ultimately, her last foal. Mullacrew was 17 years old and believed to be barren when she arrived at Hartwell Stud. In fact, her first successful mating was also a first for the sire, Sea Crest, who was three years old. The result was a horse called Steel Dust who was gelded and sold to America to jump with Joe Fargis. However injury, in the form of a broken knee, put paid to his chances of reaching the level of fame his sibling did.
Mullacrew's own breeding included two of the world's best thoroughbred sires of showjumpers: Nordlys sired huge numbers of showjumpers, including 1972 Olympic individual gold winner Ambassador, while Water Serpent featured in the pedigrees of some of the top showjumpers in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s, including 1963 European individual gold medallist Rockette.