Farm Ireland

Thursday 14 December 2017

Deise group to host sport horse classes

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Waterford Sport Horse Breeders Group, one of the first ever sport horse discussion groups in the country, is to run its annual three-year-old performance horse class at Ballyrafter Equestrian Centre, Lismore, Co Waterford this Saturday, September 7.

The performance horse class aims to reward performance horses either for showjumping or eventing and the horses will be scored on pedigree, conformation, loose movement and loose jump.

This weekend the judges will be well-known sport horse breeders and producers Tiernan Gill and Maurice Coleman, who will give the audience a commentary on each animal on the day. Anyone interested in sport horses and breeding is invited to attend.

The three-year-old class takes place at 2pm and will be preceded at 11am by a new class for performance-bred foals.

The foals will be judged on pedigree, conformation, movement and that elusive 'star factor'.

A catalogue of all entries is available on the group's website and on its Facebook page.

The Waterford Sport Horse Breeders Group has its origins in a 2009 Teagasc education tour to Germany, which a number of Waterford breeders took part in.

The trip included visits to various horse breeding establishments where the emphasis was on producing top showjumpers.

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The group saw first-hand how much continental breeders invested in planning breeding programmes and preparing future performance horses.


On their return they were keen to share information and learn from each other's experience and the Waterford Sport Horse Breeders Group was formed under the direction of Mrs Ruth Fennell, a Teagasc equine specialist.

There are currently 22 active members of the breeders group, chaired by Mrs Mary Power and with Mrs Fennell as the secretary. The group meet every six to eight weeks and have been on stallion inspection trips to view prospective sires for their mares. The group has hosted presentations from equine industry professionals on horse breeding and management.

Irish Independent