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Experts on board to pull in sale breeders

Tattersalls Ireland hosts the first of several specialised event horse sales that have been designed to entice buyers from Britain and the continent to Ireland.

The aim of this week's sales is to convince overseas buyers that Irish breeders have the product they are looking for, but also to reduce the legwork involved in finding the right horse.

The Tattersalls Event Horse Sale will take place over two days later this week, with 75 horses being shown to prospective buyers on Friday and Saturday. The sale proper will take place on Saturday evening, after all horses have been showcased.

Sales co-ordinator Alain Storme says that three-year-old horses will be loose jumped for prospective buyers, while the older ridden horses can be seen over natural fences, including water, on the Ian Stark-designed cross country course, and over poles.

"All horses will be video recorded on Friday and Saturday and the videos will be available for further analysis before the sales on Saturday evening," Mr Storme says.

Of the 75 horses entered for the sale, 30 are three-year-olds and the rest are four-year-olds and over.

Early indications are that there are numerous buyers coming from Britain and the continent. For more details, go to

Meanwhile, Ennisorthy-based eventing couple Niall Griffin and Polly Jackson are hosting their Select Event Horse Sale at Monart Equestrian Centre on October 26 and 27.

The pair have just returned from a busy season eventing on the British circuit, during which they promoted the Monart sale at all the biggest events in England.


"Part of our desire here at Monart is to put together a top class team covering all aspects of the sale, from horse selection, to veterinary, to sales," says Niall. "This year top international event rider Clayton Fredericks is joining the selection panel for our sale and Irish team vet Marcus Swail heads up the veterinary team."

This is the second specialised event horse sale to be held at Monart and this time around, the sale is much more focused on top quality youngsters that have the potential to become household names in the future.

"We decided to condense the sale even further this year, making it a select event, with just young horses," says Niall.

"After last year's sale, we spoke to our clients and the best riders in Britain and the continent to find out exactly what they wanted. As a result, we have chosen just 30 top horses for entry to the sale.

"The feedback was that buyers wanted a very experienced selection panel, so we now have three four-star event riders who have experience of sourcing young horses with potential to go to the top."

It is fair to say that no one is going to argue that the Monart selection panel does not have experience. Fredericks, an Australian, is one of the top riders in the world, with numerous titles to his name, including Olympic and World silver medals, while Polly Jackson has represented Great Britain at the European Championships and has been placed in numerous four-star events.

Their fellow selection panel member Sue Shortt is one of Ireland's most respected riders and was once described by Mark Todd as "the greatest cross country rider in the world".

"Having these three riders on the panel gives buyers great confidence in their choices," says Niall.


The selection panel viewed more than 200 potential horses, before deciding on the best 30 to be offered.

The final line up features 10 three-year-old horses and 20 horses aged between four and six years. The list includes stock by Loughehoe Guy, Master Imp, Carrick Diamond Lad, Sarco, Lux Z and Chacoa and most are registered Irish Sport Horses.

All horses will undergo a five-stage vetting by Marcus Swail, with X-rays available to prospective buyers during the two days of the sale. An online catalogue of the entries, and video footage of each lot jumping and moving, either loose or under saddle depending on age, will this week be available on in advance of the sale later this month.

Finally, Goresbridge is to host its Go for Gold sales of four-, five- and six-year-old event horses on November 2 and 3.

The Go for Gold selection panel includes Sally Parkyn, Clare Ryan and Chris Ryan, an experienced trio who are acknowledged worldwide as finders and producers of some of the sport's most recognisable names.

All horses will be showcased at Barnadown Equestrian Centre, just off the N11 near Gorey, Co Wexford, while the evening auction and a gala dinner will take place at the four-star Amber Springs Hotel and Spa.

The Barnadown facilities include several permanent arenas, as well as an all-weather cross-country track, permanent indoor stabling and a clubhouse overlooking two arenas.

The flatwork and showjumping phases will be held on Wednesday, November 2 at 2pm, while the horses will showcase their cross-country talents on Thursday at 10am, before the sale begins at the Amber Springs at 7pm.

Sixty-one horses have been selected from an initial bunch of 200, with many traditionally bred horses included in the final selection. Stallions such as Loughehoe Guy, Ghareeb, Cult Hero, Cavalier Royale, Master Imp, Stormhill Miller and Puissance feature in the pedigrees of multiple entries.

"We have a very classy bunch of horses that we are very excited about," said Goresbridge's Martin O'Donohue.

The catalogue of horses and online footage of each will be available from Friday on

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