Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

Fifteen of our finest young horses flying the flag for Ireland in Lanaken

Rising stars with world at their feet

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Fifteen of the best young show jumping horses in this country are set to go head to head with the best young horses in Europe later this week in the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses 2013.

Taking place at Lanaken, Belgium from Thursday, September 18 to Sunday, September 22, the championships will see the top four-, five- and six-year-old horses from all over Europe compete over four gruelling days. The panel, right, shows the 15 top Irish Sport Horses chosen to represent the Irish Sport Horse Studbook in Lanaken, with five horses in each of the three age categories.

Speaking ahead of the championships, Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) breeding director Alison Corbally said the quality of the young horses attending this year's World Championships was a true reflection of the national herd.

"We are continuing to breed horses of world-class ability," she maintained. "In the last four years we have had huge success at these championships, with Clem McMahon and NLS Coole Al Clover (ISH) taking gold, Capt David O'Brien and Drumiller Lough (ISH) winning silver and Greg Broderick and Ballypatrick Mystique (ISH) winning bronze."

Comdt John Ledingham, who will travel to Lanaken as chef d'equipe, said the competition would be fierce, as was always the case at Lanaken, but the Irish Sport Horse Studbook had a good group of horses and riders travelling.

"I am hopeful that our team can perform well and be real contenders for medals again this year," he added.

One combination making their debut at Lanaken is Clinton Jack (ISH) and Shane McFaddden, who is both owner and rider of the 2006 bay stallion.

Bred by Gerard Corry from Trillick in Co Tyrone, the striking bay is by Clinton (HOLST) out of ISHD First Chance (ISH) by Concorde (KWPN).

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The seven-year-old was originally bought as a foal by Shane and his father Dessie from their neighbour Gerard and produced up through the ranks by Shane, who manages to combine riding horses with running his family business.

"It's very special to have a horse that is family owned and produced to go so well and to be selected for Lanaken is the icing on the cake," Shane told the Farming Independent.


Lightly campaigned as a four- and five-year-old, the stallion was picked to travel to Lanaken as a five-year-old but was forced to stand down at the last minute when Shane injured his hand.

Following that disappointment, the rider and owner decided that 2013 was the year for Clinton Jack to step up to the plate and this he has done in spades. The pair won two legs of the Irish Sport Horse (ISH) Studbook league at Cavan and Mullingar and finished second in Louth, Barnadown and the final at Tattersalls.

"I decided to give him a good hard push this year and he's proven to be very consistent," said Shane. "He's a stallion and he's a hardy fellow when you're not on his back, but when you're on him and in the ring, he just wants to jump."

Consistency appears to be Clinton Jack's middle name, with 60 double clears recorded in the first 70 rounds of his show jumping career and a very successful 2013 to date.

Shane has plenty of supporters travelling to Lanaken this week, including his parents Dessie and Geraldine, as well as his wife Karen and daughters Cara and Connie, while his youngest daughter Emma will be cheering on from at home.

"It will be the horse's first time competing abroad so I hope he travels well and stables well out there as it will be a whole new experience for him," remarked Shane.

When asked whether he would consider selling Clinton Jack, the Ulsterman was coy.

"I've been tortured this year to sell him but I've never put a price on him but if he went well in Lanaken, I would have to think about it," he said reluctantly. "I'm not a professional, I'm just an amateur rider and he should go to Grand Prix next year, so if I still had him in 2014 I would probably put him out to someone to jump."

Two of the riders jumping alongside Shane this week could be described as nothing but professionals. Tipperary's Greg Broderick and Galway's Thomas O'Brien (see panel) account for no less than six of the 15 horses travelling.

Broderick made his intentions clear at the Irish Breeders Classic recently by winning the lucrative €45,000 five-year-old final on board Arraghbeg Clover.

The 2008 mare, sired by Captain Clover (ISH) out of Blidworths Lion Queen (ISH) by Bonnie Prince (TB) was bred by Agata Leonard from Carrig, Co Offaly and is jointly owned by Declan Orpen and Greg.

The Show Jumping Ireland National Grand Prix League champion will also compete the seven-year-old MHS Going Global in Lanaken.

Bred by Ita Brennan in Gowran, Co Kilkenny, MHS Going Global (ISH) is Quidam Junior I (KWPN) out of Gowran Lady (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Owned by Broderick's long-standing Canadian supporters Caledonia Stables, the gelding is described by Greg as "the best horse I've ever sat on".

"He is a future Nations' Cup horse, a proper championship horse," he enthuses. "He's got the size, huge scope, an easy canter and is extremely careful jumping, as well as being very straightforward to ride," he explained.

"I will be trying very hard with him in Lanaken and hoping for a good result."

In the six-year-old class, Greg will ride MHS Shamrock (ISH), a 2007 bay stallion by OBOS Quality 004 (OLD) out of Mill Royale (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Another one bred by Ita Brennan in Gowran, Co Kilkenny, this stallion was recently sold by Greg's father Austin to Mary Ellen De Rushi and William Munton from Pennsylvania, US.

All of Greg's owners will be travelling to Lanaken this week.

"It's a great chance for them to see their horses compete against the best in their age category in Europe. There's also a foal sale and a stallion parade where the owners can see what the latest trends are in young jumping stallions," said the rider.

Competing alongside Greg and Arraghbeg Clover in the five-year-old competition will be Alexander Butler and Talks Cheap (ISH). The 2008 brown mare by Tinaranas Inspector (WESF) out of Dreaming (ISH) by Colin Diamond (ISH) was bred by Ronnie Kelly from Askeaton, Co Limerick and is owned by Hannah Joyce.

Ridden until mid-summer by her owner Hannah, the mare has consistently jumped double clears in the ISH classes and is a very careful jumper.

"If she goes clear on the first day it is well within her capabilities to go well at Lanaken," maintained Alexander. "She's the type of mare who improves as she goes on."

Aside from the previously mentioned Arraghbeg Clover, Talks Cheap and Mini Cruzano, the other five-year-old horses jumping for the ISH studbook are:

* Killuppaun Magic (ISH), a 2008 bay mare by Hermes De Reve (SF) out of Cavalier Arch (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Peter Rice, Emyvale, Co Monaghan and owned by James Griffin, she will be ridden by Damien Griffin.

* Sumas Duiske (ISH), a 2008 bay mare by Puissance (ISH) out of Torite (KWPN) by Marlon (TB). Bred by Miss Marliy Power, Graignamanagh, Co Kilkenny, she is owned and ridden by Billie Jean O'Neill.

In the six-year-old section, Codarco, Sportsfield Eterina and MHS Shamrock will be joined by:

* Bens Lady Lux (ISH), a 2007 brown mare by Lux Z (HANN) out of Leading Edge (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Ann Marie Blessington, Granard, Co Longford and owned by Karen MacKenzie, she will be ridden by Shannon MacKenzie.

* Capitol Cruis (ISH), a 2007 grey mare by Ard VDL Douglas (KWPN) out of Forest Mistral (ISH) by Cruising (ISH). Bred by Diana Warrington in Naas, Co Kildare, the mare is owned by Ian Smyth and will be ridden by Peter Leonard.

In the seven-year-olds, Clinton Jack and MHS Going Global will be joined by:

* MHS Prime Time (ISH), a 2006 brown mare by Quidam Junior I (KWPN) out of Cavalier Kells Lady (ISH) by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Thomas Brennan, Gowran, Co Kilkenny and owned by Sinead Byrne, Eddie Moloney will be on board at Lanaken.

* Limestone Grey (ISH), a 2006 grey gelding by Try-Time (KWPN) out of Millparks Courageous Lady (ISH). Bred by David Moran, Askeaton, Co Limerick and owned by James Roberts of Limestone Paddocks, the gelding will be piloted by the experienced Francis Connors.

* GRC Tadmus (ISH) – a 2006 chestnut gelding by Tadmus (KWPN) out of Loughnavatta Heather (ISH) by Clover Brigade (ISH).

Bred and owned by Rory Costigan from Roscrea, Co Tipperary, the gelding will be ridden by Gemma Phelan.

Irish Independent