Irish-bred horses were once again in the spotlight in 2010. Irish Sport Horses excelled on the international stage, while the Irish Draught breeders kept the home fires burning brightly.
Horse Sport Ireland recently presented 18 awards to breeders to recognise the achievements of everything from international competition horses to national showing horses.
William and Sarah Micklem received an award as the breeders of Mandiba (ISH), the highest placed horse in the World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses (WBFSH) eventing rankings for 2010.
The 1999 gelding by Master Imp (TB) out of High Dolly (ISH) by Chairlift (TB) featured at the Rolex Kentucky CCI****, where, ridden by Karen O'Connor, he led after the first day dressage on a score of 43.7.
Catherine and Edward Doyle received an award as the breeders of the Cruising (ISH) stallion Flexible (ISH), the highest placed Irish Sport Horse in the WBFSH eventing rankings for three consecutive years.
This 1996 chestnut stallion by Cruising (ISH) out of Flex (ISH), by Safari (TB) is owned by Harry & Mollie Chapman and ridden by Rich Fellers in the USA.
The breeders of the two top horses in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook Showjumping League 2010 were also honoured; David O'Brennan of Tullamore, Co Offaly and Mr Thomas J Cox of Strokestown, Co Roscommon as the breeders of Interpreter (ISH) and Victoria Rose (ISH) respectively.
Interpreter is a 2005 grey gelding by Cruising (ISH) out of Dunahall Diamond (RID), by Diamond Rock (RID) and is owned by Edgar Hogg and ridden by James Hogg, while Victoria Rose is a 2003 bay mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Church View Sarah (ISH), by Edmund Burke (TB), owned by James McKean and ridden by Peter Smyth.
Last year featured some exceptional achievements by the Irish Sport Horse Studbook at Lanaken in Belgium.
Eamonn Kenny, the breeder of the six-year-old gold medal-winning NLS Coole Al Clover (ISH) by Aldatus Z (OLD), was present to accept his award for the Outstanding Achievement at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses. Eamonn was accompanied by his wife Margaret and the rider of NLS Coole Al Clover (ISH), Clem McMahon.
Austin Broderick from Thurles, Co Tipperary represented the connections of the Heritage Fortunus (HANN) mare, Ballypatrick Mystique (ISH), who took home the bronze medal in the seven-year-old final at Lanaken.
The award for the highest placed newcomer Irish Sport Horse in the WBFSH show jumping rankings went to Seamus Cawley from Sligo who bred Roller Coaster (ISH), a 2001 bay gelding by High Roller (ISH) out of Coral Bay (ISH) by First Consul (TB).
Mary Walsh from Mayo took the award for outstanding achievement at the FEI world breeding eventing championships for young horses after she bred Fernhill Highlight (ISH), a 2003 bay gelding by High Roller (ISH) out of Forest Beauty (ISH) by Ginger Dick (RID).
Armagh-based Tom and Linda Magee went home with the award for breeding the top Irish Sport Horse showing mare, Kildysart Royale (ISH), a 2000 bay mare by Cavalier Royale (HOLST) out of My Bo Peep (NLH) by Cabby.