Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

Irish showjumpers set to go all out to take world titles

Riders and horses head out to Belgium for young horse world championships as Ireland targets glory in elite category events

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Fifteen Irish horse and rider combinations are this week aiming to put the Irish Sport Horse Studbook under the international spotlight at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken, Belgium.

The championships provide a unique opportunity for breeders, owners and riders to witness the current trends of European breeding and, in some cases, catch the first glimpse of future equine medal winners.

The standard at the world breeding championships is exceptionally high, with more than 200 horses in each age category, representing more than 50 studbooks from all over the world aiming to qualify for Sunday's final.

The 15 horses representing the Irish Sport Horse Studbook from tomorrow to Sunday were selected by Horse Sport Ireland.

In the five-year-old age category, LCC Silver Fox, ridden by Linda Courtney, and Morning De Reve, ridden by James Hogg, gained automatic selection by finishing first and second in the five-year-old league of this year's Irish Sport Horse Studbook Showjumping Series.

Cathal McMunn and One Time, the winner of the five-year-old championships at Dublin Horse Show, decided not to travel to Lanaken, which gave first reserve Coco Chanelle and Declan Egan an opportunity to compete in the World Championships.

Two further five-year-olds, Clinton Jack, ridden by Shane McFadden, and Oldtown Gypsy Jazz, ridden by Trevor Breen, were selected for Lanaken by Ireland's chef d'equipe, Commandant John Ledingham.

In the six-year-old category, both Golden Exchange, ridden by Greg Broderick, and LCC Diamond Dazzaler, ridden by Linda Courtney, shared the accolade of being the highest placed six-year-olds in the six/seven-year-old league from this year's series.

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Unfortunately, due to a leg injury sustained at Dublin, Greg was forced to pull out of Lanaken and Clem McMahon will deputise to ride the horse he has qualified with.

Harry Marshall and Derryinver Luxury Cruise secured their spot on the Irish Sport Horse Studbook team through their performance in the six-year-old championship in Dublin. A last minute change sees Mullentine Loughgall replaced by LCC Lux Like Cavalier ridden by Linda Courtney, and Renolli, ridden by Gary Quinn, to make up the six-year-old team.

The seven-year-olds for this year's championships automatically selected themselves. Winning the six/seven-year-old league meant Oldtown KC and Trevor Breen gained selection and, as joint second seven-year-olds in the league, Castellar (Clem McMahon), Gatsby (Gabriel Tunney) and Rosie Bee (Clem McMahon) took three more of the five available places. Alexander Butler and Riverside Ace were the combination selected through Dublin but, when deciding not to travel, their place was allocated to the first reserve Rincarina (Clem McMahon).

These 15 Irish Sport Horses will compete over two days of qualifying classes this Thursday and Friday. Consolation classes, for those who do not qualify for the finals, will be held on Saturday.

However, the real business takes place on Sunday morning, in the main arena at the Zangersheide venue, when three World Championship classes take place.

The Irish Sport Horse Studbook has enjoyed huge success at the event in the past two years, signalling a potential Irish return to top flight jumping breeding.

In 2009, Captain David O'Brien (IRL) and Drumiller Lough (ISH) took the silver medal in the six-year-old world championships.

Last year, the Irish Sport Horse Studbook took home two championship medals.


Clem McMahon and NLS Coole Al Clover (ISH) were crowned six-year-old world champions and presented with the gold medal last year after they won the championship on a double clear round, more than a second faster than their nearest rivals.

The Irish success continued when Greg Broderick and Ballypatrick Mystique (ISH) clinched the bronze medal in the seven-year-old world championships.

"The championships at Lanaken are the most prestigious event on the young horse showjumping circuit, and it is fantastic to have a strong team of horses that have performed consistently well throughout the Irish Sport Horse Studbook Showjumping Series and being given the opportunity to perform on the world stage," said Horse Sport Ireland director of breeding, Alison Corbally.

"I wish all our riders, owners and breeders the very best of luck at Lanaken this week."

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