Farm Ireland

Sunday 21 January 2018

Irish Sport Horses sweep the boards at German event trials

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Currently leading the WBFSH eventing studbook rankings, the Irish Sport Horse Studbook swept the boards at the Luhmuhlen CCI4* event in Germany recently.

Irish Sport Horse, Mr Cruise Control, saw off some of the world's top eventing combinations to win the prestigious competition, ridden by New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson.

The pair were closely followed in second place by another Irish Sport Horse, High Kingdom, ridden by Britain's Zara Phillips.

Mr Cruise Control (ISH) has been a consistent and reliable competitor for Nicholson since the gelding made his international debut in 2007.

Having represented the Irish Sport Horse Studbook at the World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses in both 2007, placing fourth, and 2008, placing 11th, Mr Cruise Control went on to claim wins in international events such as Hartpury CIC3* in 2010 and again in 2011.

The recent win in Luhmuhlen brings his total of CCI4* top 10 finishes to five. The pair had previously placed fourth in Luhmuhlen CCI4* in 2010.

Bred by Jenny McCann of Hartwell Stud in Co Kildare, Mr Cruise Control is by the McCann's resident five-star approved stallion Cruising (ISH).

The dam, Chia (ISH), is by the Approved American Thoroughbred Broussard. Cruising has a five-star rating for his progeny performance in eventing and a five-star rating for his progeny's show-jumping performance.

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Second place went to London Olympic Games combination High Kingdom (ISH) and Zara Phillips (GBR). High Kingdom (ISH) was bred by William Micklem at Annacrivey Stud, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

The 2001 gelding is by Master Imp (TB) and out of the Chair Lift (TB) mare, High Dolly (ISH). Phillips and High Kingdom had already achieved top international results, including fifth at Saumur (France) CCI3* 2011, 10th at Burghley (UK) CCI4* 2011, fifth in Burnham Market (UK) CIC3* 2012 and third at Branham (UK) CIC3* in the lead up to their eighth placing at the London Olympic Games in 2012. High Kingdom is owned by Grand National winning owner Trevor Hemmings.

Meanwhile, the Irish eventing team finished in sixth place in the Eventing Nations' Cup in Aachen, Germany, which finished on Saturday with the cross country phase.

The cross country phase, which took place in wet conditions, caused huge problems, with only one combination of the 42 starters finishing clear inside the time.

Ireland's anchor man, Joseph Murphy, put in one of the best cross country rounds of the day when he added just 4.8 time penalties to his score to finish individual 11th on his 2012 Olympic mount, the Irish Sport Horse Electric Cruise.

Irish Independent