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Irish stallions make mark

The latest analysis from British Eventing (BE) shows that Irish-based stallions were very prominent in the BE young horse sires tables for the 2011 season.

The tables show that 11 of the top 15 sires of seven and eight-year-old event horses in the UK were the progeny of stallions standing, or who previously stood, in Ireland. Eight of the top 15 sires of five and six-year-olds are by stallions that are standing, or stood, in Ireland.

Three Irish-based stallions featured in the top three in the seven and eight-year-old tables.

These were Cult Hero, Master Imp and Limmerick, who finished second, third and fourth respectively.

Three Irish-based sires also featured in the five and six-year-old table, with Harlequin Du Carel coming out on top, Accondy in third and Ghareeb in fourth.

Horse Sport Ireland chairman Joe Walsh said the results were encouraging and further evidence that Ireland was the country to come to for buying event horses.

"The eventing market in the UK is a huge outlet for Irish-bred horses and the prominence of the Irish-bred stallions in the tables shows how well Irish horses are doing in eventing the UK," he said.

"One issue that I would highlight is the need for sport horse breeders to consider using thoroughbred sires on their mares. Only 12pc of foals born last year were sired by thoroughbred sires.

'I do hear complaints from time to time that we don't have enough quality thoroughbreds available to the sport horse sector.

"However, I'm not sure that this is the case. It is probably fair to say that we don't have a lot of proven TB sires and it is a great pity that Master Imp and Cult Hero, who appear on these lists, have passed away.

"However, there are a number of thoroughbred stallions in the country and other stallions with a lot of thoroughbred blood, and the thoroughbred percentage in stallions is now available on CapallOir," he said.

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