Farm Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

Requirements for a show jumping foal

When it comes to buying a foal for a showjumping career, buyers are looking for a showjumping pedigree, insists Clem McMahon.

“Foals have to be by a showjumping sire and out of a dam with a proven showjumping pedigree, and preferably a dam that has jumped successfully herself,” he says.

“I would also like to see that the dam has produced successful progeny.”

The foals that would not sell were the ones with poor pedigrees or unknown sires, no performance record for parents, poor conformation, were not athletic and those that were poorly produced.

The showjumper said he would look for a foal with a nice quality head and a good front that he could imagine riding as a four- or five-year-old.

“You don’t want to end up with a horse that you’ll be riding almost with his ears in your mouth,” he said. The foal’s neck needs to come out of the shoulder at the correct angle and the head attached to the neck at the right angle.

“I like to see a foal or a horse with a nice, natural shape already,” he adds.

In terms of movement, the foal needs a loose and free walk and an active trot, but again the critical pace is a balanced canter.

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“I’m not mad about a big trot myself,” admitted the rider. “Sometimes that doesn’t translate into a good canter."

Indo Farming