Goresbridge Go For Gold sale has become a showcase for champions
At the inaugural amalgamated Goresbridge/Monart Select Event Horse Sale in 2010, the then four-year-old Cooleys Pay Cheque was sold for a sum of €29,000 to British resident Fiona Elliott.
Fast forward six years and this summer the renamed Cooleys Rorkes Drift finished as the highest-placed Irish representative at the Olympic Games in Rio in ninth place, under Jonty Evans.
The sole aim of the now independent Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale has always been to find champions, and this it has achieved in numbers, with graduates now flying the flag for the Irish Sport Horse in all four corners of the world.
Among those is Copper Beach, placed in the top 20 at the 2016 Rolex, and Gorsehill Pearl, the record breaker from 2015 when sold for €85,000 and now ridden for Ireland by Joseph Murphy. As the vendor at the time of Cooleys Rorkes Drift, Richard Sheane knows all too well the value of a good platform to showcase his potential superstars and this sale plays an important role in his business.
"As a vendor and purchaser I have always been lucky with horses bought and sold from the Go For Gold Sale," he said. "In the case of Cooleys Rorkes Drift, I had purchased him earlier in 2010 from Jim Derwin who had originally found him in Cavan. I then produced him with this sale in mind."
For Sheane, it proved a wise move as the son of Courage II has truly proven to be a formidable member of the Irish team, and flag-bearer for Cooley horses, with a win of the Nations Cup in Boekelo in 2015 also among his growing list of achievements to date.
"All the horses I have ridden or come across have been good horses, without a shadow of doubt," commented Jonty Evans of the sale.
"The really good horses make a premium but there are definitely deals to be had. I have a great deal of faith in the veterinary panel. You can have sensible chats with the vets and can email the vettings and x-rays to your own vet for their verdict. I also have a lot of faith in the team - especially Sally Parkyn and Martin Donohoe. They are leaders in their field," he added.