Why Greg Broderick says Ireland has fallen behind in breeding show jumpers

Greg Broderick. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Greg Broderick. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Siobhan English

Siobhan English

"The continental sire definitely produces a better show jumper," says Greg Broderick.

"It is not that I have anything against Irish stallions, but the truth is, as a nation we have fallen behind and the European bloodlines have passed us out."

A quick glance at the breeding programme of the Brodericks' Ballypatrick Stables backs up his argument. Only continental sires boasting top-class performance pedigrees are now being used on their current band of broodmares, several of whom have since produced high-class winners.

While some of these mares are also by foreign-bred sires, many carry Irish bloodlines going back two and three generations.

These include Ballypatrick Flight, a daughter of Laughton's Flight. When covered by the Dutch Warmblood sire Verdi, she produced BP First Editions, winner of the five-year-old championship at the RDS in August.

Her 2017 filly foal by Luidam is now entered in the upcoming foal sales at Goresbridge.

"Having some Irish breeding definitely helps as it gives them a good brain," Greg continues.

"Plus, horses produced here definitely have an advantage over those produced in Europe. We believe in turning our horses out in paddocks, and letting them be horses, whereas in Europe it is not such a common practice.

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"Also, the terrain is very different to that in Europe and Irish horses definitely benefit from that."

Commenting on the importance of the ISH prefix when selling horses, Greg adds: "Even if a horse bred in Ireland has continental breeding, he is still Irish-bred and deserves the ISH.

"Ultimately though, for 90pc of the market it doesn't matter where they are bred once they can jump."

Greg says there was plenty of interest in the Irish-bred horses competing at the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken.

In recent years he has seen a huge surge in the standards of our ISH horses competing at the show, and this year was no exception, with Ger O'Neill winning his second consecutive gold medal in the six-year-old decider with Columbcille Gypsy.

As a whole, representatives of the ISH Studbook were well placed throughout the few days, with the 2016 six-year-old champion Killossery Kaiden placed sixth in the seven-year-old qualifier under Tipperary-based American rider Adrienne Dixon.

"We as a nation are always very competitive with five and six-year-old horses, but we are still falling short in the seven-year-olds, although I think this is improving all the time as these horses are not getting sold on as quickly as before," says Greg.

"Lanaken is definitely the place you want to be with your young horses. All the big buyers are there, and business was very good again this year."

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