Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Stepping stone - the World Breeding Jumping Championships

Ireland will be well represented at the World Breeding Jumping Championships in Belgium

Darragh Ryan heads to Lanaken with three horses including the 2015 RDS four-year-old champion ESI Star Struck. Photo: Laurence Dunne
Darragh Ryan heads to Lanaken with three horses including the 2015 RDS four-year-old champion ESI Star Struck. Photo: Laurence Dunne
Codex One was placed at Lanaken as a seven-year-old in 2009. Three years later he represented Germany at the London Olympics with Christian Ahlmann (Photo: FEI)

Siobhán English

For the past 15 years the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses have been a valuable stepping stone to bigger things.

Codex One, Mylord Carthago and Elvis Ter Putte are just three high-profile continental stallions to have passed through the gates of Zangersheide in Lanaken before progressing on the world stage.

While none of these three horses won their respective competitions at the venue, it has been proven time and time again that a number of those which are placed in the top 10 each year are more likely to forge a successful career in showjumping.

In fact a survey undertaken in 2014 by Rik Van Miert, vice-president of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses, showed that several which feature in the main group each year later disappear without a trace. He maintains that much depends on where they end up if sold on, their athletic ability as they mature, and the quality of their rider.

Looking back at the career of Codex One - he placed fourth in the seven-year-old final in 2009 under Karl Brocks. Three years later the grey was flying the flag for Germany with Christian Ahlmann at the Olympic Games in London.

Elvis Ter Putte, meanwhile placed sixth in Lanaken as a six-year-old in 2010 and last year placed 10th in the FEI Zangersheide Sires of the World. The son of Diamant de Semilly is now one of the most sought-after sires, having already produced the 2015 Belgian Warmblood Champion Manchester Van't Paradijs, and is again the most represented BWP-approved stallion in 2016.

Open to five, six and seven-year-olds, and often attracting up to 900 horses, these championships have become an important date in the calendar for stud-owners and horse-producers from all around the globe. It is where the best breeding lines of the present, and the future, are also identified.

While the Royal Warmblood Studbook of the Netherlands (KWPN) has clearly dominated the results for the past decade, the Selle Francais and Oldenburg studbooks have also featured strongly in the overall rankings.

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Ireland's record at the championships has improved greatly in recent years with NLS Coole Al Clover (winner at six in 2010) and Arraghbeg Clover (winner at five in 2013) both claiming gold for the Irish Sport Horse Studbook with Irish riders. Others to have featured high up the list include Drumiller Lough, second in 2009, Ballypatrick Mystique, third as a seven-year-old in 2010, and MHS Washington, second in the seven-year-old final last year under British rider Laura Renwick.

Later sold for a princely sum of €400,000, Arraghbeg Clover, by Captain Clover, is now competing for Russia with Olga Chechina. Ballypatrick Mystique, meanwhile, was renamed Billy Jean 20 and represents Italy with Guido Franchi.

Without doubt, Greg Broderick is one of the most successful producers of young horses in Ireland and MHS Going Global is another one of his residents at Ballypatrick Stables to have been in the money at Lanaken.

Seventh in the seven-year-old final in 2013, the son of Quidam Junior has gone on to be a formidable member of the Irish team and last month represented the ISH breed at the Olympic Games.

Though unable to make it through to the top 45 on the third day, the 10-year-old gelding outclassed horses with considerable more experience and in time to come will silence the critics.

Both MHS Washington and MHS Going Global were bred in Co Kilkenny by the late Ita Brennan.

While Greg Broderick will not be competing at Lanaken this time round, Ballypatrick Stables will be well represented by his cousin Darragh Ryan who is proving a formidable force on the national and international circuits.

Young rider champion at the RDS in July, the 19-year-old also rode ESI Star Struck to finish second in the five-year-old championship behind another up-and-coming rider Mikey Pender (17), with Marion Hughes' Z Seven Canya Dance.

For this year's renewal of the championships, the two young riders share the bulk of the 15 entries, with seven horses between them.

Bred by the late Anne Hughes, Z Seven Canya Dance is one of just a handful of progeny by the family's own Holstein stallion Can Ya Makan which is currently jumping up to 1.60 metres with both Marion Hughes and her husband Miguel Bravo.

Gifted to Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as a foal, Z Seven Canya Dance will certainly be one to watch in a fortnight's time.

Pender will also ride the five-year-old Z Seven Caretina for the Z7 team, along with the two six-year-olds Curra Clover Flight and Rainstown Majestic, an impressive winner of the Pettitts and Boomerang finals this summer.

In addition to ESI Star Struck, Darragh Ryan will ride Boleybawn Actor in the same five-year-old division, and Ballypatrick Flamenco in the year-older classes.

Show jumping veteran Francis Connors is also facing a busy few days as he takes along the six-year-old BP Castlefield and the two seven-year-olds Pembrook Milenia and Primo Troy.

Commenting on the Irish representation this year, chef d'Équipe, Comdt John Ledingham, said: "We look forward to great sport where approximately 800 horses from over 37 nations will converge in Lanaken to compete for the nine medals on offer."

The FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses take place in Lanaken, Belgium from September 14-18.


Z Seven Canya Dance (Michael Pender)

ESI Star Struck (Darragh Ryan)

Z Seven Caretina (Michael Pender)

Boleybawn Actor (Darragh Ryan)

Castlelawn Captain Junior (Shane Dalton)

1st Reserve: Zilko (Linda Moloney)


Curra Clover Flight (Michael Pender)

BP Castlefield (Francis Connors)

Killossery Kaiden (Ger O'Neill)

Ballypatrick Flamenco (Darragh Ryan)

Rainstown Majestic (Michael Pender)

1st Reserve: Intis (ISH) (Tom Hearne)


Pembrook Milenia (Francis Connors)

Primo Troy (Francis Connors)

BMH Big Time (Tholm Keane)

Loughnav atta Indigo (Gemma Phelan)

ESI Carvalho (Peter Moloney)

1st Reserve: Ard Golden Crisp (Conan Wright)

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