West Cork horse breeders enjoyed a tremendous 2014
The past 12 months have proven to be hugely successful for the West Cork Horse Breeders' Society and its members, with wins accumulated across the country, from Bandon to Ballinasloe.
For the society itself their programme of events started with the well-supported performance show which again took place at West Cork Equine Centre.
The hotly-contested three-year-old loose jumping competition was won by WCHB member Kieran O'Gorman with Brookfield Wesco.
This gave him automatic qualification to the prestigious Young Irelander Final at the Millstreet International Show.
At Millstreet, WCHB chairperson Yana Verling reversed placings with O'Gorman with her own home-bred filly Larav Vendi coming out on top after a three-way jump-off for the title.
There was great success for Seamus Lehane at the Dublin Horse Show in August as his home-bred gelding Ballard Big Bang, by Ghareeb, won the prestigious Pembroke Cup.
Meanwhile, Stephen McCarthy and Denis O'Brien's HVL Symphony won the three-year-old loose performance class and also finished second in the Broodmare Futurity.
By Orestus, the horse was bred in Wicklow by the HVL Stud.
Other notable successes for West Cork breeders at the RDS included Val Hyde and The Publisher's win in the Sportsman's class for the Perpetual Challenge Trophy.
The Irish Draught Performance Championship was awarded to Billy Dillon's stallion Knock Morris, ridden by Waterford native Paul Beecher.
By Coolcronan Wood, Knock Morris was bred in Bandon by Bernard Cummins.
Among the winners in the Riding Horse classes were George Tanner, who won the small horse section with Imp Perfection.
By Master Imp he was bred by Derry Kingston in Clonakilty.
In the Pegus All-Ireland Final in late August WCHBS secretary Rosemary Deasy came out on top with her French Buffet mare and Jack of Diamonds colt.
The foal did not contest Ballinasloe, so it was left to Kieran Fahy to bring this All-Ireland title home to West Cork with his son of Robin De La Maison.
West Cork breeders filled an impressive four of the first five places in the final.
On the eventing front in 2014 PJ Hegarty's home-bred mare Fenyas Elegance, by Ricardo Z, went on to represent Ireland at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy and helped to qualify the Irish team for the 2016 Olympic Games.
This was her first attempt at four-star level, having won two three-star events in Britain earlier in the season at Isleham and Bramham.
In 2013 she made three-day eventing history by being the first Irish winner of the prestigious Blenheim Palace three-star international in England.
A great all-rounder, Fenyas Elegance was both All-Ireland and WCHB champion foal in 2004, as well as the Future Event Horse League Champion as a four-year-old.
She then progressed on to be Champion Hunter Mare at the RDS Dublin Horse Show in 2008.
The mare's half brother Fenyas Guidingstar, a six-year-old by Kris Kin, competes nationally with Louise Codd and is another one to watch for 2015.
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