BREEDING FOCUS: Wafer Family Fortune with Parkmore Progeny
- 31 March 2020, 16:57
On the back of winning the coveted Breeders Championship prize at the 2019 Dublin Horse Show, Patrick Wafer and his family went on to claim the Horse Sport Ireland National Eventing Foal Championship with Parkmore Tyson (ISH), we caught up with Patrick’s nephew Maurice to see what’s happening on the farm as the 2020 breeding season arrives
Based in the townland of Parkmore, Carnew on the Wicklow/Wexford boarder is the Wafer family farm. Whilst the farm is predominantly a suckler farm to produce beef – horse breeding, both sport horse and thoroughbred, also plays a major part.
Patrick Wafer is the proud owner and breeder of last year’s RDS Breeders’ Championship winner, Parkmore Evita (ISH), a 10-year-old mare by Ghareeb. Patrick’s 2019 win came almost 30 years after his first and his nephew Maurice recounts that memory with great fondness: “We won the RDS Breeders’ Championship for the first time in 1990 with Parkmore Jewel. My uncle Patrick led the mare and I led up her foal, Parkmore Chance – It was a powerful feeling winning that day,” Maurice recalls.
Parkmore Jewel is one of Ireland’s leading Irish Draught mares of all time and she also became the first Irish Draught mare to win the exclusive RDS Breeders’ Championship at the Dublin Horse Show when she won in 1990. “To win it again almost 30 years later was very special,” Maurice continues. “This time I was leading the mare and my brother Seamus led up her foal. Patrick was there and it really meant a lot to him – he was very proud. In the intervening years I think we filled every place in the line-up, so we were due another turn in the top spot.”
Success seems to be synonymous with the Parkmore Prefix, because Parkmore Evita was also crowned Horse Sport Ireland’s top Irish Sport Horse showing mare for 2019 and following her win at the RDS, Parkmore Evita’s colt foal Parkmore Tyson (ISH) by Tyson (KWPN) went on to be crowned Horse Sport Ireland National Champion Eventing Foal at the Foal Championship which took place at Cavan Equestrian Centre last October.
The Championship series aims to identify, evaluate and reward breeders who have bred a foal that has the potential to be competitive at the highest international level in the disciplines of Eventing and Show jumping. Parkmore Tyson had some fantastic results on the showing circuit in 2019 and was snapped up early in the season by Irish Producer, James Meere, after winning with his dam at Clarecastle show. The chestnut colt remained with the Wafers until he was weaned, shortly after winning at the Foal Championships. A yearling now, the Wafers look forward to following his progress.
Patrick Wafer keeps two sport horse mares on the farm, Parkmore Evita and her dam Parkmore Sunrise (TIH), by Coolcorron Cool Diamond. Parkmore Sunrise is also the dam of notable five-star show jumper Parkmore Lux (ISH) who is ridden by Sweden’s’ Hanna Mauritzson. She also bred Parkmore Reeba (TIH) who is ridden by Irish amateur show jumper Liam O’Connor.
Commenting on the quality of Parkmore Evita as a broodmare, Maurice says: “She was a smashing foal and she has everything you look for in a broodmare – excellent conformation, movement and temperament. We always had her ear tagged as one to keep, preserving the bloodlines for years to come. We have also kept one of Parkmore Evita’s three-year-olds, a horse by OBOS Quality who we are looking forward to showing this year – hopefully. He is a really cracking three-year old, so Patrick and I are very excited about him. He’s been in work for the last six weeks so now is a good time to give him a little break”
It’s disappointing for everyone with news every day of shows being cancelled but I really feel for Ireland’s high-performance athletes who qualified teams for the Olympics – we were all looking forward to seeing them compete in Tokyo this summer.
Maurice and Patrick are two of many sport horse enthusiasts hoping to have the chance to get their horses out showing later this year. When asked how he is coping during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Maurice said: “It’s a frightening time for everyone. My uncle Patrick would be vulnerable to the virus, so he is in self-isolation now and that’s very hard on him. Being a farmer can be an isolating role in itself, but it’s still a challenge to limit the number of people you interact with on a daily basis.
“The good thing about this time of year is that there is lots to be done on the farm with the calving and breeding season having started. Parkmore Evita is in foal to Kieran Kennedy’s stallion Vivant van de Heffink, she’s due to foal in May and Parkmore Sunrise is in foal to Alan Wood’s Grade A, Class 1 Connemara stallion, Kingstown Cavalier.
“It’s disappointing for everyone with news every day of shows being cancelled but I really feel for Ireland’s high-performance athletes who qualified teams for the Olympics – we were all looking forward to seeing them compete in Tokyo this summer. That news put things into perspective – we all need to focus now on looking after ourselves and each other. If we can do that hopefully we will all be back out competing soon.”