In an outstanding day for the Irish breeding industry, two Irish Sport Horses finished in the medals at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken, Belgium this afternoon (Sunday).
The Irish success came in the afternoon’s closing event, the 7 year-old contest in which Laura Renwick (GBR) partnered Kilkenny-bred Irish Sport Horse MHS Washington, and Eoin McMahon rode Talks Cheap, bred in Limerick by Ronnie Kelly.
Both made it into the twelve-horse jump-off, with Renwick snatching the lead only to be pipped for the Gold medal by Belgium’s Gregory Whatelet on Mjt Nevados S by 0.16 of a second.
Eoin McMahon, then made a bold bid for glory with Talks Cheap, delivering another clear round in a time that netted him the Bronze medal behind Renwick who held onto Silver.
Earlier in the day, Francis Connors secured a top ten finish in the 6 year-old contest, coming ninth on another Irish Sport Horse, Drumiller Houdini.
Congratulating the medal winners, Chef d’Equipe Comdt. John Ledingham said: “It was wonderful to see horses that have been sold from Ireland continuing to fly the flag for the Irish Sport Horse, and their new owners and riders so proud to do so. It was very progressive to see new Horse Sport Ireland International Marketing Manager Elaine Hatton there to witness the medal-winning performances.”
Horse Sport Ireland Breeding Manager Alison Corbally said that out of a quota of 15 ISH horses “to have 7 successfully qualified for the finals from a total of 706 entries was a good reflection of the breeding policy and the quality of show jumpers currently being bred in Ireland.”
Meanwhile, there was another boost for Irish breeding at Blenheim, Great Britain Horse Trials, where Irish Sport Horse Loughan Glen carried American Clark Montgomery to an emphatic victory in the main class, while Jonty Evans and Aoife Clarke both put Irish Sport Horses into the frame in the 8/9 year-old class, Evans partnering Cooley Rorkes Drift (ISH) to 3rd, with Clark taking 6th on Wasting Light (ISH).
MHS Washington (ISH) – 2008 bay mare by O.B.O.S. Quality 004 (OLD) out of Mill Royale (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Ita Brennan, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: J. Renwick & L. Renwick.
Talks Cheap (ISH) – 2008 brown mare by Tinaranas Inspector (WESTF) out of Dreaming (ISH), by Colin Diamond (ISH). Bred by Ronnie Kelly, Co. Limerick. Owner Carl Hanley Sporthorses GmbH.
Drumiller Houdini (ISH) – 2009 grey mare by Clinton (HOLST) out of Never (ISH), by Ballinvella (TB). Bred by Paul Dillon, Co. Armagh. Owner: The Grove Group.
Talks Cheap and Eoin McMahon on their way to a podium finish at the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken