Irish Sport Horse studbook tops WBFSH rankings for eventing horses

  • 13 October 2023, 19:03

Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) is delighted with the announcement from the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) that the Irish Sport Horse Studbook (ISH) has retained its place as the leading studbook for eventing horses in 2023.

This ranking follows a consecutive 2022 leading ranking, and many prior for the Irish Sport Horse as the number one ranked eventing studbook in the world.

The WBFSH rankings also show that the Irish Sport Horse has maintained its top 10 placing for show jumping horses, moving up to sixth place from tenth in 2022 and 2021.

In an even more positive development, the six horses – whose individual ranking count towards the overall studbook score – all placed within the top 20 internationally for event horses, and in the top 120 for show jumpers.

“HSI would like to congratulate the breeders, owners and riders of the horses who contributed to the success and ranking of the Irish Sport Horse in 2023. We would also like to acknowledge the connections of all horses who represent the Irish Sport Horse and Irish breeding worldwide,” said HSI Head of Breeding, Development and Innovation, Dr. Sonja Egan.

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class are ranked number two in the rankings

“We would like to particularly congratulate the joint 17th-ranked Irish Sport Horse in eventing, Oughterard Cooley (ISH)[TIH]. He is the leading traditionally-bred Irish Sport Horse in the rankings and shows the continued value of traditional breeding in the modern age.

“Traditional breeding also comes to the forefront in the dams of the show jumpers James Kann Cruz (ISH) and Rincoola Milsean (ISH). Also noteworthy is the contribution of thoroughbred mares as can be seen in the back breeding of the event horse Black Ice (ISH), as well as the show jumpers Up Too Jacco Blue (ISH) and GRS Lady Amaro (ISH).

“It is due to the continued efforts of all our breeders that the Irish Sport Horse is one of the leading sport horse studbooks in the world. Each year, with every crop of new foals being born comes the renewed dream of all breeders to breed an eventual champion.

“That dream is to breed horses that will, in time, enter the hallowed arenas of the world, from the RDS to Badminton, Lanaken to Le Lion D’Angers, Valkenswaard to Kentucky. Without the dedication of our breeders, producers and the wider connections from grooms, vets, farriers, dentists, physios, and all the ancillary roles in between, results like today’s result simply do not happen. Their contribution is not unnoticed.

Oughterard Cooley (ISH)[TIH] & Wills Oakden. Photo credit – Irish Eventing Times

“We must also make special mention of the owners of these incredible horses, whose investment is vital in continually giving them the opportunity to compete on the world stage.

“To the riders, we thank you for the hard work, effort and dedication that goes towards producing these horses for competition, and providing Irish horses with the opportunity to demonstrate why they are the best in the world.”

“HSI looks forward to continued success for the breeders, owners and riders of Irish Sport Horses, and wish you the very best of good luck as move into 2024 and beyond. We also look forward to the ISH Studbook continuing to be recognised as one of the leading studbooks in the world.”

“It is also refreshing to note that the vast majority of the horses which have contributed to the rankings in both show jumping and eventing spent their formative years competing in the young horse classes in Ireland.

“As we continue to develop the Young Horse Pathway through which horses in Ireland can be produced towards their international careers, it is HSI’s intention to continue to make Ireland the best country in the world in which to produce a young horse.”

11 August 2023; Shane Sweetnam of Ireland competes on James Kann Cruz during the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Ireland international competition during the 2023 Longines FEI Dublin Horse Show at the RDS in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Denis Duggan, Horse Sport Ireland Chief Executive, added: “It is an absolutely magnificent achievement for the ISH studbook to be crowned as the leading studbook in the world yet again.

“the continued dominance of the Irish Sport Horse in the studbook eventing ranking is a testament to the passion, hard work and sacrifice made by Irish breeders, producers and owners that the studbook tops the list for 2023.

“On top of that, the Irish Sport Horse is ranked at number six for jumping, another fantastic result, with the likes of James Kann Cruz, bred by Patrick Connolly in Co. Galway, a particularly exceptional performer in 2023.

“A huge amount goes into breeding operations and these rankings are something we should be very proud of. HSI continues to provide the best possible supports to Irish breeders through schemes and initiatives supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine – long may results like today’s continue.”

The horses whose international performances contributed to the Irish Sport Horse rankings are:

(2) Ballaghmor Class (ISH)
2007, Gelding by Courage II (HOLST) out of Kilderry Place (ISH).
Breeder: Noel Hickey, Co. Limerick.
Owner: Meses. Shuter, Hislop & Ryan.
Rider: Oliver Townend (GBR).

(4) Rehy DJ (ISH)
2010, Gelding by Tinaranas Inspector (WESTF) out of Rehy Misty (ISH), by Big Sink Hope (TB).
Breeder: Noel Russell, Co. Clare.
Owner: The Sue Davies Fund.
Rider: Yasmin Ingham (GBR)

(11) Black Ice (ISH)
2010, Gelding by Vechta (KWPN) out of Brookhall Lady (ISH), by Touchdown (ISH).
Breeder: Judith McClelland, Co. Down.
Owner: Dorothea Von Zedtwitz.
Rider: Jerome Robine (GER).

(17) Cavalier Crystal (ISH)
2010, Mare by Jack of Diamonds (SWB) out of Cavalier Iris (ISH), by Cavalier Royal (HOLST).
Breeder: Thomas Horgan, Co Waterford.
Owner: Charlotte Opperman
Rider: Harry Meade (GBR)

(17) Oughterard Cooley (ISH)[TIH] [formerly known as Oughterard Sky Boy]
2010, Gelding by Puissance (ISH)[TIH] out of Oughterard Sky Cruise (ISH)[TIH] by Cruising (ISH)[TIH].
Breeder: Gerard Lynch, Co. Clare.
Owner: Liz Magennis & Debbie Whalley.
Rider: Wills Oakden (GBR)

(20)  HSH Blake (ISH) [formerly known as Galwaybay Blake & Galwaybay HSH Redfield]
2015, Gelding by Tolan R (KWPN) out of Doughiska Lass (ISH), by Kannan (KWPN).
Breeder: Justin Burke.
Owner: Meses. Hoff, Martin, C. Pamuckcu & D. Pamuckcu.
Rider: Caroline Pamukcu (USA)

(4) Pacino Amiro (ISH)

2012, Gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH), by NC Amiro (AES).
Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal.
Owner: Aiden McGrory.
Rider: Bertram Allen (IRL).

(12) James Kann Cruz (ISH) [Formerly known as CSF James Kann Cruz]
2013, Gelding by Kannan (KWPN) out of CSF Telly Cruz (ISH), by Cruising (ISH)[TIH].
Breeder: Patrick Connolly, Co. Galway.
Owner: Gizmo Partners LLC.
Rider: Shane Sweetnam (IRL).

(28) Up Too Jacco Blue (ISH)
2011, Gelding by Chacco Blue (MECKL) out of Celestial Up Too (ISH), by ARD VDL Douglas (KWPN).
Breeder: Mark Sherry, Co. Wicklow.
Owner: Hans Christian Jacobsen.
Rider: Max Kühner (AUT).

(48) Rincoola Milsean (ISH)
2013, Gelding by Aldatus Z (OLD) out of Rincoola Abu (ISH)[TIH], by Cruising (ISH)[TIH].
Breeder: Harold McGahern, Co. Longford.
Owner: North Star Sporthorses.
Rider: Charlotte Jacobs (USA).

(86) GRS Lady Amaro (ISH)
2013, Mare by Amaretto Darco (BWP) out of Legal Lady (TB), by Over The River (TB).
Breeder: Denis Hickey, Co. Wexford.
Owner: S.n.c McAuley.
Rider: Mark McAuley (IRL).

(120) BP Wakita (ISH)
2013, Mare by Pacino (BWP) out of BP Masterpiece (ISH), by Cruising (ISH)[TIH].
Breeder: Greg Broderick, Co. Tipperary.
Owner: Trefoil Farm LLC.
Rider: Roberto Teran Tafur (COL).