Mikey Pender scores second win at Dublin Horse Show as success for Irish breeders, owners and riders continues

  • 18 August 2022, 22:22

Day two at the Dublin Horse Show saw Irish riders add to their already impressive run of results, not least by Kildare’s Mikey Pender who recorded his second international victory in the space of 24 hours.

Michael Pender and HHS Fortune winners of the Speed Derby at Dublin Horse Show (Photo: Laurence Dunne/Jumpinaction)

Pender partnered the Marion Hughes-owned and bred mare HHS Fortune (ISH) to victory the Speed Derby, finishing two seconds ahead of Niamh McEvoy in second with Aconzina PS. Irish riders filled all of the top five places with Trevor Breen taking third spot with Gonzalo.

In the later Anglesea Stakes, Aga Khan team member Cian O’Connor and his World Championship mount C Vier 2 finished as runners-up after a hugely competitive 14-horse jump-off. They finished just over half a second behind Egyptian winner Nayel Nassar with Coronado who took the winners prize, while Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat finished third with Albfuehren’s Maddox.

Among the national competitions that took place in the main arena, Brendan Murphy guided Grennanstown Max A Million to top spot in the Horse Sport Ireland six-year-old class.  Diarmuid Ryan and Newmarket Amy were winners of the Horse Sport Ireland 4-year-old Event Horse class, while the Horse Sport Ireland 5-year-old Event Horse class was won by Stephen Smith and CJO Kann Surprise.

Speaking after another hugely successful day for Irish breeders, owners and riders at the Dublin Horse Show, Horse Sport Ireland CEO Denis Duggan said:

“The results today are a testament to the quality of the Irish Sport Horse breeding that occurs in every
rural parish of Ireland. Such results follow the successful launch of the “Business of Sport Horse
Breeding Report 2022” which captured the intended sentiment of the sector in the context of capital
investment and the opportunities that exist for farmers who wish to diversify.

“The post pandemic era has evidenced sales of sport horses being described as buoyant and
unprecedented, with demand outstripping supply. Even against the backdrop of transient
inflationary costs, the Report sees breeders confident that the market will remain robust,
notwithstanding production costs, strong sales figures indicate returns for the average breeder of 10
mares or less. According to the OEC/CSO live Irish equine exports have exceeded €390 million each
year since 2017. Ireland Is the 4th largest exporter of live equines globally. This represents strength
and stability in the Irish market. This figure does not account for domestic sales hence overall market
activity is likely in excess of €400 million.

Duggan added:

“The Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, through Horse Sport Ireland, offer diverse
national breeding initiatives grounded in equine genetic factor research and breed improvement
aligned to breeding programme goals. These initiatives facilitate breeders to make informed
decisions and maintain the quality and value of the Irish horse. The introduction of TAMS support for
equines will further support a production base that is affordable and achievable. Horse Sport Ireland
has long advocated for “equine farming” to be considered as a tangible farming output, and this
Report confirms that that such farming is happening throughout the island of Ireland, noting that
48% of equine farmers are combining this activity with a beef or sheep enterprise. To that end,
Horse Sport Ireland would encourage all farmers, to look beyond the inaccurate reporting of the
sector and consider the benefits an equine activity could achieve for future outputs. Horse Sport
Ireland would like to thank Minister Hackett for her support of the sector by acknowledging the
potential and offering a perspective of future farming.

“Horse Sport Ireland and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have, and continually
advise, that all farming activities concerning livestock are grounded in animal welfare and breeding
best practice. Additional information and support can be sought through the Business in Breeding
quoted breeding code of practice and from the Teagasc equine advisory and training activities.

Friday’s highlight at the Dublin Horse Show is of course the Aga Khan, with Irish team manager Michael Blake announcing his team that includes Conor Swail, Max Wachman, Shane Sweetnam and Cian O’Connor.


HHS Fortune (ISH) 2011 mare by Catoki (HOLST) out of Hhs Daisy (ISH) by Ard Vdl Douglas (KWPN) bred and owned by Marion Hughes and ridden by Michael James Pender.

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