Erin Go Irish highlights the success of Irish-bred horses and ponies in eventing. Michael Doherty of Irish Horse Gateway discusses what makes Irish horses so competitive in our sport. This week, Michael takes a look at horses competing at Tattersalls in Ireland over the weekend. Be sure to check out previous Erin Go Irish articles here.
Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair, held in association with Horse Sport Ireland, ran this past weekend in Co. Meath, Ireland, and is well loved in the country as one of the highlights of the season. Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Prof. Pat Wall spoke to Irish Horse TV about what makes Tattersalls such a great event, which you can watch here.
Thursday saw the feature class, The Irish Field CCI3*, get underway. Irish-bred event horses accounted for 45 percent of this year’s CCI3* entries. After dressage, the recent Chatsworth CIC3* winning combination of Ireland’s Sarah Ennis and the Irish Sport Horse Stellor Rebound were in seventh place. Sarah went on to finish third in the CCI3* with the highest placed Irish Sport Horse in the field.
William Fox-Pitt returned to the County Meath event with his Irish-bred Gaucho but did not complete the event, retiring on cross country in the CCI3*. William won the CCI3* in 2011 with Oslo and again in 2012 with the Irish Sport Horse Bay My Hero. In fact, the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* winner Bay My Hero holds a unique record, in that he has won the CCI*, CCI2* and CCI3* at Tattersalls International.
Last year saw Australia’s Bill Levett pull off some incredibly results when winning the CIC3* with the Irish Sport Horse Silk Stone — a full brother to Michael Pollard’s former mount Jude’s Law — and place second in the CCI3* with another Irish Sport Horse Improvise.
Irish Sport Horses won Tattersalls CIC3* every year from 2012 through 2008: Camilla Speirs (IRL) & Portersize Just a Jiff (2012), Oliver Townend (GBR) & Jeepers Creepers (2011), Oliver Townend (GBR) & Ashdale Cruise Master (2010), Patricia Ryan (IRL) & Fernhill Clover Mist (2009) and Capt. Geoff Curran (IRL) & Kilkishen (2008).
This year’s George Mernagh Memorial CIC3* saw some heavy hitters, including Ireland’s Olympic combination of Joseph Murphy and Electric Cruise (ISH) and Jonelle Richards (GBR) with The Deputy (NZL). Joseph Murphy and Electric Cruise went on to finish sixth in the George Mernagh Memorial CIC3*, and Jonelle and The Deputy finished in 19th place.
At the end of the weekend, Irish-bred horses were in the top three in the CCI*, CCI2* and CCI3* divisions. Oliver Townend (GBR) and Colonel Joe won the CCI*, Piggy French (GBR) and Seapatrick Dark Cruise were third in the CCI2*, and Sarah Ennis (IRL) and Stellor Rebound ended up third in the CCI3*.
With the continued string of exceptional results from our Irish bred representatives in 2014, including Rolex Kentucky and Badminton, it is no surprise that the Irish Sport Horse Studbook continues to lead the way in the most recent edition of the WBFSH Eventing Studbook rankings.