Kiss Me, I’m an Irish Sport Horse! 2016 WBFSH Rankings Topped by ISHs, Mighty Nice

Mighty Nice and Brighton. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Mighty Nice and Brighton. Photo by Jenni Autry.

As athletic as they are tough, it’s no wonder Irish Sport Horses consistently dominate the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses/Rolex Eventing Studbook Rankings.

The breed has come out on top in WBFSH/Rolex’s FEI point based ranking system every year since 2004 with two exceptions, 2010 and 2011, when it was temporarily unseated by the Hanoverian Verband and Studbook Selle Français respectively.

Last year, once again, the Irish horses needed no luck to land the no. 1 spot. The top five eventing studbooks on the 2016 WBFSH/Rolex final ranking list, released in September:

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You can view the full list here.

After being absent from the 2014 list, horses competing under the American flag made a reappearance at the top of the 2015 list, led by Cambalda (#9), Loughan Glen (#15) and Master Frisky (#17). Two of Phillip Dutton’s rides made the 2016 cut: Mighty Nice (#2, the highest placed ISH in the WBFSH rankings) and Fernhill Fugitive (#29).

Mighty Nice, a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Ard Ohio out of Sarazen, was bred by William Kells of Co. Cavan. Owned by the HND Group, needs little introduction. “Happy” was Phillip Dutton’s Rio Olympic partner, helping him earn an individual bronze medal for Team USA. He also finished fourth at Rolex Kentucky in 2016, marking his third finish in the top 10 at the North American CCI4*. The icing on the cake of their stellar year was being named USEF International Horse of the Year

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice. Photo by Jenni Autry.

Fernhill Fugitive, a 2005 gelding by Lux Z out of Barnadown Ramiro, owned by Thomas Tierney and Ann Jones, was ranked #29 on the list. His 2016 performance highlights included a 13th place finish at Rolex and wins in the Red Hills CIC3* and Galway Downs CCI3*. He was bred by Maurice Cousins of Co. Wexford. 

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Fugitive. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Who are some other Irish Sport Horses at the top of eventing sport? In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a not-at-all-exhaustive list of other ISHs that broke into the 2016 top 1,500 or so top ranked event horses (see complete list here):

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Go Irish Sport Horses, and Go Eventing!

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