What a sad few days it has been with the passing of some great characters and therefore in turn, the loss of a vast amount of knowledge in the horse world.

Frances Cash, Andy Crofts and George Taylor are all a great loss to many close friends of mine as well as to myself. I spent time only last week at Goresbridge sales with Frances and she was on top form.

Buying horses in Ireland

Goresbridge is always an interesting few days and certainly a time to put to any knowledge you hope you have gleaned over the years to the test.

The horses presented at sale are cleverly produced so you have to be careful. Buyer beware as they say.

My father once told me: “If you want to find a fool in Ireland, you’d better take him with you!” Anyway I put my cap into the ring again with the hope of bringing home another star as we have in previous years.

This year I bought four horses to bring to England and I am excited about them all. We also found some superstars to stay in Ireland. Sadly four-year-old classes have diminished in England over the years. But there is a lot more opportunity in Ireland for them, hence the reason for them to stay-put for the time being.

Looking ahead to HOYS

The coats on the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) horses brings its usual dilemmas. Clip or not to clip, that is the question. I will find out next week if I have made the right decision.

I am delighted to say that both our show hunter ponies won their La Liga points awards for 2014. The winner of each section is a horse or pony who has had an outstanding winning season — or one that has been to every show and qualified late or not at all.

Hightopps Jazz (Gingerboy) and Annandale Maria (Maria) have given us a lot of fun this summer. Alice is extremely excited about HOYS as you would expect.

I find myself asking the question: would I prefer to win and trot down the famous centre line or to see Alice do the same? I will leave you to guess the answer, but actually a mother-daughter double would be nice!

Good luck to everyone heading to Birmingham.

Loraine