To celebrate the recent surge in British breeding, H&H takes a look at why the 'extremely careful and very brave' Market Irminka looks set to excel in 2015

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Name: Market Irminka
Foaled: 2006
Breeding: by Irco Mena and out of Market Vision (Tinka’s Boy)
Breeder: Sue and Derek Ricketts
Rider/owner: Tracy Priest

Market Irminka is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Second in the Addington Manor Talent Seekers final at HOYS in 2014, she also scooped other major placings this season.

Bred by former team world champion Derek Ricketts, the striking mare comes from a damline of good showjumpers.

“She’s out of a mare we bred who was born with a defect in her eye that meant she was never broken in, and was named, perhaps slightly unkindly, Market Vision,” says Derek.

“We also bred Irminka’s granddam, Market Affair, who we hunted and jumped. I field mastered on her, and her mother also jumped. It’s vital to have a good mare as well as a good jumping stallion. Nearly all the horses we have bred stem back to Market Affair, which shows the value of the damline.

“Irminka was the first foal out of her mare, but she was not the most handsome of foals, being chestnut with four white legs and a white belly. We didn’t loose jump her until she was three, but we then realised she was outstanding, with a very extravagant jump.”

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That impressive jumping ability was quickly picked up on by Tracy Priest, who bought Irminka as a five-year-old, and has campaigned her since.

“She is both extremely careful and very brave,” says Tracy. “She’s also very sharp and always fresh, even after several days of jumping. When it comes to the first jump of the season, I have to sit tight!

“She’s completely on my side and loves her job — all she wants to do is win and she’s in the money at every show.

“At home, she’s easy and relaxed, and always has her head over her stable door looking out for me.

“I’ll take her to Spain at the start of the year; how she goes there will help me plan my season. We’ll hopefully do a three-star grand prix in March; if she goes well, we may go for a smaller Nations Cup.

“I think she has the potential to go to the top — people should see much more of her in the coming year.”

Don’t miss our Best of British special issue of Horse & Hound magazine in the 8 January issue, where we look at more British-bred horses to watch and round up some of the best British equestrian events