A showjumping mare valued at less than €800 (£665) as a foal in Ireland has been bought at an elite auction in Germany by a Russian buyer for €400,000 (£332,200).
Breeder Agata Leonard tried to sell her filly Arraghbeg Clover at Goresbridge sales in 2008, where a potential buyer told her the foal was “not worth more than €800”.
But Arraghbeg Clover went on to win a gold medal, as a four-year-old, for the Irish Sport Horse studbook at the FEI/ World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses Young Horse Championships in Lanaken, Belgium, under Irish rider-owner Greg Broderick.
Before she had even left the ring after her Lanaken jump-off, she was bought by German dealer Holger Hetzel.
On Tuesday last week (3 December), the mare was bought for €400,000 by Russian rider Vladimir Beletzkyi.
“We had 24 super horses and we had some very good people buying,” Mr Hetzel told H&H. “She is the best five-year-old in the world and she topped the sale.”
Arraghbeg Clover is by the ISH stallion Captain Clover out of a Bonnie Prince mare.
“I am so delighted,” Agata Leonard said. “I am a bit gutted that I didn’t get that price for her myself, but she wouldn’t have become what she is now if she’d stayed with me.”