Rejected mare sells for €400,000

Exchanging money, buying a horse, sales, deals, sold, twenty pound notes

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.”

This story was first published in H&H magazine (12 December, 2013)
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