Grand prix jumping stallion sells for €2.3 million at auction to join young rider

  • The top lot at this week’s Aloga showjumping horse auction in Belgium was 10-year-old grand prix stallion Dark Chocolate, who was sold for €2.3million (£1,975,000) for a student of Cian O’Connor.

    Dark Chocolate (Casall x Acodetto I) has been ridden and produced by Ireland’s Denis Lynch for the past few years, being crowned the leading eight-year-old in the seven- and eight-year-old final at Dublin Horse Show in 2022 before going on to record plenty of good placings at five-star level including the London International, Barcelona, Basel and St Gallen.

    The stallion was one of 19 quality showjumpers to go under the hammer on Monday 6 May at the latest Aloga Auction, established by Irish showjumping brothers Bertram Allen and Harry Allen, and fellow showjumper Maxi Lill, held at Sentower Park.

    €2.3million horse auction purchase: championship ambitions

    Cian O’Connor told H&H that the top lot was bought for one of his European-based students.

    “The plan is to develop her to the young rider European Championships this year,” said Cian, who recently had two top horses secured for him thanks to investment by a British buyer as the Paris Olympics approach.

    Denis paid tribute to a “class horse”, who he’s enjoyed producing over the past three years.

    “One of the early highlights of our time together was jumping clear at Olympia grand prix, which is a really good character test,” he told H&H. “He won the eight-year-old finals at Leipzig World Cup Finals, then we took it easy for a bit before stepping him up and in his first big test he was clear in the World Cup in Madrid. He’s been jumping clears again as a 10-year-old – the whole way through, every time you asked him, he always stepped up. 

    “His new rider is very talented, she gave him a beautiful trial, the horse loved her and they really clicked together, which is fantastic, so hopefully they’ll go on well together.”

    Three lots from Monday’s auction made in excess of €1,000,000 with two other beautifully bred stallions completing the trio. The second highest-priced lot of the night was Ballywalter Stables’ exciting six-year-old stallion Nikora TSH (Aganix Du Seigneur x Unaniem), who has been competed by Harry Allen and went under the hammer for €1.9million, and the nine-year-old stallion Kiritan (Kannan GFE x For Ever Jump) who has been jumping to CSI3* with Maxi Lill and sold for €1.7million.

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