An impressive list of successful Irish breeders were honoured at the Horse Sport Ireland 2014 Breeders Awards in Thurles, Co. Tipperary last week (19 November), proving that the Irish bloodstock industry is in rude health.

Among the eventing recipients were Paula Cullen and Bryan Maguire, breeders of the Irish Sport Horses who won Badminton and Kentucky CCI4*Paulank Brockagh (pictured) (Sam Griffiths) and Bay My Hero (William Fox-Pitt) — and Patrick Fenlon, who bred the highest placed Irish Sport Horse in the WBFSH eventing rankings, Kilronan (Paul Tapner).

Great Britain’s winning Nations Cup showjumping team in Odense, Denmark, in May consisted of an amazing four Irish-bred horses — Dougie Douglas (Holly Gillott), Touchable (Jessie Drea), A Touch Imperious (Harriet Nuttall) and Santa Cruise II (Tim Page). Mary McCann, breeder of the latter, accepted an award on behalf of all four breeders.

Joanne and Finbar Mulligan received an award for successfully utilising modern breeding technology with their Irish Sport Horse Pembrook Milenia, who finished fourth in the five-year-old jumping final at Lanaken this year with British rider Stacey Babes.

One of the most outstanding young horses to come out of Ireland this year was the Luidam mare Ard Ginger Pop. Sold to Carl Hanley for €95,000 in September at the Goresbridge Supreme Sale of Showjumpers, the five-year-old went on to claim silver at Lanaken under Angelica Augustsson. This made Ard Ginger Pop the highest placed Irish Sport Horse at the FEI WBFSH jumping championships and her Navan-born breeder Heather Dean Wright accepted the award.

Breeder of the top ISH showing mare was Thomas Smyth of Kilkenny for his Ghareeb mare Inistioge Best Betty, and Raymond Sloyan from Co. Mayo took the award as breeder of the top Irish Draught showing mare for a second year in a row after Elm View scored a hat-trick in the broodmare championship at Dublin.

The outstanding contribution award to ISH breeding went to Mary McCann, who has been breeding eventers and showjumpers at the Hartwell Stud for 25 years.

HSI 2014 Breeders Awards in full:

1.Breeder of the Top International Event Horse 2014
Kilronan (ISH)
Breeder: Pat Fenlon, Co. Kilkenny

2. Breeder of the winner of the CCI4* at Badminton Horse Trials 2014
Paulank Brockagh (ISH)
Breeder: Paula Cullen, Co. Wicklow

3. Breeder of the winner of the CCI4* at Rolex, Kentucky 2014
Bay My Hero (ISH)
Breeder: Bryan Maguire, Co. Wexford

4. Highest Placed ISH at the World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses, Le Lion d’Angers 2014
Cooley Dream Extreme (ISH)
Breeder: Frank Gordon, Co. Mayo

5. Owner and breeder of the most successful young event horse 2014
Rioghan Rua (ISH)
Breeder: Margaret Kinsella, Galway

6. Highest placed showjumping rookie in the WBFSH rankings 2014
Special Lux (ISH)
Breeder: Des and Seamus Judge, Co. Mayo

7. Breeder utilising modern breeding technologies with success
Pembrook Milenia (ISH)
Breeder: Finbarr and Joanne Mulligan, Co. Wicklow

8. Highest Placed ISH at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses, Lanaken 2014
Ard Ginger Pop (ISH)
Breeder: Heather Dean Wright, Meath

9. Breeders of the winning Nations Cup Team Odense
Dougie Douglas (ISH) – 2005 gelding by Ard VDL Douglas (KWPN) out of Neills Girl (ISH), by High Roller (ISH). Bred by John O’Brien, Co. Limerick.
Santa Cruise II (ISH) – 2004 gelding by Randi (HANN) out of Tamerarra (ISH), by Cruising (ISH). Bred by Hartwell Stud, Co. Kildare.
A Touch Imperious (ISH) – 2004 gelding by Touchdown (ISH) out of Cavimperius (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Leo Rice, Co. Monaghan.
Touchable (ISH) – 2001 mare by Touchdown (ISH) out of Irco Rain (ISH), by Irco Mena (SWB). Bred by Dr. Noel Cawley, Co. Kildare.

10. Breeder of top ISH showing mare 2014
Inistioge Best Betty (ISH)
Breeder: Thomas Smyth, Co. Kilkenny

11. Breeder of top Irish Draught showing mare 2014
Elm View (ID)
Breeder: Raymond Sloyan, Co. Mayo

12. Irish Sport Horse mare that achieved highest scores at inspection 2014
Cillbhrid April (ISH)
Breeder: Richard Power, Co. Waterford.

13. Irish Draught mare that achieved highest scores at inspection 2014
Gweebarra Genesis (ID)
Breeder: Charmaine Kee, C.o Donegal

14. Leading event horse stallion in the WBFSH sire rankings
Master Imp (TB)
Breeder: Barbara Hatton accepting award on behalf of the late Loftus O’Neill, Slyguff Stud, Co. Carlow

15. Outstanding contribution award to ISH breeding
Mary McCann, Co. Kildare