A major agricultural show in Ireland has responded to concerns about the future of the true Irish hunter with the launch of the inaugural Irish-bred ridden hunter championship.
The organisers of Cork Show hope the championship this Sunday (19 June) will become a showcase for the traditional Irish type and will attract buyers, many of whom have expressed disquiet that breeders have started to move away from Irish-bred stallions in favour of continental sires.
Horse & Hound showing columnist Katie Jerran supported this view when she wrote in her February column: “It’s sad that Irish breeders are moving away from the Irish Draught-Thoroughbred – to me, the best in the world – and are using warmblood stallions on Irish mares. This is not because they no longer believe in their traditional stock, but because they believe this is what the market wants.”
All entrants must be registered as foals with the Irish Horse Board and must be by an Approved or S1 Thoroughbred, Registered Irish Draught or Irish Sport Horse stallion. Dams must also be by such stallions and must also be registered with the Irish Horse Board.
The two highest placed horses in each of the ridden hunter classes at the show will go forward to the championship, which is being supported by the Irish Horse Board.
Big money at Scottish Masters
A £29,000 prize-fund has been allocated to a new show, the Dabbs Scottish Masters, to be held at Dabbs, Fife, on 22-25 September.
Horses and ponies will have to qualify throughout the season for a wide range of classes, including novice and open working hunters, ridden hacks, cobs, riding horses, show ponies, SHP, WHP, M&M ridden and workers, Arabs, side-saddle and coloureds.
With first prizes of £200 and championships of £300, there will also be a Grand Master first prize of £1,000, with £500 to the reserve.
For more information (tel: 01337 831244) or visit: www.dabbs.info