A dispute between the warring co-owners of an Irish show jumping horse had to be settled in the High Court in Belfast when one owner refused to allow the horse to compete at the Failte Dublin Horse Show (5-9 August).
But on 30 July a judge ruled the chestnut Irish Sports Horse mare Touchable should go to the show. The 16.1hh horse competed in the eight-year-old and over class on 5 August, finishing on four faults.
Jude Doherty, from County Down, was seeking an injunction to stop fellow owner Pamela Posnett entering Touchable, claiming it could jeopardise the value of the horse, who is due to be sold.
Mr Doherty also claimed Mrs Posnett’s daughter, 26-year old Suzanne, was not experienced enough a rider to cope with the Dublin course.
Speaking at the show on 6 August a delighted Mrs Posnett said: “I’m pleased that we won [the court case] but it was quite unnecessary.
“I bought into Touchable when she was a five-year-old. she went brilliantly yesterday.”
The horse went on to finish on eight faults in the eight years and over class on 7 August.
Mr Doherty declined to speak to H&H but during the court case said he wanted to prevent Touchable competing because although she had “unique quality and ability”, the horse lacked confidence and might refuse or get injured on the demanding Dublin course.
He was concerned that this would devalue the sale price.
Mrs Posnett, also from County Down, claimed the Dublin Horse Show was the perfect shop window for selling Touchable and that her daughter, who has her own yard, was perfectly competent.
John Sheridan, spokesman for the Show Jumping Association of Ireland said: “I’ve never come across a legal case like this before.
“I’ve seen Touchable jumping a couple of times and she’s very talented. Any horse jumping at that level is valuable to Irish show jumping.”
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (13 August, ’09)