ONCE again, the prizemoney-based Hippomundo (www.hippomundo.com) rankings deliver great news for Irish breeders and breeding at the start of a new year.

Simon Scott bred Pacino Amiro (Pacino - Carnone Dancing Queen, by NC Amiro), the world’s second-highest earning show jumping horse in 2022.

This outstanding achievement placed the Donegal man fifth, amongst the top European studs and powerhouse breeders, in these global show jumping breeders rankings.

The just-turned 11-year-old gelding’s biggest payday (€500,000) was earned at the Global Champions Tour final in Prague last November when Bertram Allen, Michael G. Duffy (Clitschko 17) and Miami Celtics teammate Edouard Schmitz (Gamin Van’t Naastveldhof) won the Global Champions League Super Cup jump-off.

His half-million paycheque placed Pacino Amiro - now a modern-day Paddy’s Son four-legged folk hero to Donegal breeders and show jumping fans - up there amongst the likes of Killer Queen VDM, Leone Jei and King Edward.

“For a horse to go that well and be second in the rankings, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for that to happen,” Simon told The Irish Field this week.

“You can breed away at horses but you generally have to breed from the dam that has good technique and then, you have to have luck. There’s a lot of boxes to have ticked: the right owner, the right jockey, the horse in the right place, the whole thing has to be right. Bertram is a top, top man, one of the best riders in the world.”

“I sold a half-share in Pacino Amiro’s half-brother, now turned a yearling. He was a late foal but he’s grown away and has changed a lot in the past month. We may sell him as a three-year-old, we’ll see.”

Vanir Kamira’s Burghley win not only catapulted both this Irish Sport Horse mare and her breeder Kate Stevens to the top of the event horse and event breeder rankings but sealed the Irish Sport Horse studbook’s domination of the Hippomundo eventing results.

This is the second time Vanir Kamira has topped the Hippomundo rankings in recent years, having done so previously in 2019.

Scottish-born Kate, (then Jackson), bred the Trevor Dickens-owned and Piggy March-piloted Burghley winner and Badminton fourth-placed ‘wonder mare’ while living in Co Monaghan. The same county where Vanir Kamira’s sire stood with the late Ronnie Hollinger.

In fact, between Vanir Kamira’s connections, a leading event sire title for Camiro de Haar Z, another standout year for Clem McMahon’s Pacino, sire too of the Francis Brennan-bred Dondante and a first-time appearance in the Irish show jumping breeders top-10 for another Monaghan breeder, Gerry Marron, it was a vintage year for the ‘Drumlin County’.

Kate Stevens, who bred her 'once in a lifetime horse' Vanir Kamira (ISH), pictured at her Wiltshire home

Seven figures

Two more breeders – Jenny Glynn and Maria Keating – complete a ‘girl power’ clean sweep by Irish Sport Horse breeders on the top-10 eventing leaderboard, courtesy of Capels Hollow Drift and Swallow Springs.

It was a breakthrough year for Tom Jackson with his Badminton top-20 and Burghley runner-up Capels Hollow Drift (Shannondale Sarco - Lucky Crest, by Lucky Gift) bred near Kilrush by Jenny. She finishes 2022 as Hippomundo’s leading Irish event horse breeder.

Badminton proved crucial too for Swallow Springs (Chillout - Kilila, by Cult Hero). He placed third there with Oliver Townend and the generous prize money on offer at five-star level, a rare financial reward for event horse owners, was a key part of this year’s results.

Living dams of successful five-star horses are just as scarce and although, sadly, Jenny lost Lucky Gift last year, Tuam-based Maria is fortunate to still retain Kilila.

Number one spot

More Hippomundo results include the Irish Sport Horse eventing studbook retaining its number one record in these rankings, having already reclaimed this title in last year’s World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) equivalent.

In show jumping, there was another move up the pecking order as the Irish Sport Horse studbook continues to climb, having moved from 11th (2020) to 10th (2021) and now one more place to ninth in 2022.

Just the top-five event horses and half a dozen dressage horses earned six-figures last year, compared to 245 show jumping horses. Avant Toi (245th. €100,027) rounded off this high-earning group, headed by the Belgian-bred Killer Queen.

By Eldorado van de Zeshoek, she regained her Hippomundo leading show jumping horse title from 2020 and was the sole horse in the rankings to require another comma for her 2022 earnings, smashing the seven-figure barrier on €1,049,436.

The “Dancing Queen” TSF Dalera BB is another ‘only horse’. She retained her Hippomundo leading dressage horse title from last year and also completed a WBFSH-Hippomundo number one horse double in the 2022 rankings.

Early promise: Jenny Glynn receiving an award for Le Lion d’Angers silver-medal horse Capels Hollow Drift from Edward Doyle at the HSI Breeders Awards in December 2018 \ Susan Finnerty

Sire rankings

Changes abounded otherwise in the sire rankings. Diamant de Semilly overtook longtime show jumping leading stallion Chacco-Blue; Quaterback muscled in on Easy Game’s run in the dressage sire rankings and Camiro de Haar Z bounced to the top of the eventing sire leaderboard after Vanir Kamira’s golden year.

It was a similarly outstanding year for Irish riders with no less than five in the Hippomundo top-30 show jumping rankings. Daniel Deusser topped this one, being the only rider to earn more than €2 million in prize money last year (€2,452,242).

The Irish top-five were led by Conor Swail (Fifth. €1,462,935), Bertram Allen (Seventh. €1,298,664), Shane Sweetnam (Ninth. €1,135,015), Paul O’Shea (26th. €776,312) and Daniel Coyle (30th. €755,270).

Their leading horses? Count Me In (HANN. Count Grannus. €585,015), Pacino Amiro (ISH. Pacino. €946,710), James Kann Cruz (ISH. Kannan. €549,732), Imerald van’t Voorhof (BWP. Emerald. €296,320) and Legacy (ZANG. Chippendale Z. €414,790).

So two Irish Sport Horses amongst the five leading Irish riders’ top horses. Another bonus. The Ita Brennan-bred and Mikey Pender-campaigned HHS Calais (€556,367) has been a model of consistency in recent Hippomundo years and together with Pacino Amiro and James Kann Cruz, completes a group of three Irish Sport Horses to have earned more than half-a-million euros last year.

Detailed analysis to follow next week, including a look at Lux Z and Cruising’s legacy as dam sires.

For this week, as congratulations flooded in on social media, there’s the accomplishments of four breeders and four Irish Sport Horses in the Hippomundo top-10 to celebrate and a potential Badminton rendezvous to plan for a delighted trio.

Next week: Strike rates, statistics and sires.

One of the few living dams of a five-star event horse: Maria Keating with Swallow Springs dam Kilila

What the Top-10 ISH breeders said

“IT’s a great reward when you’re working all the time with horses and great publicity too for all the Irish breeders. The horse industry is a small world, everybody knows everybody and it’s important it goes well. Selling the horse on often does you more good sometimes than keeping them! To sell a horse that does well and then look at the publicity you get, it’s super.

Simon Scott.

“It’s all very surreal but wonderful all the same! I rather wish I still had a couple of broodmares! For Christmas, my youngest son Mike has promised to take us to the Badminton cross-country day, so I’m already looking forward to seeing Tilly [Vanir Kamira] in action again this year.”

Kate (Jackson) Stevens.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be in the Hippomundo top-10 eventing breeders list. Capels Hollow Drift is just an amazing horse that keeps on giving, it’s a huge privilege to keep up the West Clare tradition of breeding top event horses.”

Jenny Glynn.

“I’m so delighted and honoured to have bred Swallow Springs. I’m hoping that I might get to see him in the flesh this year at an event. This list is probably the only time I’d be happy with a 10th place!”

Maria Keating.

Eventing tables

Show Jumping tables