THE sales’ season got off to a promising start last week, when Cavan’s one-day fixture produced a very solid set of returns.

Boding well for the year ahead, business was lively from the get-go and, while the figures didn’t match the heady heights of those from 2022, there were four five-figure prices and plenty more clustering well.

The clearance of 77% (94% in 2022) was still highly satisfactory, as was the average which closed at €5,690 in comparison to €6,706 12 months ago. These deficits did mean that the turnover dipped to €369,850 (€543,350) but - emerging out of yet another lockdown - last year’s figures were, by any standards, extraordinary. Trade buyers accounted for the bulk of the day’s returns, although there was a strong private presence online.

Topping the day’s trading at €12,500 was Kieran Kennedy’s Ryagan Lad (Lot 79), a five-year-old by Lancelot out of Clonkett Lady by Tannenhofs Carmelito. Bred by Marguerite Egan and sourced by Kennedy as a foal, the gelding is a full-brother to the Japanese-ridden event horse Sunnyville Lass (CCI3*) and a half-sibling to the British-based novice campaigner Cougar Bay.

Well produced by Christian Kennedy (14), the gelding has, according to the vendor, “the most wonderful temperament”.

Richard Doyle's Isa V (Lot 40), a German-bred mare by Zirocco Blue out of Daphne (Lupicor) was secured by Britain's Nicole Browne for €11,200 \ Cavan EC


Another to sell well at €11,500 was Suzanne Kirwan’s 148cms pony Lucky McKel (Lot 27), a home-bred three-year-old by Lucky Luck who was the first and only foal out of out of the well-related grade A jumping mare Kelso by Furisto.

It is unusual for a three-year-old pony to realise this sort of figure but, hailing from an exceptional family, (the dam is a sibling to Credit Cruise (1.50m) and from the immediate line of Deep Pockets (1.45m) and LCC Empty Pockets), Kirwan explained this was no ordinary pony.

“I jumped the dam and had the ideology of keeping her bloodlines going,” she said. “However, the mare was 23 years old at foaling, and the filly was born three weeks early and was tiny. She’s been a complete miracle throughout her life and has always wanted to jump.”

Although it was not possible to showcase her on the day at Cavan, Kirwan had posted plenty of videos online. “The interest in her was phenomenal. I knew she was going to make something special and sold her with a heavy heart.” Competition was fierce for this smart filly, but eventually the hammer fell in favour of regular pony producer Laura Geraghty.

The Kelly family's pony, Lord Mashed Potatoe, fetched €7,100 at Cavan Sales on Wednesday \ Cavan EC

Older stock

Trade was solid enough for the older stock, among which was Richard Doyle’s Isa V (Lot 40), a high-class German bred mare by Zirocco Blue out of Daphne (Lupicor). Imported four years ago, the 10-year-old mare was initially produced in Ireland by Jason Foley, and having clocked up 24 SJI points (in classes to 1.30m) has since bred a foal. Co Kilkenny producer Diarmuid Ryan was in the saddle to showcase this smart sort, who at €11,200, was secured by British trade buyer Nicole Browne.

Another to sell well at €9,300 was Lucia McNamee’s SJ Nice Guy (Lot 45), an eight-year-old gelding by Figaro VD Heffinck out of Right Direction (Saracen Hill). A catalogue pick on paper, this straightforward campaigner had competed up to 1.30m to win 69 SJI points and, described as an easy all-rounder and very forgiving, he looked well bought by Sligo trader Tiernan Gray.

Probably the most prolific customer on the day was David Sheerin of the Hampshire-based competition and training centre, Wellington Riding. Accompanied by clients, Sheerin snapped up 10 lots including Paul McCloskey’s unnamed (Lot 71) mare by Castleview Inisfree Farmer out of Woodbank Clover (Dunbeggan Grey Mist) at €9,200. The aforementioned was one of several traditionally bred lots to shine, and indeed shared her return with another, namely Fortside Farms’ five-year-old Fortside Connecticut (Lot 74) by Pointilliste out of Casey Coevers (Coevers Diamond Boy).

Having racked up 52 SJI points under Brian Moran, the latter looks to be a high-class dual purpose prospect and, highly recommended, was knocked down to south of England commercial customer, Michael Kelly.


The final five-figure return at €10,400 fell to Keith Wilson’s four-year-old Blackhawk Bay (Lot 89), a gelding by the Connemara pony Kilrooskey Boy out of the grade B jumping mare Belle Du Soir by Hairos (by Democraat). One of 10 of the age group to change hands, this Catherine McCourt and Liam Buckley-bred gelding was sourced through the same sale ring at the end of last year and is a sibling to two FEI registered horses.

North of England producer Percy Telfer was at ringside to secure this one, while Westport’s Sam Wilson accounted for Keith Wilson’s quiet cob pony mare Ballymagan Bessy (Lot 25) for the next best price at €7,200.


The small session of youngstock was modest, with just five changing hands (45% clearance) at an average of €2,960. The top price of €4,000 fell to John Waites’ Killine Cheeky Charlie (Lot 115) a home-bred yearling colt by the thoroughbred sire Road To Happiness (dam by Powerswood Purple).

The vendor was also restocking and secured the 11-year-old Dundrum Summer Cruise (Lot 123) by Night Cruise, who headed the mare returns at €3,000.

Irish Draughts

A disappointing closing session of Irish Draughts saw just half of the six who passed through the ring change hands.

The prices were well down on last year’s equivalent leading to an average of €2,267 (€4,767) and turnover of €6,800. Lorraine Flannery’s home-bred Potion (Lot 135) was the best of the trio, and this four-year-old by WRS Sunrich out of Silver Lady Fairyhill by Young Carrabawn was yet another secured by Wellington Riding.



Registered Irish Draught