WE will be glued to Badminton this weekend where we will be cheering on the Irish-bred horses and riders, of course (!), as they bid for glory in Gloucestershire; between it and the five-star Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day event, there is scarcely a more spectacular sporting occasion to rival either of these two top events.
The razor sharp competition on course is matched only by the palable buzz of the returning crowds who have, not surprisingly, sold out Badminton this weekend. We will have full coverage next week. A special mention must go to to Co Down international event rider, Joseph Murphy, on his wonderful top 10 finish with the very talented Calmaro in Kentucky; they came ninth overall in the five-star and fittingly grace our front cover this week. (See Judith Faherty’s report on page 89.)
On the home front, Sally Parkyn and Margie McLoone bring you unrivalled coverage of all the eventing action at Ballindenisk International (pages 94-97) this week. There were very notable performances at the Co Cork venue, which rightly received high praise from both home and overseas riders for all the significant improvements they have made in recent times, from Ireland’s Ian Cassells, Camilla Speirs, Jenny Kuehnle and young Georgina Pettit (15). They gave the overseas riders a good run for the top honours.
Meanwhile, in the sales ring at Goresbridge on Wednesday and Thursday, there was flying trade for Irish-bred sport horses and ponies. Trade proved truly exceptional as Sally Parkyn reports (see pages 98-100). There were two €30,000 lots and many others sold for five-figure sums. In all, there was over €1.5 million in turnover emanating from the sales podium at Goresbridge this week; that represents a vital injection of funds into all levels of the Irish sport horse industry.
It’s wonderful to see such trade and it gives confidence to breeders, owners, riders and producers. If they produce the right product, the market is there for them and a good one at that. Well done to the entire Goresbridge team.