IT was a Horse Show of champions bowing out between Parkmore Evita, the most successful show broodmare of recent years and a swansong Ring 1 outing for three-time champion Elm View and Assagart Kingstead Fiona in the Irish Draught mare classes.
As one door closed, another opened when Liam Lynskey finally clinched the Irish Draught mare championship with his own DS Bounce With Me Baby. A previous winner of the young mare class four years ago, when she stood reserve champion, her crowning moment arrived last week.
“I suppose this win was more special after losing her father Moylough Bouncer earlier this year. She’s a very special mare with the kindest nature and we took great pride in her qualifying for the Breeders’ Championship,” commented Liam.
“As far as we’ve heard, ‘Baby’ is the only mare to have competed in the Irish Draught broodmare with a foal at foot class, the Breeders’ [Championship] and then compete in a ridden class, where she came second to the eventual overall ridden supreme champion William and Grace’s [McMahon] Gleann Rua Da Vinci,” he added about this extremely multi-tasking eight-year-old, bred by Brendan Duffy.
Second in the champion’s class was Kenneth and Wendy Bell’s home-bred Castleview Farmers Lady, a former Limerick Lady champion by Tors Gentleman Farmer and third was PJ and Majella Glynn’s latest find Edenagor Rosie, by Carrickrock Close Shave.
In the opening young mare class, Pat Hoare’s exceptional Dublin continued when his Coolcronan Wood-sired Moylough Broadway saw off the challenge of Enda Hamill’s home-bred Gweebarra Realta, a winner here four years ago as a foal and by Millhollow Real McCoy. In third was Julianne Corrigan’s Fair Holly, by Harkaway Lionhawk.
On Henrietta Knight’s first time judging Irish Draughts, although her seventh occasion judging at Dublin, she was paired with Jean-Luc Dufour for the native horse classes. They opted for Lynskey’s grey as champion with Moylough Broadway, bred in Co Dublin by Paul Clarke, in reserve.
The split between mare classes held in the morning and foal classes in the evening was another less-popular change to Thursday’s timetable, with few spectators remaining on for the foal championship.
Here the Mayo winning streak continued when Dominic Cassidy’s Gortfree Boy won the Draught foal title. By Gortfree Hero, his earlier win in the colt foal class was another Dublin first for his owner. Second was John Bracken’s Dunsandle Diamond colt, ahead of Peter McHugh’s by Moylough Legacy.
Another Moylough Legacy foal, Des McDonnell and Bridget Devaney’s Crossmolina Countess, was the reserve champion foal. Out of Clew Bay Countess, she stood top of the filly foal class, ahead of Patrick Finn’s Gweebarra Dreamtime Star and Seamus Sloyan’s Kilmovee Lionhawk fillies.
The part-bred foal class attracted three entries with Liam Lynskey’s DS Baby Chics, by his own Cruising For Chics and out of the champion mare, taking the red here. “She just took the eye right away, she was eye-catching, she moved, she had everything that I liked and the champion foal was another good mover,” remarked Knight, who ranked good movement high on her list.
“I was very impressed by the forelegs on a lot of the Draughts. In the past there was a little bit of a problem with the Connemaras and Irish Draughts in that they were a little bit back of the knee. I find I’ve barely seen one bad foreleg this year and I was very impressed with the short cannons too .
“Possibly, the Irish Draughts, now the way they’re being bred, they’ve probably got more movement than the Connemaras. Maybe the old traditional Irish Draught, because they had more of a job to do in the fields and so on, they maybe didn’t move as extravagantly. Nowadays everybody wants horses to go on and do other things and I think it’s important that they must have the movement,” she added.