ALTHOUGH rain mostly held off on Saturday, bar a couple of showers, several monsoon-like showers hit the following day but didn’t deter horse owners from turning out. Once again, Charleville attracted the best-supported classes seen to date each year and an opportunity to see more mare and foal entries.

John Conifey selected John Roche’s Assagart Mistress as the first of Sunday’s champions when the home-bred Kings Master bay, a former Limerick Lady winner, took the broodmare title home to Wexford.

Champion here in 2018, she is due to foal much later this year to Roche’s Irish Draught stallion Assagart All For One, the Lansdown son of his Dublin mare champion Assagart Kingstead Fiona.

The reserve broodmare title was won by Gairdín Mór Spirit, owned by a delighted Eoin Jennings, from Leap. At 20, he bought the Spirit House-Munther mare from his uncle Thomas Nyhan.

“I wanted to keep the pure traditional breeding. She comes from a long line of winners. Her grandmother Gairdín Mór Silver, a multiple RDS and All Ireland Irish Draught winner, was bred by my aunt Helen Nyhan.”

A Charleville winner as a yearling and two-year-old, she won the young horse championship at Barryroe and was reserve Limerick Lady champion for her young owner.

Gairdín Mor Spirit’s Watermill Swatch foal then matched her dam’s tally, standing reserve champion foal to John Burchill’s Haven Hi Hope, a filly by the Dutch-bred Tyson.

The lucrative Horse Sport Ireland broodmare class, judged by racehorse trainer Edward O’Grady, started a good run for the winner: Patrick Wafer’s Parkmore Evita, as both she and another Ghareeb mare - Slatequarry Sasha - qualified for The Irish Field Breeders Championship eventing section.

Both their filly foals are by Tyson and both mares are previous winning dams in the Dublin final. Slatequarry Sasha, mentioned coincidentally in former owner Paula Howard’s Breeders 10 feature last week, is now owned by John Burchill and is his first Breeders Championship entry.

In the Breeders Championship show jumping qualifier section, Sally Parkyn and Maurice Coleman’s two picks here were Liz Murphy’s RockNRoll and Joan Ruttle’s Harlequin Charm.

“She’s by Pacino, her dam is by Nigrasine and her grandam by Aristocracy. I bought her last year from her breeder Brian Clinghan in the North and sold last year’s foal to Richard Howley in the UK, from the [Mayo/Roscommon] breeders select foal sale that I am involved in,” said Liz.

“Her half-brother, called Rockshore won the Balmoral four-year-old event horse class in Balmoral a few years ago and her foal this year is a colt by Quality Time, based with Marion Hughes.”

Some people bought camper vans or air fryers during lockdown; Joan Ruttle bought a broodmare. Her Harlequin du Carel-Cavalier Royale lockdown project, bred by Eamon O’Dwyer, was shown at Charleville by her 6’7” Detective Garda husband Liam.

“It was Joan’s idea to buy a mare with the thinking being we’d have our own horses then for Carol and Nathan.” Both young Ruttles have won in Dublin with their ponies but this is another first-time Breeders Championship appearance for the Limerick family who chose the Chacco-Blue son Conticco as last year’s covering sire.

Jenny Burchill was busy in the adjoining ring, where in another family link, she showed Strike The Pose, the second of Tyson’s Charleville champions, to win the young horse riband.

“We bought him from Michael O’Callaghan in Co. Clare who sources most of my young horses for me. Michael sourced him from Anthony McCormack, who bred him in Mullingar. My lifelong friend Finbarr [McCarthy] has a half-share in him,” said his co-owner Regina Daly.

“I’m very lucky as he is beautifully produced by my sister Jenny, who always does an amazing job.”

Back To Black: Mr Milseáin and Fionnuala Moloney Carey had a sweet win in the Charleville cob class \ Susan Finnerty

The reserve champion title went to Darragh Glynn’s home-bred Crannaghmore Emir’s Cailin, shown by partner Niamh Varley. Her father John stands the three-year-old filly’s sire Elusive Emir, while the dam is a former All Ireland traditional foal champion.

Competing a golden run of Charleville wins for Kylemore Stud stallions, following the wins by Tyson and Watermill Swatch progeny, was the Womanizer-sired Brownstowns Blue Steel.

His working hunter title win, followed by an eventful presentation ceremony (when his owner Amelia Furnell picked herself and the silver cup up off the ground with a smile) means a Charleville working hunter title apiece for her and brother Dominic. Dominic, who won here in 2017 with Ballycahane Silver Vixen, had intended to bring Sunday’s champion to the now-cancelled Kilguilkey International this weekend but will instead reroute to Ballindenisk.

“It did take us a while to find him, he came from the Curragh last Spring as a very green five-year-old. We searched the country for him and the minute Amelia sat up on him, she said ‘I’m going to buy him!’ She’s got so many offers for him since.”

A winner last year of the Dublin qualifier at Scarteen, his most recent outing with Dominic was at Millstreet International, where the Robert Draper-bred placed fourth in the CCI* Intro.

The reserve champion came from the four-year-old class (where Ballycahane Silver Vixen’s first foal, a Pointilliste daughter, also finished in the ribbons), won by Ella Geary with her Greannanstown Ivy Rose.

“She’s by KEC Maximum Joe and I bought her in early May. ‘Ivy’ has been a pleasure to bring on, it was only her second outing on Sunday and we were delighted with how she performed. I hope to aim her for the four-year-old event horse class in the RDS this summer.”

Stars align for Feldman

More Dublin hopefuls lined out in the ridden horse classes where Ciaran Feldman’s KBF Paved With Stars, by the eventing sire Wish Upon A Star, won the hunter title.

“I brought him home in October after doing a season with Jayne Ross over in England. He’s really turning into a special horse and clocking up some great results such as working hunter champion at the Show of the East and supreme working hunter champion at the Northern Ireland Festival!”

“Today we also completed in the novice working hunter to finish second. I was delighted with him as it was the toughest track we’ve jumped to date. I plan to go SJI with him during the winter and do some eventing and workers next year. I really enjoyed the big hunter ring as I could really go for the gallop,” added Ciaran about his middleweight winner.

Reserve champion was Alicia Devlin Byrne’s lightweight class winner, Chesterfield King Curtis. This combination followed up by topping the RDS senior side-saddle qualifier while Emily Pearson topped the intermediate qualifier with Suilen Dunally. Side-saddle ride judge Maeve Carty came in for much praise from exhibitors and onlookers alike.

The final Charleville championship was the ridden horse crown won by Ciara Mullen’s four-year-old riding horse class winner Chantilly On The Rocks. In reserve was Lyndsey O’Brien’s dual winner of the Irish Draught and amateur classes: Creevagh Stables Mr Bloomfield.

Dogora, trained by Willie Mullins in his racing days, won the Treo Eile open Racehorse to Riding Horse class for Joanne Jones, while in another ‘second career’ connection, it was a back-to-back Charleville win for Fionnuala Moloney Carey in the cob class. This year, it was was Kate Boyce’s Mr Milseáin that obliged for the lady who does sterling work rehoming retired greyhounds, including some that belonged to the late Tim Heenan.

One suggestion for future Sundays at Charleville is a supreme horse championship, same as Saturday’s pony equivalent. Over to you, Charleville!

"Well done." Edward O'Grady with Parkmore Evita, the Horse Sport Ireland broodmare class winner at Charleville. Patrick Wafer's winner, shown by nephews Maurice and Seamus, also qualified for The Irish Field Breeders Championship with her Tyson foal \ Susan Finnerty