SUGGESTIONS that the sport horse bubble had burst proved premature at Goresbridge last week, and while the prices had undoubtedly steadied since the May renewal, the opening sessions of older horses encouragingly mirrored those from 12 months ago.

Headed by a top return of €26,000, and with a further 16 lots smashing the five-figure bench mark, both sessions of older horses produced a 76% clearance (76% in 2021) while the average closed at €6,558 (€6,406).

The prices were boosted by a strong online presence (29 individual successful purchases), which interestingly included a number of prominent customers who were returning to buy in Ireland, having previously sourced their stock from Europe. Citing the complexities of Brexit as a reason, they were encouraged by the quality of stock on offer, and have pledged to return.

This bodes well for the industry as a whole, and led Goresbridge’s Martin Donohoe to comment: “Trade is very buoyant still, even though the signs had indicated it might have fallen. To be honest on the run up to the sale, and with having such a big catalogue, we didn’t anticipate such a good outcome, but these are once again a very solid set of results.

“This is testament to the stock the vendors are bringing to us - it’s all about the horses at the end of the day and Mary Frances and I are both grateful and delighted that the vendors are putting their trust in us.”

The opening pony sector also delivered two returns in excess of €10,000, but demand was patchy leading to a clearance of 48% together with an average of €4,804.

Dean Rogan’s Silvermines Gwood Lady (Lot 154) fetched €16,500 \ Sally Parkyn


Wednesday’s session ran late into the evening, but the wait was more than worthwhile for PJ Kearns and connections, whose much admired home-bred mare Southfork Quality (Lot 163) changed hands for a whopping €26,000.

Not over big, the six-year-old daughter of OBOS Quality was the first of four progeny out of the German-bred mare Erina by Abke, and had bred two foals. As a result, she was not broken in until just before Christmas last year, since when she has been quietly produced by Kearns’ granddaughter Rachel together with her partner Martin Curran.

The Co Waterford pair had put considerable effort into marketing the mare prior to sale, and having put up an exhibition of jumping under Curran, she was eventually secured by Darren Walsh (Emerald Irish Horses UK).

Walsh, who originates from Ratoath, but has been resident in Nottinghamshire for the past 20 years, was considerably upbeat about his purchase, commenting: “We are always happy to buy from Martin and Rachel because they do them so well and this type of mare is very hard to find. We had seen the videos of her, and she looked pure class. She reminds me of an elastic band and does everything right. We will probably give her a few shows, and if she’s not sold, we will give her a break.”

Another jumping mare to catch the eye was Dean Rogan’s Silvermines GWood Lady (Lot 154), a five-year-old by Glynnwood Cornet out of Hortensia de Litrange (Quel Hero de Muze). A picture to watch under saddle, the grey was sourced as a foal from her breeder Clement Stapleton, and is half-sister to the useful jumper Silvermines Cruising (Harry Allen).

She also bred a foal last year, but now ready to progress competitively looked well bought by the renowned McTimoney practitioner buyer Mark Windsor. Taking time out from his busy UK based schedule - Windsor looks after many of the major racing and show jumping yards including Paul Nichols and Dan Skelton - Windsor was making only his second visit to the venue.

“I saw the video and just kept returning to it,” he said. “She looked lovely, and will go jumping with my partner Cath Evans.”

Janet Burke’s 148cm pony The Rebel Son was sold for €12,200 \ Sally Parkyn


Standing out among the numerous supplementary entries was the smart Chicago (Lot 504) a six-year-old by Cinsey out of Cascarin by Cascari. Consigned by Jason Higgins, and passing through the ring as one of the last lots on late on Wednesday evening, the gelding realised a healthy €12,500 when knocked down online to eventing customer Fiona Davidson.

Thursday morning’s opening session was a little sluggish to start with but soon came to life when Sheena Meegan’s home-bred mare by Ricardo Royale (Lot 185) garnered a return of €11,800. A fully warranted individual with show jumping mileage, she was one of two lots knocked down to regular competition horse buyer Katrina Hirst.

A further two lots changed hands for €11,500 the first of which was Sean Lenehan’s Hillside Tyson (Lot 110). A home-bred son of Tyson out of the grade A jumping mare Hillside de Reve, this gelding had clocked up 57 SJI points and had, under Gabriel Slattery Jnr and Michael Morrin, qualified for the Cavan age championship this autumn.

“Really pleased,” said the Knock-based vendor. “We have his half-brother by Glasgow Vant Merelsnest aiming to come here in September, so hope this is an indication of good things to come.”

Signing the docket was a somewhat surprised Gerty Tynan, who later revealed had come to the sale with no intention to buy. “I just couldn’t resist him. He’s a very, very nice horse,” she said.

Hillside Tyson (Lot 110) was sold to Gerty Tynan for €11,500 \ Sally Parkyn

A few lots later Warwickshire show jumping buyer Caron Nicol accounted for Miley Dunning’s well-produced I’ve Got De Muze (Lot 133) for the same amount.

Sourced as a foal, and educated quietly by Joyce Veld, the six-year-old son of I’m Special de Muze was one of several snapped up online by Nicol who, as a major show jumping buyer, trades under the banner of European Sport Horses.

She explained her reasons for returning buying Irish horses after an absence of many years. “With the Brexit logistics it has become so difficult to buy out of Holland and Belgium now. Having looked at the videos, I have been seen some very nice horses over the past few days, and have a feeling I would like to return.”

As has become the norm, quiet horses with either hunting or competitive form proved the most popular. Jim Derwin added to his haul when buying Joe Gurran’s well-related home-bred Knockmurry Time Ginger (Lot 83) for €10,700, while later the same day, regular American customer Chrissa Gillette paid €10,600 for Benny Crowley’s traditionally bred five-year-old Woodwalk Elvis (Lot 119). This latter, who is a part Connemara by Rocklawn Elvis, was sourced as a foal and slowly produced.

Warwickshire show jumping buyer Caron Nicol accounted for Miley Dunning’s I’ve Got De Muze (Lot 133) at €11,500 \ Sally Parkyn


Although the trade for ponies was patchy, some buyers appeared to have unrealistic reserves. That said, two lots sold notably well, especially Janet Burke’s The Rebel Son (Lot 39) who was knocked down to Laura Geraghty for €12,200.

Only a five-year-old, this son of Newtown Rebel had hunted with the Duhallow Foxhounds and, with his owner in the saddle, had won an event at Hillcrest. A few lots earlier, the Kenny family’s Glencroft Limited Edition changed hands privately to Tiernan Gray for €10,000.

A full report on the four- and three-year-olds will appear next week.

Top returns older horses

  • PJ Kearns’ Southfork Quality, six-year-old mare by OBOS Quality (dam by Abke) €26,000.
  • Dean Rogan’s Silvermines Gwood Lady, five-year-old mare by Glynnwood Cornet (dam by Quel Hero de Muze) €16,500.
  • Jason Higgins’ Chicago , six-year-old gelding by Cinsey (dam by Cascari) €12,500.
  • Janet Burke’s The Rebel Son, five-year-old 148cms gelding by Mewtown Rebel (dam by Tulira Robuck) €12,200.
  • Sheena Meegan’s Queen of the Silver Dollar, five-year-old mare by Ricardo Royale (dam by Coevers Diamond Boy) €11,800.