MYSELF and my late husband Gerry have been involved with ponies and horses for many years, starting off with a pony in the back garden.

My interest expanded from there through our own children show jumping and continuing on to the next generation in the grand kids. Once they outgrew the ponies, I decided to buy two sport horse broodmares as a way to stay involved with horses and to keep me active through my retirement.

1. Congratulations, you are the breeder of Sligo Cavalier Candy (Sligo Candy Boy - HHS Miss Cavalier, by Cavalier Royale). Now owned by Padraig Howley in Enniscrone, Sligo Cavalier Candy was the sole Irish-bred sport horse to pass Stage 1 at this year’s Horse Sport Ireland inspections in Cavan. Tell us more about the horse and his family?

I bought HHS Miss Cavalier (Cavalier Royale - Tilda’s Best, by King’s Best. Breeder: John B. Hughes) about six years ago from Co Offaly. A friend of mine previously had a Cavalier Royale mare and since then, I liked the breed.

I am delighted with the quality of the foals that she is producing. An 11-year-old, she has also bred Royale Tyson, a yearling colt by Tyson and a month-old full-brother to Sligo Cavalier Candy.

Sligo Cavalier Candy was a striking foal, with a lovely temperament. Padraig Howley bought him after I sent him a video of the foal and he has done a great job in having him passed as a Stage 1 stallion.

2. Proudest moment as a breeder?

Breeding Sligo Cavalier Candy.

3. Any other favourite bloodlines?

Skyboy, Clover Hill and Cornet Obolensky.

4. How many broodmares do you currently have/foals due this year?

I have two broodmares: Sligo Cavalier Candy’s dam HHS Miss Cavalier and Corbeagh Lux Good, both of which foaled at the end of April.

The other mare Corbeagh Lux Good (Lux Z - Corbeagh Clover, by Clover Hill. Breeder: Barbara and Joseph McGreal) has an Orestus foal on the ground. Her Clover Hill dam, Corbeagh Clover, is out of a Sky Boy dam and she has produced several performers, including the eventing stallion Honour Cruise, competed by Oliver Townend.

Now a 12-year-old, Corbeagh Lux Good’s own progeny are beginning to compete; for example, her four-year-old daughter MBF Corbeagh (Quidam Junior I), owned by Carrie Meehan, qualified with Nicola Ennis for the Young Event Horse classes at the RDS last year.

Corbeagh Lux Good’s 2022 foal Candy Lux (Sligo Candy Boy) was sold overseas.

Mary Murphy with her newly-wed granddaughter Kelsey Murphy and husband Joe Hayden at their wedding this week in Greece \ Eileen Murphy

5. Describe your regime for keeping mares/youngstock?

In winter, the mares are rugged and turned out during the day and stabled at night. We feed them hard feed twice a day and they always have free access to hay.

During the summer, they are turned out to fresh grass. The mares are stabled for foaling, using cameras to monitor them. All stock are regularly handled from a young age, and receive regular visits from the farrier and the vet.

I try to keep one foal each season until they are a three-year-old and at that stage, I sell them on.

6. Breeding a showjumper or eventer - any preference?

I prefer show jumpers.

7. If you could have bred any horse in the world?

The triple Aintree Grand National winner, Red Rum.

8. It takes a team - who is on yours?

The crew consists of friends and family, including my daughter Eileen and her husband Greg. All are recruited to lend a hand at some point.

9. Best advice you ever got?

Stay away from horses!

10. Favourite holiday destination?

Now I would have to say Greece as I am off there this week for my granddaughter Kelsey’s wedding.