THE sales’ year at Cavan looks on track to close on a very satisfactory note, when Wednesday’s performance sale (young stock and Irish Draughts to follow) delivered another solid set of returns.

Although the figures were not quite as buoyant as those from recent months, they stood up very well to include seven five-figure prices together with a clearance rate of 70% (77% in 2021). The average did slip slightly from €6,180 to €5,478 but to get this in perspective, theses statistics are vastly superior to the pre-pandemic equivalents, when they hovered between €3,500 - €4,000.

Demand came from all quarters, and for every age group, bloodline and height. As has become the norm, the remote buyers battled with those on site, but one man who did plenty of business at ringside was Co Westmeath trader and producer Jim Derwin.

By his own standards, the Athlone man has been fairly quiet in recent months, but having accounted for five lots over the course of the day, he commented: “Things have just got a bit easier, and I think I have bought some really smart horses here today. The sale-topper is particularly attractive – a very unusual sort and a great colour.”

The subject of Derwin’s praise was Bernadette Curry’s eye-catching McGaw (Lot 85), a John Bracken-bred four-year-old Irish Draught gelding, by Scrapman out of Uibh Fhaile Duchess (Ballinrobe Boy). Topping the day’s trading at €11,800, and bought two years ago, the strikingly marked liver chesnut had been slowly produced by his vendor, and had enjoyed two quiet autumn hunts with the Tynagh and Armagh hounds.

“The sale came a bit quick for us to be honest,” remarked the Tyrone-based vendor. “He’s certainly not the finished article yet, he has a lot more to come.”

Derwin agreed, and added that his globe-trotting European champion show jumping son James may well continue with his production. “James might hunt him for a few days,” added Derwin. “He’s a very rare sort and will be a right one for America.”

Older notables

Co Monaghan vendor Keith Wilson has enjoyed some good touches during the course of the year, and scored again when his five-year-old mare Maplevalleys Royal Blue (Lot 65) was snapped up by a telephone bidder at €11,500.

Standing just 158cms, this daughter of the sadly missed Bonmahon Master Blue is out of the good broodmare Royal Bet (Taloubet VDL) and, bred by A and K Doyle, is a sibling to Temprance (1.40m) who was campaigned internationally by Trevor Breen and Gemma Ellison. The event horse Dassett Cooley Steal (CCI2*) is another half-brother, while the successful purchaser was the first time buyer Harriet Doliszny from the UK.

Another mare to sell well was Darragh Killoran’s home-bred Killahurler See the Sea (Lot 58), a five-year-old by Luidam out of Killahurler Comfort (Ghareeb). A big mare with 15 SJI points, she is the fifth and last progeny out of the dam who was also home-bred.

Well-produced by the owner and on the day by William Flood, she looked well bought by the UK-based Broadlee Farms and will now go eventing, before eventually being retained to breed.

The Burke family from Clare Equestrian often have a good horse to sell at Cavan, and this time it was the turn of the home-bred CES Duggyson (Lot 49a) to impress at €10,000. A five-year-old with 33 SJI points under a trio of riders, Lauren Quinn, Clarus Malyon and Dawn Welby, Duggyson had competed to date and prompted successful buyer Jim Derwin to comment: “A very nice horse again. And not too bad to jump.”


Sale-topper aside, another of the age group to sell well at €10,500 was Louise Doyle’s HSF Markle Royale (Lot 90) a filly by HSF Cardento Royale out of Little Miss Heart Breaker (Boswell Mr Heartbreaker).

A catalogue pick on paper, and well placed in the HSI loose jumping series last year, this filly has since progressed to compete successfully in her age classes and the Youngster Tours. Regular buyer Johan Mortenson from Denmark was at the ringside to sign for this one, who also qualified for the final of the NIHB Mares Development Series.

As prices steadied, the next best return at €7,000 fell to Donnacha Anhold’s Rushfield Chilli Pepper (Lot 81), a gelding by Chillout out of UC Lux Z Flame (Lux Z). Another stand out on paper, this potential event horse is a sibling to the Hayden Hankey-piloted seven-year-old Power of Love (CCI3*) and was secured by Co Sligo trader Tiernan Gray.

Selling for the same figure was JJ Kielty’s filly (lot 98) by Numero Cruise out of Wellview Amber (Welcome Flagmount).


The three-year-old trade was inconsistent but selling for €11,000, it did produce a very worthy sale-topper in Niall McGarry’s Ballyshan Obolensky (Lot 105), a gelding by Glynnwood Cornet out of the well-related Ballyshan Luximportant (Lux Z).

Bred by Gary Doherty and sourced through the same sale ring as a foal, he is a half-brother to the Swedish-based jumper Ballyshan Copa Cabana (1.40m) and several others.

A smart prospect, he was highly rated by McGarry who commented: “He could be anything. We have him broken in and he has been pleasure to deal with throughout.” Initially led out unsold, he was later secured privately by UK customer Robert Davidson.

At €10,000, the final five-figure return of the day was paid by a ‘cash’ buyer for Michael Cannon’s home-bred gelding (Lot 128) by Sligo Candy Boy, who is the first progeny out of Jubilee Porsha (Porsch).

Although not quite as solid as usual, the pony sector nevertheless produced a good return for Lynn Graham, whose 10-year-old The Dun Deal (Lot 11) was knocked down to Tiernan Gray for €7,500.

One of several Connemaras in the catalogue, this 148cms dun gelding is by Frederiksminde Hazy Move On out of Celtic Moy Soracha (Glencarrig Finn) and, having competed in all the pony club, riding club and show jumping activities, he carries three SJI points.

(Note: Youngstock and Irish Draught Sale report and results will be carried in next week’s issue)

Top prices

  • Bernadette Curry’s McGaw, four-year-old gelding by Scrapman (dam by Ballinrobe Boy) €11,800.
  • Keith Wilson’s Maplevalley Royal Blue, five-year-old mare by Bonmahon Master Blue (dam by Taloubet VDL) €11,500.
  • Darragh Killorgan’s Killahurler See The Sea, five-year-old mare by Luidam (dam by Ghareeb) €11,200.
  • Niall McGarry’s Ballyshan Obolensky, three-year-old gelding by Glynwood Cornet (dam by Lux Z) €11,000.
  • Louise Doyle’s HSF Markle Royale, four-year-old filly by HSF Cardento (dam by Boswell Mr Heatbreaker). €10,500.