A SMART son of Chacco Blue was the stand out lot at Cavan last Thursday, where the one-day sale of young stock produced some mixed results. At €12,000, the Sean Healy-bred colt headed the figures by a distance and, featuring among the ‘winter collection’ of foals with notable pedigrees, he was the sole five figure return.

A further two from the same sector realised €8,800 and €8,200 apiece, but as anticipated the trade fluctuated to close at an improved clearance of 56% (50% in 2022) albeit with a slight reduction in average of €2,924 (€3,034).

Looking at the positives, eight foals equalled or made in excess of €5,000, but less satisfactorily and despite lively competition for the better lots, around two-thirds of those on offer changed hands at €3,000 or less. While this has been a recent trend nationwide, it does reflect the current state of the market at the lower end of the spectrum.

As a general rule, those with the smart pedigrees reaped the rewards and none more so than Sean Healy’s unnamed son (Lot 223) of Chacco Blue. Knocked down to a cash buyer for €12,000, this April-born colt was sourced as an embryo in France, and was the first venture of this type by the breeder. “I was hoping for a filly, but it worked okay, so I may well consider it again,” remarked Tuam-based Healy, who as a prominent breeder with six mares on the ground, is well-known as the breeder of the highly successful RDS riding horse champion Chantilly On The Rocks.

Bred on continental jumping lines, however, this colt is a half-brother to the 1.40m jumper Quinci VD Bisschop, while the dam Lavina VD Bisschop (Bamako de Muze) is a half-sister to a raft of blacktype jumpers, including Esprit (1.60m), Felicity VD Bisschop (1.60m) and Joris VD Bisschop (1.55m).

ean Healy’s unnamed son (Lot 223) of Chacco Blue. Knocked down to a cash buyer for €12,000

Good movers

Another to sell well from the ‘winter collection’ was Jennifer Kavanagh’s Templerainey Luxzello (Lot 200), a colt by Livello out of Tina Lux (Lux Z). Knocked down to the Hawthorn Farm- based event rider James O’Haire for €8,800, the colt counts the Shane Kelly-ridden Kimimkazi (1.40m) as a half-brother, as well as two younger graded national performers. “I initially came to buy a filly,” said O’Haire, “but I saw this one and he ticked all my boxes in terms of movement, conformation and thoroughbred blood percentage.” As a busy rider, producer and now stallion owner, O’Haire covers his mares with his own five-year-old stallion Next Level EB by Andiamo Semilly and, now with a sizeable stock of stock of youngsters, plans to produce this colt under saddle.

Tuam breeder Patrick Connolly has enjoyed a good year at the sales, and closed it well when his filly by I Am W (by Luidam) was snapped up by Robert McIvor for €8,200. Born in August, this filly is out of the KWPN-bred jumping mare Cavalia by Vittorio, who competed to 1.45m level both in Europe and America. A light but high achieving family, the dam is a sister to the Slovenian-based Dakota (1.50m).

Showman Dessie Gibson was busy throughout the day and, having bought a very smart Corporal VDL colt (Lot 217) for himself, he also signed for two high profile lots on behalf of his nephew, Mark English. Hot footing it from transporting horses from Holland, English arrived at Cavan with only minutes to spare, but he was very taken with Kirsten Farr’s well-grown colt (Lot 228) by Hardrock Z out of Urika (Uriko). From the immediate family of Sheikh Ali Al Thani’s five-star jumper Concordija (1.60m) and the Higo Simon-ridden Caldato (1.60m), he will be stored until a three-year-old. “Hardrock as a stallion speaks for himself,” said English afterwards, “this is a nice big raw colt with a leg at each corner, and one that I hope will develop into a smart three-year-old with a big jump!”

Athletic filly

The Gibson/English duo also signed for Thomas Kilgannon’s athletic filly (Lot 266) by Sligo Candy Boy, and at €3,800 she was probably among the best buys of the day. Described by an enthusiastic English “as the most beautiful filly with most amazing walk, who could be anything” she will also be stored until a three-year-old.

Interestingly, and from a showman’s point of view, Gibson is concerned about the future of the stock here in Ireland. “The foal I bought was the only one I thought might make a middleweight show horse,” he said. “I do think we have lost our way generally. The ‘niceness’ in a horse is now hard to find, and so many are showing a lot of foreign influences across their back.”

Other notables included two colts (Lot 211 and Lot 190) consigned by Jackie Lee, the first of which was by Tyson (dam by Ard VDL Douglas) and the second by Good Luck VDL (dam by Courage). Realising €5,500 and €5,300 respectively, both were secured by the show jumping Thornton family, with Ray accounting for the former, and Catherine the latter.

Top Returns Young Stock

Sean Healy’s colt foal by Chacco Blue (dam by Bamako de Muze) €12,000.

Jennifer Kavanagh’s Templerainey Luxzello, colt foal by Livello (dam by Lux Z) €8,800.

Patrick Connolly’s filly foal by I Am W (dam by Vittorio) €8,200.

Kirsten Farr’s colt foal by Hardrock Z (dam by Uriko) €6,200.

Jackie Lee’s colt foal by Tyson (dam by Ard VDL Douglas) €5,500.


Irish Draughts

The week’s final session (Friday) was devoted to Irish Draught stock and, having enjoyed a lively renewal 12 months ago, it had been hoped for more of the same. In reality that was not the case, as a disappointing day’s trade illustrated a downturn across the board. Just 57% (69% in 2022) of the 63 on offer changed hands, while the average dipped to €2,106 (€2,744). Only three lots realised in excess of €3,000, the best of them at €6,000 was Sarah Jane Ormond’s Whitefield Queenie’s Lass (Lot 343), a filly foal by Inisfree The Holy Grail out of a bronze merited daughter of Prescott Diamond.

John Bracken accounted for this sale topper, while next in line at a more modest €3,100 was the Imelda Moran-bred filly foal by DS Ballaghboy Bouncer (Lot 360) out of the well related Welcome Rivie. Bred on performance lines, the dam is a sibling to the approved RID sires Welcome Diamond and Welcome Flagmount, as well as to the grand prix jumper Welcome Captain (1.40m). The only remaining lot to achieve the €3,000 mark was David Hunter’s two-year-old gelding (Lot 338) by Beechmore Silver Crest out of Cranford Welcome (Manor Welcome).

Top Returns Irish Draughts

Sarah Jane Ormond’s Whitefield Queenie’s Lady, g filly f by Inisfree The Holy Grail (dam by Prescott Diamond) €6,000.

Anthony Moran’s Unnamed filly foal by DS Ballaghboy Bouncer (dam by Sir Rivie) €3,100.

David Hunter’s Unnamed, 2 year-old gelding by Beechmore Silver Crest (dam by Manor Welcome) €3,000.