THE Monart Sale, now confined to three-year-olds only, produced another record-breaking set of results when it concluded yesterday week.

The new hybrid format, which welcomed prospective buyers onsite for two viewing days ahead of the online sale, paid dividends with a record average price of €15,281 and a clearance rate of over 82%. “It seems like we keep saying we’ve exceeded our expectations, but, to be honest, it’s been absolutely brilliant for us,” commented sale director, Niall Griffin.

Seventeen lots breached the €20,000 mark with five of these making €30,000 or more. The top two lots sold were Irish Sport Horse fillies consigned in his own name by locally based Henry Foley who received €35,500 for Lot 73, a daughter of Luidam.

The bay is out of the Plot Blue mare Kilcoltim Blue Diamond who jumped for one season under Ger O’Neill and is a half-sister to the Touchdown gelding A Touch Imperious (CSIO5*) and to the Chacco Blue gelding Kilcoltrim Blue (CSI3*).

Bred in Co Cork by Cynthia Murphy Kearney, and registered on CapallOir as Wheelagower Shes Got It, the sale-topper was purchased by British event horse owner/breeder Zoe Feeney who plans to send the filly down the eventing route, starting with the four-year-old age classes next season.

The USA’s Jennifer Oliver, an equine message therapist, went to €34,500 to secure Foley’s Lot 33, an unnamed bay by KEC Maximum Joe who was bred in Co Clare by Sean O’Neill out of the Furryoso mare Rinealon Mist.

Lot 33 was sold for €34,500 at the 2021 Monart Elite Sale

Among other lots he consigned to the sale, Foley sold the Anglo European Studbook-registered Wheelagower Dandy Man (Lot 103) for €23,500 to Britain’s Emily Redbond Gillett. The flashy chesnut by Check Out Charlie was bred by British show jumper Jessie Drea out of the Harlequin du Carel mare Wheelagower Tequila.

Foley and partner Joanne Curtin, who work together in sourcing and prepping the horses – although Henry credits Joanne with the high standard of turn-out – bought both fillies this year from their breeders. “I’ve always been lucky with fillies,” commented Foley. “If a horse ticks all the boxes regarding conformation, movement, pedigree and looks, as these two did, then it doesn’t seem to matter to purchasers if they are geldings or fillies.

“The new format of the sale worked well last year and again last week,” he continued. “You would always be a bit nervous of the online bidding but people are getting more used to it. Between horses we prepped for others on livery for the sale and bits and pieces of horses we owned with others, we were involved in 10 horses last week and will be involved with nine others at the Go For Gold Sale next week.

“We’ve also got a point-to-point horse, a three-year-old turning four by Soldier Of Fortune, but we have him with Cormac Doyle (of Monbeg Stables). We had one with Cormac before, Oscar Elite, who won his maiden at Tyrella and, since being sold, has won two hurdle races and being twice Grade 1-placed for Colin Tizzard.”

Busy week for Flynn

Brian Flynn of the busy Co Waterford-based operation MBF Sporthorses also sold two of the €30k+ lots at Monart, his MBF Do The Maths (Lot 20) being purchased for €32,000 by Britain’s Kate James. Bred in Co Down by Patrick Lavery, the brown ISH gelding carries 85% thoroughbred blood being by Grennan Fort out of the Jackson’s Drift mare Glenaguille.

MBF Do The Maths (Lot 20) was sold for €32,000

Flynn’s home-bred MBF Reality (Lot 101) is heading to the USA having been bought for €30,000 by Kim Wendell who has purchased previously from the same source. Her most recent acquisition is a bay Cevin Z gelding out of the unraced Milan mare MBF Nora who comes from the family of the multiple hurdle and chase winner Feroda.

Another Co Waterford consignor, Richie O’Hara, who recently saddled his first point-to-point winner (Kilbunny Pontic in the four-year-old mares’ maiden at Curraghmore), is a staunch supporter of this sale where, last year, he sold the top-priced lot, the home-bred Kilbunny Blue Bird (by Kilbunny Blue) who made €29,000.

This time around O’Hara sold five lots with Kilbunny Rockstar (Lot 68) achieving the highest price when knocked down for €27,500 to US event rider Alexa Ehlers. The bay Royal Concorde gelding, who was also home-bred, is out of the Contendro mare Rivergirl.

This year’s sale again attracted buyers from across the world, including Olympic gold medallists Michael Jung (Germany) and Laura Collett (Great Britain) along with Aoife Clark (Ireland), Marcio Jorge (Brazil) and Australia’s Bill Levett who is a member of The Monart Sale selection team. Horses were also sold to buyers from Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Isle of Man, Italy and Poland.

Among the home-based Irish riders who purchased lots was Patricia Ryan who, two days before making a successful return to the saddle at Ballindenisk, gave €8,000 for Seamus Hughes’s bay gelding (Lot 99) by Koro d’Or out of a mare by Roseberry Avenue, and €8,500 for Patrick Wafer’s Parkmore Choice (Lot 111).

The latter, a white-faced bay gelding from the small second crop of the Kings Master stallion Masters Choice, is out of the Coolcorron Cool Diamond mare Parkmore Sunrise. He is thus is a traditionally bred half-brother to the Lux Z gelding Parkmore Lux (CSI5*) and to the Ghareeb mare Parkmore Evita who, with her colt foal by Tyson, won The Irish Field breeders’ championship at the RDS in 2019.

Success for Monbeg horses

The Monbeg Sport Horses yard of Tomás Doyle and Marti Rudd, which is situated at the opposite end of Ballindaggin village from Henry Foley, sold all nine lots they consigned to the sale, the majority of whom they purchased as foals.

The draft was headed by Monbeg Fintra Smart (Lot 2) who was knocked down for €31,000 to British event rider Fiona Kashel. The black ISH gelding by Future Trend, who was bred in Co Clare by Sheila and Michael Murphy, is out of the Harlequin du Carel mare Whos Smart Approach who comes from the family of Billy Congo (CSIO5*) and the Kashell-ridden Cartoon IV (CCI3*).

Doyle and Rudd received €28,500 for the Michael Byrne-bred Monbeg Cavland (Lot 72), a Cavalier Land ISH gelding whose dam, the Cult Hero mare Heros Socks, is a full-sister to The Honey Badger (CIC3*) and a half-sister to the Harlequin du Carel gelding LCC Clonlara Harley (157 SJI points). This is the family of Tactic 4 (CCI4*), Westwinds Eclipse (CCI3*), etc. The bay was purchased by Britain’s Kate Walls who now competes the Cavalier Land gelding Cooley Lands (CCI5*-L).

British event horse owner Vicki Irlam had the final bid at €26,500 on Monbeg Sand Storm (Lot 52) who was bred in Co Monaghan by Kenny Burgess. The dun ISH filly by Cormint is out of the traditionally-bred Drumfield Golden Dun, a daughter of the Connemara stallion Brian Boru.

Purchased by Rudd at Cavan in August, Clarkes Monbeg Ambition (Lot 62) was heading off to the USA following the successful €26,000 bid of Sara Shone. Bred in Co Cavan by John Clarke, the black S Creevagh Ferro ISH gelding is out of the Lux Z mare Corraghoe Ambition.

Rudd and Doyle received €24,500 from the USA’s Elizabeth Grey for the Niall Barrett-bred Monbeg Zidane (Lot 42). The bay ISH gelding by Zidane is out of the Indoctro mare Bright Eyes R&D, dam previously of the Diamant de Semilly stallion French Connection.

Another US purchaser also had the final bid at €24,500 on Monbeg Salt Fever (Lot 92). Bred in Co Tipperary by Jacinta O’Donoghue, the grey ISH gelding by Womanizer is out of the Ramiro B mare Eden Breeze and is thus a half-sister to the Captain Clover gelding, CSOE Camiro.

While saying “the format worked really well again this year”, don’t expect to see the Monart Sport Horses team have as many animals in next year’s sale. “We are focussing a bit more on breeding and have a few foals ourselves to bring on. Also, as we now have baby Daisy and are building a house, we won’t be travelling around the country as much,” Niall Griffin said.

(For full results see