IN a boost for Irish horse breeders and the Irish Sport Horse industry, the latest World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) studbook rankings shows that the Irish Sport Horse studbook has continued its rise up the show jumping rankings, to a recent high of seventh in the world.

The Irish Sport Horse Studbook has consistently been at or near the top of the WBFSH rankings for eventing horses but has been outside the top 10 for show jumping horses for many years.

The latest ranking position of seventh in the world on a score of 6,311 points comes on the back of excellent results for its top six Irish-bred horses - two of which are inside the world’s top 11. CSF James Kann Cruz (ISH), bred by Patrick Connolly in Co Galway and ridden by Shane Sweetnam, is now the eighth highest-ranked show jumping horse in the world.

Pacino Amiro (ISH), bred in Co Donegal by Simon Scott and ridden by Bertram Allen is at number 11, while Up Too Jacco Blue (ISH), bred by Mark Sherry in Co Wicklow and ridden by Austria’s Max Kühner is at number 27.

Rincoola Milsean (ISH), bred by the late Harold McGahern and ridden by Charlotte Jacobs (USA) is ranked 50th, while GRS Lady Amaro (ISH), bred by Denis Hickey in Co Wexford and ridden by Mark McAuley is 106th. Sea Topblue (ISH), bred by James and John Meade in Co Clare, and ridden by Andrew Bourns also contributed to the Irish Sport Horses’ score at 108th.

Irish Horse Board Director General, Alison Corbally, said: “The last occasion the Irish Sport Horse Studbook was placed seventh or higher in the WBFSH show jumping studbook rankings was 2007, some 16 years ago! Many of the production schemes put in place by the breeding sub board, from 2010 onwards arose from the show jumping taskforce, led by Col. Ned Campion. It is fitting that the collaborative breeders’ efforts combined with expert industry led policies and government funding, have assisted in the production of such horses for Ireland today.

“The six horses that are the highest placed Irish Sport Horses in this year’s ranking were born between 10 and 12 years ago – it’s a long road to breed and produce top international sport horses! My sincere congratulations go to their breeders Patrick Connolly, Simon Scott, Mark Sherry, the late Harold McGahern, Denis Hickey and James and John Meade who are the primary proprietors of this success.”

In the eventing WBFSH rankings, the ISH studbook is at number two in the world, just behind the Selle Francais (SF) studbook which holds the lead. Three Irish-bred eventing horses are inside the world top 10 - Ballaghmor Class (ISH), bred by the late Noel Hickey in Limerick and ridden by Oliver Townend (GBR) is ranked second in the world. Rehy DJ (ISH), bred in Co Clare by Noel Russell and ridden by Yasmin Ingham (GBR) is number nine, just ahead of Black Ice (ISH), bred by Judith McClelland in Co Down and ridden by Jerome Robine (GER).