THIS time of year sees the sales scene hot up and what a couple of weeks it has been for the Galway-based Connolly family of CSF who have topped the first two specialist foal sales of the year with home-bred foals.

It helps that their profile has been raised by the phenomenal James Kann Cruz, part of the Irish team who won the silver medal at the FEI Jumping European Championships in Milan a few weeks ago. It was that grey’s half sibling (CSF Good Vibes) who set the Cavan Elite Foal Sale alight on Thursday night when he was knocked down to USA’s Eamonn Hughes and none other than USA Olympic show jumping medallist McLain Ward for €38,000. What an exciting prospect to see another James Kann Cruz under a rider like McLain.

“A rising tide lifts all boats” is a phrase often used in this industry and it springs to mind here. A return of this magnitude for a breeder is a huge boost of confidence and, dare I say, often crucial to keep the wheels of the industry turning. All too often we hear of breeders struggling and the ‘middle men’ – while they certainly have their place – reaping the higher rewards.

Well done to all the breeders who got their just return this week at Cavan – you can read the full report and see the results on pages 90-91– and Goresbridge where two weeks of bumper sales wrapped up with satisfactory results for most. Sally Parkyn’s reports from the Co Kilkenny venue is on pages 88-89.

This weekend sees sales action return to Clifden, Co Galway where 135 Connemara Ponies will pass through the sales ring and we will bring you coverage from the west next week.