ONE of the most successful and well-known Irish show jumping mares of the last century, the traditionally-bred Irish Sport Horse Millstreet Ruby passed away recently at her home in Millstreet, Co. Cork, at the age of 33.
Owned and bred by Noel C. Duggan at the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet Ruby was sired by the famous Irish Draught stallion King of Diamonds out of the thoroughbred mare Carran, by Anthony.
Her early years of training were spent with Mullingar Equestrian’s Robert Fagan and Tipperary’s Seamus Hayes, before she moved to the Army Equitation School at the McKee Barracks in Dublin.
Millstreet Ruby won the Falsterbo Grand Prix with Comdt Gerry Mullins in 1994 and the same year, the pair were crowned Irish National Champions.
In 1997 Millstreet Ruby won the Monterrey Derby in Mexico with Capt John Ledingham and a year later, the pair won the Silver Salver at Hickstead. In a glittering competition career, Millstreet Ruby recorded international wins in Calgary, Dublin, Eindhoven, Falsterbo , Hickstead and on her home soil at the Green Glens arena. Millstreet Ruby’s National competition record in Ireland is equally as impressive, amassing almost 600 SJI points.
Once retired from international competition Millstreet Ruby competed in Young Riders and on the National Circuit with the late Hazel O’Callaghan.
Millstreet Ruby was one of the last of King of Diamonds-sired offspring to jump at international level. King of Diamonds was ranked in the top 25 of the World Breeding Federation sire rankings for the period 1992 – 2001 on the basis of 19 of his progeny, including Rodrigo Pessoa’s Special Envoy, Joe Fargis’ Mill Pearl and Millstreet Ruby. Her dam, Carran, was a half-sister to the mare Carrie On Jackie who went on to produce the top race horse Lean Ar Aghaidh who won the 1987 Whitbread Gold Cup and finished third in the Grand National the same year.
Millstreet Ruby is a half-sister to Millstreet Squire, by Mill Jess, who was competed by Seamus Hayes on the Irish National circuit.
Millstreet Ruby produced four foals in her career as a broodmare. Her first offspring, Mill Sapphire by Sea Crest, was ridden successfully by Seamus Hayes who also competed her next offspring, Millstreet Tower by Mill Jess, until she was exported to Portugal where she competed on the Grand Prix circuit.
Millstreet Ruby is a full-sister to Joe Fargis’ Mill Pearl on whom he won the Seoul 1988 Olympic team silver medal. Green Glens Vixen, half-sister to Millstreet Ruby, went on to produce Vere Phillips (GBR) championship event horse Coral Cove.
Her legacy will live on through the Millstreet Ruby five-year-old Horse Championship, held each year at the Green Glens arena, a competition that continues to produce future stars of the sport in her memory.
Speaking to Horse Sport Ireland, Noel C Duggan said: “Millstreet Ruby was one in a million. She started her life in Millstreet and in her 34th year finished her life here. We were very privileged to have bred, owned and enjoyed such a mare. She will be missed.”