Appearing as a new fixture in the calendar, last week’s one-day restricted sale at Goresbridge got off to a promising start. Confined to pre-selected three-year-olds suitable for either show jumping or eventing, the catalogue of 40 lots (37 forward) produced a very healthy top price of €35,000, together with a clearance of 60%.
A total of 16 lots realised in excess of €10,000, which led Goresbridge’s Martin Donohoe to comment: “It was definitely an encouraging start to a new sale, and it’s certainly one to build on in the future.
“Nearly three-quarters of those sold made five figures, while the top price was very good indeed.”
Bred not many miles from the complex at Goresbridge, Patrick Kehoe’s home-bred gelding by Je T’Aime Flamenco hails from one of the best contemporary pedigrees in the stud book. The chesnut is out of the Mermus R mare Tiny Dancer, who is a full sister to ABC Quantum Cruise (CSIO5*) and a half sibling to ABC Private Jet by Je T’Aime Flamenco.
Notably balanced for a big horse, the gelding was put on the market at €16,000 and from there the bids ricocheted to the selling price of €35,000.
“It’s called the seller’s box, so I intended to sell, “ quipped Kehoe afterwards.
“It was a late decision to bring him here, but I’m delighted I did.”
As the successful bidder, DJ O’Sullivan later disclosed he was buying on behalf of an Irish client.
Stand out lots
Just four lots later, Jason Higgins and Brian Flynn’s filly by Cormint changed hands at €30,000. Bred in Co Louth by Deanna McGuinness, the filly is out of Rinnwood Touch of Happiness by the recently exported thoroughbred stallion Road To Happiness. Continental customers were in at the business end for this athletic sort, with the hammer finally falling in favour of Marcus Gasser from Switzerland.
Vincent and Anne Marie Murphy have long been supporters of Goresbridge, so it was good to see their home-bred Ogue Grandioso realising a healthy €26,000. A half brother to the highly rated jumper Ogue BT Special (1.30m) and from a strong family of performers, this gelding looked well bought by Cavan’s Danielle Clarke.
Thoroughbred bloodlines fared well, and one completely traditionally-bred lot to shine was Brian Flynn and Meabh Bolger’s MBF Up North, a grey by Emperor Augustus out of Cunniamstown Rebel Girl (Rosheen Yeats). This one was bred in Wicklow by Alan Farrell and at €24,000 now heads to the UK-based yard of Judith Wright.
Another bound for an eventing career is Aoife Dooley’s filly by OBOS Quality. Initially she was led out unsold, but was quickly snapped up at €17,5000 by former British international Nicky Roncoroni. This filly was bred in Co Clare by John Joe O’Sullivan out of a mare by Cavalier Royale going back to Master Imp.
One out and out jumper, however was Tom Hutchinson’s Leestone Hillside Clover, a gelding by H and M Chilli Willi. Bred by John McKibbon he was knocked down to Co Armagh customer Dionne Leathem for €18,000.
Other notables included Sean Delaney’s gelding by Quidam Junior (dam by Z Wellie) at €17,000, Thomas Quigley’s Ringfort K Special (€13,500) by I’m Special de Muze, and Brian Daly’s gelding by Newmarket Venture at €13,000.
A further seven made in excess of €10,000.
The seemingly insatiable demand for Irish Sport Horses was highlighted again at Cavan last week, when a one-day performance sale delivered a set of impressive returns. As buyers battled for the better lots, the average rose to €5,503 (€4,169 in 2020), while the clearance also improved to 70% (67%).
“It was a very solid, strong day’s trading,” commented Cavan’s Stuart Clarke.
“Trade is holding up fantastically, and there is no sign of any dip yet.”
Sale-topping honours at €16,500 went to Padraig Howley’s RDS-winning three-year-old Toberdane Bournville Star. As one of six, five-figure returns, this year’s potential young event horse champion was a real head-turner, both in Dublin and at Cavan. He was secured by Fethard, Co Tipperary-based event rider and producer Paul Donovan.
Bred by Padraig Arthur in Co Roscommon, the gelding is out of Lux A Gonner by Lux Z and sourced as a foal through Gabriel Tunney and is a full sister to former RDS loose jumping champion Candy Rose.
Trade for horses with competition form was especially solid, and heading these at €13,000 was Gladys Frazer’s grey mare by Dignified Van’t Zorgvliet out of Mini Match by OBOS Quality. The six-year-old was bought at the same venue three years ago, and having since been lightly competed in training shows was knocked down to Co Sligo customer Tiernan Grey.
One with much more milage was Sheena Meegan’s Second General, a traditionally bred 10-year-old by the vendor’s own stallion Irish Sport Horse sire, General Lee (now deceased) out of a Coevers Diamond Boy dam. This experienced campaigner has competed in a range of disciplines under JP Meegan and the winner of 27 SJI points changed hands for €11,500.
Welsh trader Rhiannon Rowlands added this lot to her tally of four, while a little later in the session English customer Philip McCaul paid the same for Clare Equestrian’s show jumping mare Chippy Porsh. The seven-year-old daughter of Chippison, amassed eight SJI points in just two months of jumping under rules, and is showing promise in classes at 1.20m level.
Another bound for the UK is Pat McClean’s five-year-old by Numero Cruise (dam by Glidawn Diamond) who was secured over the phone for €10,000 by Newfield Horses.
Although the younger stock did not quite maintain the buoyancy of the older horses, two four-year-old lots realised €8,000.
At a healthy €10,000 the standout lot amongst the three-year-olds was another son of Sligo Candy Boy, and this time it was the turn of Alan Connor’s unnamed gelding out of Harlequin Clover Lady (Harlequin du Carel). Placed fourth in the loose performance jumping at the RDS earlier this year, this one was knocked down to the telephone bid of American-based show jumper Jordan Coyle.
There were several notable returns among the ponies, the best of which was the €9,500 paid for Darren Fahey’s 149cm Swanview Breaking Ice, a four-year-old filly by the Connemara sire Ice and Fire d’Albran out of the sport horse mare Swanview Lance Courage (Lancelot). Considered a potential high class jumping pony, she was snapped up by Clare Sloan.
Another good return at €9,200 fell to Joanne Morton’s nine-year-old jumping mare Dernahatten Blossom by Bois des Isles out of Moy Lady (Owens Blossom). The winner of 85 SJI points, she was one of several lots knocked down to Padraig Dolan of Munsboro Equestrian.