Last weekend’s rain was undoubtedly welcome on thirsty fields across the country, perhaps less so for the well-attended Irish Breeders Classic Show in Barnadown.

Founded in 2012 by Ronan Rothwell of Boleybawn Horses, his primary aims were to establish an event that would boost demand for Irish-bred horses and attract new investors to the sport.

Weather ignored, many of the top young horses in Ireland battled it out for one of the world’s richest young horse show jumping classes, with a total prize fund in excess of €100,000.

In a gripping end to what was a quality four days of show jumping and an impressive platform for our Irish breeding, it was Co Kildare’s Leah Stack on the athletic bay Laurina, who pressed home to win the big one, the Irish Breeders Classic Five And Six-Year-Old Final on Sunday afternoon, bringing the glory (and €45,0000) back to her base at Ballypatrick Stables.

Owned and bred by Dr Noel Cawley, the five-year-old mare by Stakkato Gold and out of Rincarina by Cruising was locked on and focused as she left all poles up in the winning time of 35.01 seconds.

Finishing up on a close 36.45 seconds, Kevin Gallagher took the runner-up spot with the exciting five-year-old bay gelding, Max The Outlaw, by Ard Vdl Douglas, out of Burren, by Lux Z, owned by Greg Broderick Ballypatrick Stables Int LTD, and bred by Mary McInerney.

With a feisty and game Sumas Knockout, Vincent Byrne took third place. The handsome five-year-old bay gelding, by Tyson, out of Sumas Fanny Price, by VDL Arkansas, is owned by Freestone Farm and bred by Suma Stud.

According to show organiser Sharon Fitzpatrick, entries were up by 50% this year. She noted: “I think it’s unbelievable to have this sort of competition in Ireland. We are so delighted with the support we have gathered over the years.

It’s grown because we have the support of the industry. We’ve had huge numbers in the Five And Six-Year-Old Breeders Classic; 120 this year, and I think it was 80 last year. So all our numbers are up.”

The results of the Goresbridge Supreme Sale of Show Jumping Foals, which is run in conjunction with the Irish Breeders Show Jumping Classic, can be found opposite.

Jack De Bromhead. \ Healy Racing

A support service

Last Saturday brought the devastating news that 13-year-old Jack de Bromhead, son of acclaimed racehorse trainer Henry and his wife, Heather, sustained fatal injuries while jockeying at the Glenbeigh Racing Festival on Rossbeigh Beach.

Jack was laid to rest yesterday, 7 September, in Butlerstown, Co Waterford.

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Denis Duggan shared the sentiment many of us are feeling and advised of support available to anyone who may need it.

“It is devastating for the de Bromhead family and for the entire equestrian community to lose a loved one while doing the sport that they love. Jack’s family and friends are in our collective thoughts and prayers at this incredibly difficult time.

“The loss of a young person is always hard to understand. This time will be difficult for many of Jack’s fellow young competitors and friends in equestrian sports.

Horse Sport Ireland has a designated support service for any individual affected, and we would encourage them or their parents to email to seek bereavement supports.”