National Champion

Greg Broderick won this year’s Horseware TRM New Height Champions series and he was relentless in his pursuit of the title, featuring in nine of the 10 legs. Broderick started with a win at Louth County Show and went on to land a one-two triumph at Ballinasloe as well as having two more victories at Cork and Balmoral.

Those wins not only allowed him to take his place in the international classes at the Dublin Horse Show, but it also meant that he was crowned National Show Jumping Champion.

Broderick had two great horses under his command, the first, Chinook II, a 10-year-old Dutch warmblood by Verdi out of Unavantaand was bred by H.A.J. Smolders, Westerhoven and is now owned by Molly Tracy. The second horse, Charmeur (KWPN), is a 10-year-old gelding by Calvaro Z out of the Heartbreaker-sired mare Wirkeness, owned by Pearl Bledron.

Grand Prix glory

Demonstrating as much tenacity as Broderick was Liam O’Meara who clearly set out to take the National Grand Prix title. Like Broderick, he set off strong in the series and established his lead early in the season when claiming the third, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

These early wins, along with a host of other good results, meant that he was almost unbeatable by the midway point. The Tipperary rider ended the league on a total of 92 points, double that of his closest rival.

O’Meara had three consistent horses to help him on his quest. The first was Mr Coolcaum, a 13-year-old gelding by Coolcaum Hill out of the Indian Ruler-sired mare Ranch Lady, the second was Curraghgraigue Jack Take Flight, bred by Baden Powell, a nine-year-old by Jacomar out of the Errigal Flight-sired mare, Curraghraigue Errigal. And last but not least, Russel Style, a seven-year-old gelding by Russel out of the Harlequin Du Carel-sired mare Cruisings Carol. He stepped up to Grand Prix level in September and is one to watch.

Golden girl

Columbcille Gipsy, campaigned by Ger O’Neill, showed great promise early in the year in the ISH Studbook show jumping series. Amongst their good results was a win in the Pettitts’ Novice Show Jumping five and six- year-old Championship at Bannow & Rathangan Show, a sixth place finish in the qualifier at Dublin and a fifth place finish in the overall Championship. The crowning moment on national soil was when the combination went on to claim the Irish Breeders’ Classic five and six-year-old final. This was only the beginning of a memorable success story as the also pairing secured a gold medal at the FEI Young Horse Show Jumping Championships at Lanaken. Bred by Murphy and O’Neill, Columbcille Gipsy is a six-year-old mare by Toulon out of Gipsy III.

Columbcille Gipsy was one of 53 top show jumpers selected to go under the hammer at the Paul Schockemöhle Elite auction earlier this month. At the PSI Auction in Germany where she sold for €700,000, making her one of the most expensive Irish Sport Horse’s ever sold at public auction.

Columbcille Gipsy was one of three show jumping horses to be knocked down for €700,000, while the top overall price at the prestigious sale was €850,000 for a four-year-old dressage stallion, Zum Gluck.

Ones to watch

Alexander Butler maintains that the two Cruising clones, Cruising Arish and Cruising Encore (Sea Crest x Mullacrew), are showing great potential. Cruising Encore began his career this year and quickly jumped up to 1.20m level, while Cruising Arish will begin his competitive career at the end of this year having been confined to stud duties until recently.

Butler also has two offspring from his Grand Prix mare Vimminka that are showing impressive scope, Ladycastle Paco (Nabab Reve) and Ladycastle Diego (Pacino). Rising five, these two geldings will no doubt feature in next year’s line-ups.

In the Paddy O’ Donnell stable Louis D’Or, which is owned by Maeve Al Aidarous has moved up the grades very quickly. The 13-year-old gelding is by Landcapitiol and out of the Grannus-sired mare Gina. In their first outing together they finished second in their first 1.35m Grand Prix at Wexford in October and in November stepped up again and won an international class at Cavan.