Irish Sport Horses Earn High Placings at $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase and $216,000 AriatÂ® Grand Prix CSI 4*
Boyd Martin Clinches Third Showcase Title with Irish Sport Horse Welcome Shadow
Co. Kildare, Ireland – February 7, 2017 – U.S. Olympic veteran Boyd Martin and the Irish Sport Horse Welcome Shadow claimed victory in the $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase held over the weekend, giving Martin his third consecutive win at the world-class event. Irish-bred horses dominated four of the top six places at the competition, while two Irish Sport Horses finished in the top eight in the $216,000 AriatÂ® Grand Prix CSI 4* at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
“It’s been a spectacular weekend of competition for Irish Sport Horses!” said Elaine Hatton, Director of International Marketing for Horse Sport Ireland. “To have so many Irish-bred horses earning top results at these high level international competitions makes us very proud and demonstrates how talented the Irish horses truly are.”
A total of 39 horses and 23 riders from
four countries, including Olympic medalists, competed in the third annual $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase, an exciting two-day competition held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on February 3-4 in Wellington, Florida. 23 horse-and-rider combinations completed the tough event including six Irish Sport Horses, proving the athleticism and talent of the breed.
Martin and the 12-year-old mare Welcome Shadow (ISH/TIH by Welcome Flagmount (ID) out of She’s Bizarre (TB) by
Good Thyne (TB), bred by James Keville in Galway, Ireland) produced a super
dressage test combined with clear showjumping and
cross country rounds, adding just 0.8 time cross country time penalties to secure a ‘three-peat’ victory for Martin. Martin won the inaugural 2015 event aboard the top Irish Sport Horse Trading Aces (a 2004 gelding by Coevers Diamond Boy (ISH) out of Ballyvannon Beauty VII (ISH) by Leabeg (ISH) bred by Patrick Minogue in Clare, Ireland) and with Blackfoot Mystery last year.
“My horse is one of my favorites in training at the moment,” Martin said about Welcome Shadow, who was originally owner Craig Callen’s fox hunter. “You couldn’t get a horse that tries any harder than Welcome Shadow. I thought she was great in all three phases, and I was proud to win. This year was by far the hardest one to win. It was a much more competitive field; the caliber of horses was the best we’ve seen here. I will quite happily take the check home.”
U.S. Olympic silver and bronze medalist Kim Severson and the Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Cross Border, (by Diamond Roller (ISH) out of Who’s Diaz (ISH) by Osilvis (KWPN), bred by Johnny Duffy in Louth, Ireland), a 10-year-old gelding that Severson competes at the three-star eventing level, took fourth place at the star-studded event. In fifth place was Liz Halliday-Sharp and the 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill By Night (by Radolin (KWPN) out of Argentina XII (OLD) by Argentinus (HANN), bred by Etter Sports Horses Ltd in Offaly, Ireland). Jennie Brannigan and the Irish Sport Horse Cambalda, a 15-year-old gelding (by Balda Beau (WNTR) out of Cathys Lady, bred by John Irish in Kilkenny, Ireland) took sixth.
U.S. rider Erin Sylvester and Paddy The Caddy, a 10-year-old Irish Thoroughbred, took 15th place while fellow American Kylie Lyman placed 21st with the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Da Vinci Code (formerly Killags De Vinci Code, a ISH/TIH by Master Imp (TB) out of Clovers Apollo (ID) by Clover Hill (ID), bred by James White of Wexford, Ireland).
With even higher prize money at stake this year, the unique event attracted many of the sport’s biggest names, including Double Olympic gold medalist Mark Todd of New Zealand, double Olympic silver medalist William Fox-Pitt of Great Britain and Olympic veteran Dan Jocelyn of New Zealand who came over from Europe to compete on borrowed horses. Top U.S. riders Buck Davidson and Petite Flower took second place while Doug Payne and Vandiver finished in third place.
On Sunday, February 5, Irish Sport Horses and their Irish riders took two of the top eight placings in the $216,000 AriatÂ® Grand Prix CSI 4*, a competition that featured many of the world’s top names in show jumping.
Ireland’s Kevin Babington, a 2004 Olympian, and Super Chilled, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (by Gelvin Clover (ID) our of Ballypatrick Codex (ISH), bred by Cheryl Broderick in Tipperary, Ireland), took fifth place out of the 32 starters, while fellow Irishman Capt. Brian Cournane and Javas Keltic Mist, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (by Ard VDL Douglas (KWPN) out of Celtic Tiger (ISH), by Clover Hill (ID), bred by Judy Murphy in Louth, Ireland) finished in eighth place.
Top American rider Todd Minikus and the 12-year-old mare Babalou 41 were victors of the competition, topping a three-horse jump-off over second placed Spanish Olympic rider Sergio Alvarez Moya and G&C Unicstar de l’Aumone, and third placed U.S. rider Jennifer Gates riding Pumped Up Kicks.
About the Irish Horse Gateway
The Irish Horse Gateway was initiated by Horse Sport Ireland in 2013 to connect the world to the Irish Horse. It is the first point of contact for overseas clients seeking information on sourcing Irish horses and ponies for Equestrian sport and leisure. Horse Sport Ireland was established to bring together the breeding, sport and leisure aspects of the horse sector.
The Irish Horse Gateway’s mission is to connect buyers to sellers of Irish horses and ponies and promote the Irish horse and pony internationally to build upon its reputation worldwide.