Three Irish bred horses finished in the top 10 of a tough Badminton Horse Trials this year, including the winner Paulank Brockagh, who is also only the third mare to win.
Bred in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow by Paula Cullen – mother of Irish rugby star Leo Cullen – the bay mare Paulank Brockagh moved from 25th place after the dressage phase up to fifth after cross-country, to outright victory after the show jumping phase on Sunday afternoon.
Ridden by Australia’s Sam Griffiths, the 11-year-old daughter of Touchdown had just one fence down in the show jumping arena at the Duke of Beaufort’s estate, and came home 2.8 penalty points ahead of British runner-up Oliver Townend and Armada, while Britain’s Harry Meade rode the Irish-bred Wild Lone into third place.
Paulank Brockagh is out of Calendar Girl, an ISH mare who is by the thoroughbred stallion Triggerero.
Her owners won a special prize of embryo transfer courtesy of the Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre, for the highest placed British owned mare, and a stud voucher for £500.
Australia’s Paul Tapner, the overnight leader after cross country, claimed fourth place on the Irish Sport Horse Kilronan, while New Zealand’s Tim Price placed yet another Irish Sport Horse, Ringwood Sky Boy, in ninth.
Kilronan is a 13-year-old owned by Mr and Mrs Frederick Barker and Mrs Penny Barker, by the Thoroughbred Ghareeb out of Ramble Way, by Diamond Lad.
Kilronan’s owners also won the Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain prize for the best horse sired by a SHB (GB) graded Stallion or Premium Stallion in the top 12.
Ringwood Sky Boy is an 11-year-old ISH gelding by the Irish-based Holstein Courage II out of Sky Lassie, by the thoroughbred Sky Boy. He is owned by Robert Taylor of selwood.com and Tim Price, and was bred by Myles Mahon Enniscorthy in Ireland. Ringwood Sky Boy has been produced through the grades by Tim Price.
Price and Ringwood Sky Boy also won the William Miflin Memorial Trophy, for the combination with no cross country jumping penalties and closest to the optimum time.
Austin O’Connor was best of the Irish riders at Badminton, finishing in 15th place on Ringwood Mississippi (ISH) after lowering just one pole during show jumping.
Ringwood Mississippi is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Kate Jarvey and bred by Andrew Doogue from Co Carlow. He is by the Irish thoroughbred Mark Twain out Glough Pride, by the Irish Draught Townrath Pride. He was bought by his owner – who runs a sports horse breeding programme at Attington Stud – as a four-year-old from the Ringwood Stud in Ireland. Last year he was 13th at the Lexington CCI4*.
This year’s Badminton saw 25 eliminations and 18 riders opting to retire on the tough new-look cross country course, while in show jumping no rider managed to finish on a fault-free score.
The success of Irish-bred horses at Badminton’s four-star event followed close on the heels of victory in the USA’s four-star competition two weeks ago, when another Irish Sport Horse, Bay My Hero – bred by Bryan Maguire in Wexford – took first place in the famous Rolex Kentucky event, ridden by Britain’s William Fox-Pitt.