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Badminton win big thrill for Irish breeders

Paulank Brockagh's owners Dinah and Steve Posford and Juliet Carter with Sam Griffiths after their mare won the Badminton Horse Trials on Sunday.

Paulank Brockagh’s owners Dinah and Steve Posford and Juliet Carter with Sam Griffiths after their mare won the Badminton Horse Trials on Sunday. © Mike Bain

The breeders of Badminton Horse Trials winning horse Paulank Brockagh are “absolutely thrilled” with the 11-year-old mare.

Ridden by Australia’s Sam Griffiths and owned by Dinah and Steve Posford and their daughter Juliet Carter, Paulank Brockagh came home at the front of the field after a gruelling event in which only 35 of the 83 starters completed. She is only the third mare to win the prestigious four-star event.

Sam Griffiths on Paulank Brockagh

Sam Griffiths on Paulank Brockagh. © Mike Bain

Breeders Frank and Paula Cullen said Paulank Brockagh has had a clean cross-country record since her first introductory event as a four-year-old “quite an achievement over eight seasons”.

Paulank Brockagh is by Touchdown, a son of the selle français sire Galoubet A, out of the international show jumper Lady Willpower, an ISH daughter of the thoroughbred Cheyne.

Paulank Brockagh dam is Calendar Girl, an ISH mare by the thoroughbred stallion Triggerero.

“It was an epic three-day event filled with drama and top class international riders. For Brockagh and Sam Griffiths to come out on top is a dream come true. Paulank Brockagh is an amazing mare, so clever and brave and such a consistent performer,” the Cullens said.

They paid tribute to the people who had contributed to the mare’s career, included Brendan Doyle from Enniscorthy who started her under saddle, Susan McDonald who introduced her to hounds, Joseph Murphy who won the Future Event Horse League (FEHL) 4 year old Horse Sport Ireland trophy for the highest placed mare, and Darryl Walker who showjumped her off-season under the guidance of Fiona Carew, and competed in the 5 year old FEHL where she was again the highest placed mare. Paulank Brockagh’s 6-year-old season was spent with Heidi Hamilton who competed her at one star, and the was again top mare that year.

Paula Cullen said with sponsorship from Cullen Communications Ltd, Brockagh was able to go to Sam Griffiths in Dorset.

“Sam’s parents in Melbourne are very good friends of my lifelong friend Sue Tufnell who recommended Sam to me.”

Calendar Girl’s oldest progeny are now 20 years old. Paulank Kimble by Cruising was her first foal. She was exported to Italy in foal to Zero Watt as a three-year-old, and jumped to international level before retiring. The Cullens recently bought her back and she now has two foals by the recently deceased Clover Brigade. Paulank Kimble’s foal by Zero Watt was third in the Italian National show jumping championships as a four-year-old.

Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh.

Sam Griffiths and Paulank Brockagh at Badminton. © Mike Bain

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