2009 National IDHBA Awards

Awards Recipients and Guests National Awards 2009


Award Recipients

Leading Registered Irish Draught Show Mare of 2009
The broodmare is the backbone of our breed, and to produce a broodmare to the highest show standard takes many years of dedication, commitment and time on the part of the owner. As an association, we feel that it is important to highlight the best examples of the breed and reward those who have produced them to such a high level.

There were many outstanding Irish Draught Mares exhibited at our shows throughout the year - with very strong classes at our National Show in Mullingar, the RDS and the Leitrim Breeders championship in particular. There were a number of mares in contention for this award but there can only be one winner, and we believe the mare we have chosen is a very worthy one.

The Mare who has been chosen as the “Leading Registered Irish Draught Show Mare of 2009” is “Millhollow Starlet”. This 12 year-old grey was bred in Downpatrick, Co.Down by Moira McKenna. She is by Annaghdown Star out of the prolific show mare Roma Blue Wind. Millhollow Starlet was spotted as a young foal and quickly purchased by her now proud owner, Ms. Viona Wilson from Co. Tyrone, while still with the mare.

Millhollow Starlet has been in the rosettes in all of her outings during a very successful showing career, with some big wins at National Breed shows and Tullamore show over the years. However, 2009 was to be the highlight of this show ring success. At the IDHBA National Breed show on 1st August, she won her class and went on to stand reserve in a very competitive Mare championship. A few days later on the 6th August, she went one better by not only standing top of the line in one of the largest senior RID mare classes ever staged at the RDS, but also going on to take the prestigious RID mare championship.

Award presented to Viona Wilson 


Leading Irish Draught Performance Horse of the year

The IDHBA feel that it is very important for us to highlight the ability and versatility of the Irish Draught horse to perform in many equestrian activities. We hope that this award will encourage other breeders and owners to compete with their Irish Draught horses in Show Hunter classes, Working Hunter Classes, Dressage and Le Trec; as the Irish Draught is ideally suited to these disciplines.

The winner of this award for 2009 is “Bannerman Breeze”. This 14 year old grey gelding was bred in Loughrea, Co. Galway by Joe O’Toole. He is by “Springpark Easy Breeze” and his dam “Springpark Banner Girl” is by the well-known successful Irish Draught Sire “Uibh Fhaili”. He was sourced for his current owner Deborah Tems by the shrewd eye of Mike Comerford from Co. Laois. When purchased by Deborah, Bannerman Breeze was a “just sat on” five year old. He was hunted for his first two seasons and then began his showing career by competing in working hunter classes.

Bannerman Breeze has had many showing successes over the years; being twice Supreme Ridden Champion at Tullamore show, reserve all Ireland working hunter champion, third in the inaugural ridden Irish Draught class in the RDS (out of a class of 17), National Show ridden champion in 2007 and 2008. He has won or been placed in every sidesaddle class he has contested.

Like a good wine, this noble gelding has improved with age. At the beginning of 2009 at a youthful 14 years of age he embarked on his dressage career. From February to September, he amassed 34 Dressage Ireland points and is now working at advanced medium level. In June 2009, he competed in the Association of Riding Clubs festival, where he won the Advanced Intermediate Dressage class, the Medium-weight Hunter Championship and finished reserve in the Eddie Fowler Memorial Championship.

Bannerman Breeze and Deborah went on to win the ridden class at the Laois Branch Breed show in July. The combination had a very successful outing at the Wicklow Branch Breed show held in Boswell equestrian centre, winning the dressage class and the ridden class and then taking the ridden championship. A great day was made perfect when Bannerman Breeze was crowned Supreme Champion of the show - an accolade seldom bestowed on a ridden competitor.

In a competitive ridden section at the IDHBA National Breed show in Mullingar, Bannerman Breeze was placed 2nd in both his ridden class and the working hunter class.

Bannerman Breeze epitomises the characteristics of soundness, even temperament, longevity, good paces and versatility that the Irish Draught Horse is famous for around the world.

He has brought great joy to his Co. Loais owner over the years and will hopefully do so for many years to come.

Award presented to Deborah Tems


Leading Irish Draught Gelding of the Year

The Irish Draught gelding is all too often treated as the poor relation within the breed, but there are many great examples of quality Irish Draught geldings competing under saddle at home and abroad. The IDHBA feel that it is very important that we promote the best geldings within our breed as we feel there is a limitless market for Irish Draught geldings as ridden hunters and amateur competition horses throughout the world.

The purpose of this award is to promote the Irish Draught gelding and to encourage owners and breeders to produce geldings under saddle and show them at their best, as the safe, versatile riding horses that they are.

The winner of this award for 2009 is “Loughkeen Lady’s Vision”, a grey four year old gelding, who was purchased as a young foal by his current owner Judy Pearson from Gurteen, Roscrea, Co.Tipperary. He was bred in Loughkeen, Carrig, Co.Offaly by the late Hugo Perdue. He is by the well-known RID sire “Classic Vision” out of Hugo’s home-bred Carrabawn View mare “Loughkeen Young Lady”.  Hugo was a lifelong breeder of fine Irish Draughts and served as vice principal of Gurteen Agricultural College for many years. Sadly, Hugo is no longer with us, but his daughter Hazel is continuing with his legacy and his love for our native breed.

This gelding’s half brother “Loughkeen Dancing Lord”, who was also purchased as a foal by Judy and produced for the show ring, now resides in Robert Oliver’s show yard in the UK. In 2009, he was 2nd in the Heavyweight class at the Horse of The year show in Birmingham.

“Loughkeen Lady’s Vision” was always in the ribbons when shown in hand as a young horse, but it was in 2009 - under saddle for the first time - that his star quality has really shone through. With a show team consisting of Judy, her daughter Amy and their friend Leonard Supple, the four year old embarked on an impressive show season, where he either won or was placed at Balmoral, Tralee, Kenmare, Athlone, Clonmel, Ardrahan, and Newcastle West.

On the 1st August “Loughkeen Lady’s Vision” won both the 4 or 5 year old ridden ID class and the Potential Garda or Hunt Master’s Horse class at the IDHBA National Breed show and went on to stand reserve to the ridden champion. He continued his success at the RDS, placing a very credible 4th in a highly competitive ridden Irish Draught class, where he was competing against much older more experienced horses. He finished a great week by taking the Supreme Champion Horse of the Show title at Tullamore show. Loughkeen Lady’s Vision was also the highest placed RID in this year’s National Le Trec competition.

Award presented to Judy Pearson


Leading New Breeder and Exhibitor of the Year

The purpose of this award is to encourage and reward new breeders who exhibit their stock at our shows and competitions. These new breeders are vital to the future of the breed.

One such breeder who made a big impact in Irish Draught showing circles during 2009. This Kildare Gentleman began showing Irish Draught horses for the first time this year. His previous summer pastime was riding in inter hunt chases, a hobby he much enjoyed and might still be enjoying, but for the intervention of his wife who suggested it might be time that he found a safer pastime. So, it was decided to have a go at showing some of their Irish Draughts.

It has proven to be a very successful transition from the saddle to the safer, but no lees competitive world of In Hand showing. He has had much success during the year beginning at the Laois branch breed show, where he won the small RID mare class with his lovely Fast Silver mare “Ellistown Nell” and won the Barren RID mare class with his Uibh Fhaili mare “Kilbeg Queen”. The pair went on to stand Champion and Reserve in the overall Irish Draught mare championship. On the same day, he also had success in the youngstock ring with his Carrick Rock Close Shave yearling filly “Ellistown Roxanne” - where she won her class and went on to stand reserve in the youngstock championship.

Another great outing was had at the Wicklow Branch Breed show at Boswell Equestrian Centre where both “Kilbeg Queen” and her one year old daughter “Ellistown Roxanne” won their respective classes. “Kilbeg Queen” went on to take the RID mare championship and stood reserve Supreme Champion on the day.

At the IDHBA National Breed Show in Mullingar, the winning trend continued. “Ellistown Nell” won the small RID mare class. “Kilbeg Queen” and “Ellistown Roxanne” finished 2nd in two very competitive classes. This novice showman also took the title of “Best Turned out Horse and Handler” of the show.

A final outing was had at the Roscommon All Ireland Yearling Filly Championship where “Ellistown Roxanne” finished an impressive 3rd - in what was this man’s first appearance in an All-Ireland Final.

Throughout the year, the winner of this award has presented both himself and his horses to a very high standard. The courtesy and respect he has shown to stewards, judges and his fellow exhibitors is an example to all involved in the sport. He is a true sportsman and a true Gentleman.

Award presented to Peter McLoughlin


Outstanding Service to the IDHBA

Many people in every branch throughout the country do an outstanding job for the Irish Draught Horse Breeders Association. The Governing Body of the IDHBA would like to take this opportunity to extend their sincere thanks to all the hard-working, dedicated volunteers in the branches who make nights like tonight possible. There are people who can always be relied upon to rally around when an event is being organised; whether it be to raise sponsorship, sell raffle tickets, drive a few stakes, or make the tea.

Of course, the most important person in any branch is the Branch Secretary. Our branch Secretaries are the glue that holds the branch together. It is very important that they have someone at the end of the phone, who they can rely on to answer their questions and keep them up to date. Our award winner tonight is such a person.

Helen Kelly is seen as the Go-to person within the IDHBA. Helen has given many years of dedicated service to the Irish Draught breeders and owners who are members of this association and who are former members of the IDHS. Helen served as Secretariat of the IDHS for many years, where she became a much-respected household name among Irish Draught Breeders. She experienced some very difficult times during the court proceedings and subsequent split among Irish Draught breeders. Throughout, Helen has remained dignified and professional and remained loyal to the Irish Draught Breed and the many people who depended on her.

Since the formation of the IDHBA, Helen, in her role as Secretariat, has been instrumental in growing confidence in the association and increasing the membership to the impressive numbers we have today. Helen had a very difficult task at the start of 2009 to organise membership and issue membership cards to everyone, without the benefit of records and a membership database, which would have been available in the past. As usual, Helen has shown great patience in her role and extended the same politeness and courtesy towards the members as she has always done in the past.

Helen and her husband Christopher are successful Irish Draught Breeders in their own right. Derrynagarra Irish Draughts are well known at home and abroad. Helen’s popularity was proven earlier this year when she took the Leinster region seat in the Irish Horse Board election with relative ease. It would be true to say that no one within the IDHBA has a bad word to say about Helen.

Tonight, on behalf of all the members of the IDHBA, we want to say “Thank You” to Helen Kelly as we welcome her to accept this year’s award for “Outstanding Service to the IDHBA”.


Lifelong Contribution to the Irish Draught Breed

The awards committee would like to say that this award was a very difficult award to select, as there were a number of potential winners – any one of which would be fully entitled to such an accolade.

In the end, one person was selected to receive this award tonight and she is a very worthy winner indeed. The Lady in question arrived in Ireland in the late 60’s with her husband and 2 daughters. She quickly took to the Irish way of life and her childhood interest in horses was rekindled when she settled in Co. Galway.

She purchased her first Irish Draught in 1981, a two year old filly by Legaun Prince called Brehan Lass. Brehan Lass was hunted with the Galway Blazers for a few seasons and show jumped to Grade B level before she began her breeding and showing career. The mare produced her first foal at 8 years of age and went on to breed 14 foals in total. Two of them, Tynagh Gold and Cradillo - both by Kildalton Gold, went on to become Grade A show jumping Stallions. Cradillo is still jumping at Grand Prix level in the USA. Another Kildalton Gold sired son “Gurraun Golden Eye”, currently standing with Gladys and Eamonn McArdle in Drumhowan stud in Co. Monaghan, is quickly making a name for himself as a useful sire.

In a glittering show career, Brehan Lass was placed 81 times which included 64 firsts and many championships, the most notable being the Kerrygold RID mare championship in Millstreet.

Incredibly successful though that record was, it was to be outshone by the mare’s daughter “Brehan’s Pride” by “Pride of Toames”. During her showing career, Brehan’s Pride took 122 prizes, 99 of which were firsts. Like her dam, she took the Kerrygold all Ireland Mare championship in Millstreet in 1992. She was National Irish Draught show champion in 1993 and champion RID mare at the RDS. She also stood reserve in the Breeders Championship at the RDS in the same year - with an Irish Draught foal at foot. In 1997, the mare was crowned Balmoral RID champion making it a clean sweep of National titles. Brehan’s Pride bred 4 stallion sons, one of which, the 1993 Kildalton Gold sired “Herrero” is now based in Florida. Her most successful daughter “Gurraun My Way” won the mare of the future championship in 2002 and the Young RID mare class in the RDS in 2003. Another daughter “Flores” by Kildalton Gold is the dam of “Garraun Zidane” who was the 2006 RID Stallion champion in the RDS, and who currently stands with his breeder at the Old Rectory in Tynagh.

It is a unique record to have produced and bred winners of the Young RID mare class in the RDS, the senior RID mare class in the RDS, the RID Stallion class in the RDS and the 6 year old jumping class in the RDS.

In 2009, a colt sired by Gurraun Zidane stood reserve champion colt at the National Breed show in Mullingar, a filly by the same sire took the All Ireland filly foal title in Ballinasloe, and a colt by “Gurraun Golden Eye” was placed 3rd in the colt foal final on the same day. Twenty-eight years on from the purchase of Brehan Lass, the Irish Draughts with the French connection are still going strong. A remarkable achievement, by a remarkable Lady. Tonight, we welcome Mrs. Chantal Deon to accept this award for her “Lifelong Contribution to the Irish Draught Breed”.