2013 National Awards

National Award Recipients

Leading Irish Draught Performance Horse of the Year - Ballyartan Princess Clodia
Each year, the IDHBA presents this award to highlight the natural ability, ease of riding and versatility of the Irish Draught breed. This year for the first time the awards committee is delighted to be able to present this award to an Irish Draught mare that is currently jumping at 1.20m and 1.30m level and successfully taking on and beating half-bred and warm blood horses at National level in large jumping classes.

This year’s winner is “Ballyartan Princess Clodia” by Finns Clover Inn out of a Welcome Diamond mare, who in turn was out of a Ginger Dick mare.
She was bred in Ballina, Co. Mayo by Mary Corcoran. Carrying the great performance bloodlines of Diamond Lad, Clover Hill and Ginger Dick this mare is proving that, in the right hands and with the correct mix of performance blood, a purebred Irish Draught can compete and win at the highest level. The mare, who is ridden by Kelda Morgan won the Ballymalloe Ladies Final at Cavan in August and won the 1.20m jumping class there for owner Richard Hughes just a few short weeks ago. In her first 1.30m competition she was placed second at the Northern Indoor Championship, she was clear in the 1.25m speed class at the august show in Cavan.  At just 6 years of age and only at the beginning of her show jumping career she has attained over 160 SJI points. This mare is proof if proof were needed that the Irish Draught Breed has a natural jumping ability and ease of riding that is still a great asset to the Irish Sport Horse sector. The awards committee is delighted to be able to recognize this young and very talented mare and hope this award encourages her owner to keep her jumping and encourage others to put the time and money that he has into producing our talented Irish Draught horses.

  Performance Award
National PRO, Mary O'Halloran,
presenting the award for
Irish Draught Performance Horse of the Year to Richard Hughes -
owner of Ballyartan Princess Clodia.


Young Irish Draught Show Horse of the Year - Carrigrua The White Lady

This award is presented each year to recognise the best of our young Irish Draught stock and to encourage breeders and producers to retain and show the best young horses. This year’s winner has had an exceptional year by any standards accumulating three National titles within the last 12 months.

“Carrigrua The White Lady” was foaled in Clonakilty in West Cork in 2012. She is by the late, great Gold Merit Stallion “Hollycross” out of “Inisfree The White Lady” by “Crannagh Hero”, who herself is a former National Irish Draught Champion -
having won the ISA Roscommon Yearling Championship in 2005.

“Carrigrua The White Lady” won many first prizes as a foal and ended her first season by following in her full brothers footsteps and winning the ISA All Ireland Irish Draught Foal Championship in Ballinasloe in October. This in itself is a great achievement as its always one of the biggest and most competitive ISA finals in the showing calendar, but it was only the beginning for this well made imposing filly. She picked up in May 2013 where she left off by winning a strong combined yearling and two year old class at Bandon show. She went on to win again at Cork Summer show and become the reserve champion Irish Draught at the show.

Growing in confidence her owner decided to make the long journey to Mullingar Equestrian centre to compete in the 2013 IDHBA Irish Draught Breed show. “Carrigrua The White Lady” started her day by topping the line of a nine strong yearling filly class. She went on to take the overall young horse championship where she won out against 5 other winners from the yearling, two and three year old colt and filly classes. Her young horse title meant that she went forward to compete for 2013 Supreme Championship title against the champion mare, the champion mare of the future, the champion ridden horse and the champion foal. After an impressive individual display in the main ring she was asked to step forward to receive the title by visiting English Judges Mark Fittion and Heather Milner. “Carrigrua The White Lady” is the first yearling to be crowned Supreme Champion at a National Breed show since breed shows began some 28 years ago.

Not satisfied with one National title in 2013 another long trip from West Cork to Roscommon was made in August to compete in the ISA All Ireland Irish Draught Yearling final. This time out the young filly faced an even tougher challenge of 14 fillies qualified from throughout the country. She didn’t disappoint however and stood top of the line from the outset going on to record her second ISA final win. Award presented to James Whyte, Lisavaird, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

  Young Horse
National Vice-Chairman, Paddy McCarthy,
presenting the award for Young Irish Draught Show Horse of the Year
to James Whyte,
owner of Carrigrua The White Lady.



Irish Draught Show Horse of the Year - Cappa Cassanova

This year’s show horse of the year epitomises the qualities of good temperament, versatility, bone, movement and quality which the Irish Draught Breed is renowned for. “Cappa Cassanova” was bred in Headford Co. Galway by Seamus Leahy. He is by the now deceased Grade A showjumper “Welcome Flagmount” who represented Ireland in Lanaken as a Young Horse and is still making headlines as he is also the sire of this years Champion Cob at HOYS “The Comedian” and the Maxi Cob champion and overall Supreme Horse of the Year at HOYS “Hallmark IX”. 
“Cappa Cassanova’s” dam “Headford Beauty” was by the multiple RDS champion “Kildalton Gold”.

Cassanova was purchased by his current owners Jimmy and Edel Quinn of Cappa Stud in Annaghdown as a foal and his career has blossomed ever since. He won several firsts and championships as a young horse before going on to be fully approved as an RID Stallion as a 3 year old after completing central performance testing. In 2010 in his first appearance in the Irish Draught stallion class in the RDS he finished in fourth place at just 4 years old. In 2011 he moved up two places to finish reserve Champion and on his return in 2012 he was crowned RDS Champion stallion for the first time. In 2013 he returned to the venue to defend his title and once again pulled forward as the Champion making him one of a very small number of stallions who have managed to win back to back titles in the RDS. In 2012 and 2013 he also qualified for and competed in the Irish Draught Performance Class at the RDS. On route to the RDS in 2013 Cassanova travelled to Boswell Equestrian Centre to compete under saddle at the Wicklow Branch IDHBA show which has become a very popular event on the Irish Draught showing calendar. He not only won his class and the ridden championship on the day but went on to take the Supreme championship of the show. It was not his first taste of success under saddle having previously won the Supreme Champion Ridden Irish Draught title in 2011 at the Northern Ireland Equifestival in Cavan Equestrian centre where he also won in the side saddle class.

In September 2013 “Cappa Cassanova” went to Clonaslee show to compete in the ISA, Horse Sport Ireland sponsored Stallion Championship, a competition in which he had been reserve champion on its previous running in 2011. This time he went top of the line from the beginning and was crowned 2013 All Ireland Irish Draught Stallion Champion which resulted in him achieving Gold Merit status on the Irish Draught Stud Book for his own individual performance having won back to back RDS titles and an All Ireland title in the space of 14 months.

  Show Horse
National Chairman, Paddy Joe Foy, presenting the award for Irish Draught Show Horse of the Year
to Jimmy and Edel Quinn, owners of Cappa Cassanova


Irish Draught Mare of the Year 2013 - Lady in Red Star

Each year, the association endeavours to recognise the success of an Irish Draught Mare, as the mare is the foundation of our breed and the foundation of our Irish Sport horses. It is always difficult to single out one mare in a particular year as we still have some very good Irish Draught mares of which we should all be proud. This year’s winner was selected as she became one of a very small number of Irish Draught mares to achieve Gold Merit status in the Irish Draught Studbook for her own showing performance.

In early May 2013 “Lady In Red Star” made the journey from County Mayo to County Antrim where she took the coveted Balmoral Irish Draught Mare title becoming only the second mare outside of Northern Ireland to ever win the title. This was the only National title that had eluded the mare and this achievement combined with her previous wins in the RDS and the ISA Leitrim Breeders Final led to her achieving Gold Merit status which is very difficult to achieve for a mare in particular.

“Lady In Red Star” was bred in Lecarrow, Charlestown, Co.Mayo by Eddie Murphy. Her prolific showing career got off to a flying start when she won the ISA All Ireland Irish Draught yearling filly final in Roscommon in 1999. The following year she went on to win the ISA ID 2 year old filly All Ireland at Limerick show. In the same year, she won her class at the National Irish Draught Breed show in the grounds of Necarne Castle in Co.Fermanagh and went on to take the young horse championship and the overall Supreme Championship at the Breed show. In 2001, as a 3 year old, she returned to Necarne where she won the first ever Mare of the Future Championship. In 2002 she continued her winning ways when she travelled to the RDS and won the Young Irish Draught Mare Class.

“Lady In Red Star” has continued to rack up prizes and championships every season from those early days as a young mare. She has been shown in the Senior RID mare class every year for the past seven years and has been placed in the top 4 on all of those appearances. She was reserve in the class in 2013 for a second time at 15 years old. She was again crowned National Show Supreme Champion in 2009.

As a broodmare she has made her mark as her “Carrabawn View” sired colt foal won the Connaught FBD Irish Draught Foal Championship and she took the Leitrim Breeders All Ireland Mare and Foal title on the same year. She won the progeny group class at the 2010 National Breed show with her Clonakility Hero sired daughter and her stallion son “The Lady’s Man” by “It’s the Quiet Man”.  In 2013 she was the only Irish Draught mare to qualify for and compete in the Breeders Championship in the RDS with her “Pikatchu” sired filly foal. The pair also competed in the THIA Limerick Matron Championship where she finished fourth and was the hightest placed Irish Draught mare in the final. Her filly foal won a strong filly foal class and she herself won yet another Irish Draught mare class on the same day.

We congratulate Liam Lynskey the owner of “Lady in Red Star”.

Chairman of IDHS NI, Tom McGuigan, presenting the award for Irish Draught Mare of the Year to
Liam Lynskey, owner of Lady in Red Star

Outstanding Service to the IDHBA - Kevin Croke

This award is presented by the IDHBA to recognise people who have given enormous amounts of time and dedication to the development of the organisation and the promotion of the Irish Draught Horse. Tonight we honour and thank one such person who needs no introduction to IDHBA members. Mr. Kevin Croke served as the first National Chairman of the Association, a position he held for 3 years.

Back in 2008, Kevin gathered a small group of like-minded people with the vision of setting up a new Irish Draught Breeders organisation which would protect our branch structure give every member a voice and get back to promoting and preserving the Irish Draught horse. His idea of setting up a new organisation was met with a lot of support throughout Ireland and across Northern Ireland. This was in no small part due to Kevin’s approach to leave the past behind and his ability to bring people with him.

When the association was formed, there was no money in the bank and funds had to be built up from scratch as well as getting a National organisation set up and putting rules and procedures in place. Very few people recognise the amount of voluntary time, hours at the computer and hours on the road travelling to various meetings that Kevin had to put in during those first years of the development of the organisation.

During Kevin’s term as National Chairman, the organisation consistently grew its membership. Kevin’s leadership lead to people who own and ride Irish Draught horses, getting involved, and becoming members which has helped grow our ridden and performance classes at our National Breed shows and branch shows. Kevin’s drive to promote the ridden Irish Draught has helped grow the association’s membership which was once dependant on breeder support alone.  

When the IDHBA was first setup we were not recognised as a legitimate organisation in many quarters. During his time in office that situation has completely changed due to his perseverance and willingness to knock on doors. Today the association is fully recognised by the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Department of Agriculture, Horse Sport Ireland and all Sister Societies throughout the World. Kevin has represented the association, its members and the Irish Draught Horse at home and abroad to great effect during his time as Chairman. There is no doubt that the Association would not have got off the ground and got full recognition without Kevin’s ability to debate issues and take on vested interests in often hostile situations.

Throughout his time in office, like all Chairmen of large organisations, there were some difficult meetings and heated debates. Kevin always showed respect and decency towards fellow officers and fellow members in these difficult situations. On behalf of the membership, we thank him for his enormous contribution to the establishment and development of the IDHBA and congratulate him on this well earned token of our appreciation.

National Vice-President, David Cosby, presenting an award for Outstanding Service to the IDHBA
to Kevin Croke


Outstanding Service to the IDHBA - Catherine Cotter

National Treasurer, Jennifer Haverty, presenting the award for Outstanding Service to the IDHBA
to Catherine Cotter