2016 IDHBA National Awards
The 2016 National Awards banquet was hosted by the Cork/Kerry Branch and was held in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork on November 12th 2016. The night was a resounding success, with more than 180 people from all corners of Ireland making the trip to West Cork.
National Award Winners: Michael Murphy (on behalf of Pat Loughlin), Gillian Kinahan and Joanne Maguire, Sam Kingston Jnr.,
Alicia Devlin-Byrne, Jennifer Haverty and Padraig Bohan (photo George Maguire)
Leading Irish Draught Performance Horse of the Year
Each year, the IDHBA presents this award to highlight the natural ability, ease of riding and versatility of the Irish Draught breed. This year’s recipient is the 10-year-old Chestnut Gelding “King Flagmount”, a son of the performance Irish Draught Sire “Welcome Flagmount” out of the mare Spring Days by “Ginger Dick”. He was bred in County Mayo by Denis Clynes.
In the hands of his now owner and rider Alicia Delvin Byrne from Co. Wicklow, he has had a fantastic year in the ever growing and competitive performance ID competitions. He was one of 12 horses to qualify for the 6-year-old and over performance class in the RDS. He won this class and went on to be overall ID RDS Performance Champion 2016. A few short weeks later he was one of 29 horses qualified to compete in the inaugural “Irish Horse Gateway National Performance Working Hunter” final hosted by the IDHBA in the wonderful setting of Punchestown race course. Not only did this horse win this highly competitive class, he also went on to be crowned Ridden ID Champion at this years breed show.
Young Irish Draught Show Horse of the Year
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 is a very good example of the breed and has had an exceptional year in the showring.
“Gortfadda Ruby Kingdom” was bred in the picturesque surrounds of the Coolea Gealteacht in Ballyvourney by well-known local breeder, Sean Scannell. She is by the Mallow-based Sea Crest sire “Coolcronan Wood” out “Ruby Steel” by Holycross, after an extensive tour of the show rings of Ireland as a foal she won many rosettes including reserve champion foal at the National IDHBA Breed show and the ISA Ballinasloe All Ireland. She moved to an equally scenic part of the country in Mohill County Leitrim to her current owner and Producer Padraig Bohan.
Padraig produced the filly to always be in the ribbons locally and Nationally as a yearling and a two-year-old but it’s as a well-developed 3-year-old that she had her best year. She won the 3-year-old filly class at the National Show in Punchestown and was crowned National Young Horse Champion in a very competitive young horse section. She was highly placed in the All Ireland 3-year-old championship in Bonnicolon and the young mare class in the RDS. At local level, she was crowned Supreme Champion Horse of the show at Mohill.
Irish Draught Brood Mare of the Year 2016
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 year as we still have some very good Irish Draught mares which we should all be proud of. This year’s winner was selected for both her own success in the show ring and the outstanding success of her foal by Drumhown Stud based Crosstown Dancer Stallion Scrapman.
“Uibh Fhaili Duchess” has the best of traditional Irish Draught breeding being by “Balinrobe Boy” out of the Uibh Fhaili mare Glen Heste Duchess. She was bred by lifelong supporter of the breed and very successful county Wicklow breeder Noel C. Hamilton. Currently owned by John Braken in Westmeath and shown and produced by Joanne McGuire and Gillian Kinahan, this mare and her filly foal have had a great year. The filly foal was the champion foal at the RDS this year and the mare was placed 3rd in the senior mare class, the pair were All Ireland ISA Broodmare and Foal Team champions in Ballinrobe and the foal then went on to be crowned All Ireland champion filly foal and overall ID Champion foal in Ballinasloe.
Young Show Person of the Year
Each year the association tries to identify Young people who have made a mark on the show ring and have demonstrated an interest and a commitment to the Irish Draught Breed. This year’s winner comes from a family steeped in Irish Draught with many successes over the years. Sam Kingston Jnr is the 3rd generation of his family to be involved in showing and producing Irish Draught horses. Sam is a much in demand handler of foals and young horses in the West Cork area and has shown horses in the RDS and at National level. In 2016 he was reserve in a highly competitive Horse Sport Ireland sponsored All Ireland Young Show Person championship at Dunmanway show, showing his family’s home bred Fast Silver Irish Draught mare “Carrigbawn Joy”. It was with this same mare that Sam won the Young Handler class at this year’s National Breed show. Sam is an active member of the association and is currently the treasurer of the Cork/Kerry Branch.
Outstanding Service to the IDHBA
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. This year, we honour and thank one such person who needs no introduction to IDHBA members.
Jennifer Haverty is a name known to every member of the IDHBA. Jennifer was elected National Treasurer in 2011 and for the following 5 years she made an enormous contribution to the financial management and the success of the association. Under her stewardship there have been many successful fundraising initiatives and some significant sums donated to worthy Charities such as the Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Her tireless efforts at securing sponsorship for successive National Breed shows and her work on National show committees has been immense. Jennifer has been a very well respected and active member on the Governing Body and has represented the association at meetings with H.S.I and other outside bodies.
Jennifer’s energy and friendly enthusiasm have made her a great person to work with and we hope she continues to contribute to the National Breed show and the Laois Branch for many years to come. Onn behalf of the membership we thank her for his enormous contribution to the development of the IDHBA and congratulate her on this well-earned token of our appreciation.
The IDHBA has great pleasure in honouring the superb achievement of the pure Irish Draught, Fort Knox who won the Supreme Hunter Championship at the RDS this year. Fort Knox was owned by well-known hunter producer Pat Loughlin and his sister Pearl O Rourke.
He was ridden to perfection by Brian Murphy and beautifully produced by Pat and his hard working and dedicated team Sam Cushe and Danny Kealy.
It was wonderful to see one of our native breed display such quality, movement and presence as he took the supreme accolade and brought the Perpetual Challenge Cup home to Kilkenny. This award was presented to Michael Murphy on behalf of Pat Loughlin.
Branch Award Winners: James O'Keeffe, Tina Murphy, Bernard Cummins, Susan McCarthy and Edward O'Driscoll (photo George Maguire)
Lifelong Commitment to the Performance Irish Draught
Tina Murphy from Ballinscarthy has bought and produced ridden and competition Irish Draughts for several decades, one of her first ID’s was the multiple show winner Shanaway Redwood by “Red Hackle” who was bred by Thomas Nyhan. Her subsequent mount was the appropriately named “Cousane Superstar” who was a part bred ID being by the TB sire “Freddies Star” out of Cousane Beauty an ID mare by Cork Author. Cousane Superstar won many titles for Tina including Cork Summer show ridden Champion and RDS Heavyweight winner in 2005. Her next horse was the Fast Silver gelding Rochestown Amoroso bred by James O’Donoghue. This gelding excelled at every discipline, winning under saddle in both heavyweight classes and purebred ID classes as well as competition at dressage and up to 1.20m level under SJI rules. He competed in The RDS ID Ridden class and Performance class on 3 occasions and was placed in the Top 3 each year. Tina’s next purchase was the Crannagh Hero mare “Cloherview Heroine” who won under saddle at the 2015 IDHBA breed show among many other wins on the Cork circuit. She was awarded SJI 1.10m horse of the year in 2015 for the Cork/Kerry region.
Lifelong Support for The Irish Draught Breed
The Irish Draught horse has long been the favoured companion for many a huntsman and woman in Ireland and further afield. The stamina easy temperament and ease of riding associated with the breed makes the Irish Draught ideal for the hunting field. One long term dedicated local huntsman has had an affinity with the Irish Draught as a hunting horse for many years. Edward O’Driscoll and the O’Driscoll family are an integral part of Carbery Hunt for several decades. Edward is a former Master of the pack and always rode a big Irish Draught or ID cross when out at his much-favoured past time. His interest in the ID didn’t stop on the Hunting field. His dream was to own an international showjumper and he achieved this when he purchased “Convent Hill Diamond” a young full Irish Draught colt by Clover Hill out of Kildalton Rose from the late Michael Keena in County Offaly on the advice of the late Billy Cotter. Edward liked the big black youngster and sent him to local renowned show jumper and current Irish Team Chef De Equipe Robert Splaine for training or to see what he was made of as he would say himself. The horse steadily climbed the ranks and his most notable achievement was winning the Hickstead Speed Derby on two occasions for his rider Robert Splaine. Edward must be unique as an Irish man as he has owned both a Hickstead Champion showjumper and a Cheltenham festival winner as his horse “Whyso Mayo” won the “Foxhunters Chase” in Cheltenham in 2006.
This next award is to recognise the often-forgotten breeders of some of our most successful horses. I will start by telling you about a special horse. Well known producers, Pat and Elizabeth Aherne spotted EPA Sonny Bill by Breeda Mountain under his mum in the IDHBA section of a West Cork Breeders sale in the Green Glens in Millstreet in 2011 and thought he would make a nice hunter.
He was not shown in hand as a young horse, due to his smaller size, but they could see his future under saddle. He was broken as a three-year-old and hunted a couple of times with the Duhallows before he began his showing career.
In the hands of Jo Jones and later, Felicity Ward, he had a very good season in 2015, doing well in both small hunter classes and ridden Irish Draught classes. He also came second at the RDS.
Back with Jo Jones, his 2016 showing season was remarkable, winning championships at many shows including Belgooly, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Newcastlewest and Charleville among others. He was sold to the UK after Charleville show but stayed in Ireland to take up his place at the RDS again and left afterwards. In the UK., Katie Jerram took up the ride and Sonny Bill’s winning ways continued and he quickly booked his ticket to HOYS. At HOYS, he was 8th in Small Hunter & 6th in Intermediate class – quite an achievement for a young horse and proof that Irish Draughts don’t all need to be 17 hands to compete in hunter classes.
We are delighted to recognise the breeder of this horse, James O’Keefe, who is a member of the Cork / Kerry branch. At this point, I am going to quote an email from Elizabeth Aherne: “Both Dad & I want to congratulate Jim and we are thrilled he is being acknowledged with this award - as the breeder is often the forgotten piece of the jigsaw. It is quite unique to own both mare & stallion and he was the most gracious man we ever dealt with, he was genuinely delighted and enjoyed every success we had with our star boy! Sonny Bill was a pleasure to own and we had some wonderful days with him and he truly has been our horse of a lifetime!"
Promoting The Irish Draught as a Horse for the Amateur Rider
Bernard Cummins started horse riding at 5 years old. His Dad Tim started his interest in horses. Tim has hunted with the Carbery Hounds with nearly 50 years and he is looking forward to hunting this season coming - not a bad achievement at nearly 79 years of age and we were delighted that he was there on the night.
Bernard became interested in Irish Draughts in 2002 when he bought his first mare, Westmeath Bell, by Westmeath Lad. He showed her around County Cork and she was successful in the show ring. She bred Knockmorris, an Irish draught stallion who won Irish Draught Performance Championship at the RDS in 2014. He was by Coolcronan Wood. Bernard also kept 4 or 5 Irish Draught mares who he bred to Penmerylls Rhythm and Blues, Fast Silver and Coolcronan Wood to mention but a few. He and his wife Julie would often show the mares and foals at the local shows.
He has always hunted, hunter trialled and done a bit of show jumping along with dressage.
In 2013, he bought his last horse as a 3-year-old 'Ballymountain Jimmy D' who came from Wicklow. He is by Agherlow out of a King Henry mare. He evented in 2014, 15 and 16 and had a nice bit of success as well in the show ring in 2016.
He qualified for the RDS in 2016 for the Performance Irish Class having competed in the Wexford qualifier. This was a goal Bernard had always set for himself and he found the whole experience of competing there fantastic. Hopefully he will get there again in the future.
For now, he has moved onto a new project, a 3-year-old by Gleneven Rebel.
In Bernard’s own words, he says he can't stress enough the importance of keeping the Irish Draught Horse going as they make a fantastic horse for the amateur rider. The greater market is for the useable, good tempered, kind natured horse who will willingly take you around a cross country course, a course of show jumps or a day's hunting. We need these horses both as foundation stock, but also as competition horses at professional or amateur level. He feels it is great to see more ridden classes for Irish Draught horses at local shows where they can be admired and showcased to the general public and hopefully also appreciated for a very long time to come.
Promotion of the IDHBA and The Irish Draught
Our final award went to a person who has given tremendous time in the promotion of the IDHBA and the Irish Draught Horse, travelling the length and breadth of the country to almost every ID event, never empty handed, bringing numerous sponsorships, raffle & spot prizes. When this person is asked to do something, it is not done in half measures. NO! it is 100%. This lady started her career in horses working as a groom for international show jumper Jack Doyle, and travelling the world. She is a delight to watch her work at demonstrations & training days for the Branch. Many a bride would love to have a "French plait” to equal Susan's tails on her wedding day. She has won many a best turned out prizes at Shows, Race meetings & Inspections. She returned to Bandon & went doing summer work in Meelin Stud, fell in love with the resident jockey & the rest is history, so they say. They reared three wonderful children, Jayne, Patrick, & Nicola, who have all inherited the horse skills. They all worked tirelessly to build up Meelin to what it is today, culminating in Susan now owning her own TB stallion, Aristotle. She also has a mare "Molly Darcy" who is having great success in Hunter Trials this year & last. She also owned a horse called "Neville's Delight" who was a champion chaser winning the Tetratina Cup and beating "Eliogarty" the all-time great. She sold him to John Joe O'Neill & he was his first winner as a trainer. Then as you well know another passion often goes hand in hand with horses. Yes, you guessed right - Dogs. Susan is a prolific breeder of dogs, Schnauzers, Rottweilers, and Basset Hounds, to name a few. She has bred & produced many champion dogs, and is also an excellent judge in the West Cork circuit & beyond. But tonight's award is primarily for her work as Cork/Kerry Branch PRO, the position she has held since the branch was formed. Her outstanding work in this field would be hard to equal. Just as recently as yesterday she managed to get John Tynan to put great piece in the Examiner about tonight’s awards & dinner here in the Celtic Ross Hotel. "No Mean Feat". She has done Trojan work in organizing this event tonight. She is also PRO for Carbery pony club.
This award was , of course, presented to our PRO-extraordinaire, the human dynamo that is Susan McCarthy!