AThlone National Hall Of Fame Awards 2017
IDHBA Recipient - Kitty Cotter

Hall Of Fame Award 2017

Congratulations to Kitty Cotter,
our 2017 recipient of the National Hall of Fame Award.
Pictured here receiving her award from Aogán Ó Fearghail, preident of the GAA.

hall of fame

Kitty Cotter - Contribution to the Irish Draught Breed
Kitty Cotter has been involved in all aspects of breeding, showing and promoting our Native Irish Draught Horse Breed over the past 50 years. Alongside her late Husband Billy Cotter from Enniskeane in West Cork they set up a small breeding herd of two Irish Draught mares in the 1960’s on their small mixed farm. The Irish Draughts carried the Enniskeane Prefix which became a well-known both at home, and in the UK where two RID Stallions, Enniskeane Prince and Enniskeane Pride made a big name for themselves in the 1980s and 1990s. The foundation mare for Billy and Kitty was Enniskeane Countess who won the RDS championship in 1967 and went on to be the Dam of 3 Approved Stallions and the Dam of the Kildalton Countess who was the Dam of a further 5 Approved Stallion sons; Kildalton King, Glidawn Diamond, Diamond Lad, Diamonds are Trumps and Kildalton Gold all of whom have made a significant contribution to the Irish Draught Studbook and the Irish Sport Horse Studbook through the performance of their progeny. Another successful son of Pride of Shaunlara, the RID Stallion Silver Hunter was also bred by the Cotters in the 1974 and a fifth Stallion Diamant Dubh by Creggan Diamond was bred in Enniskeane in 1988. In 2000 Kitty and Billy and the Cotter family had a proud moment when their son John led up the home-bred Enniskeane Flash to win the Irish Draught mare championship in the RDS.


In 1976, the Irish Draught Horse Society was formed and Billy Cotter became its first National Chairman. This led to Billy having to travel a lot and it was Kitty who managed the farm along with a young family when he was away from home. Billy’s role as an Irish Draught inspector meant that he was often away on inspection tours in the Springtime, leaving Kitty in charge of the maternity ward at home – both equine and bovine. She did train as a nurse before they were married, but may not have foreseen this unexpected application of her former career.
Kitty and Billy were very much involved in securing sponsorship and starting the first National Irish Draught Mare Championship at Millstreet International Horse Show in 1977.  This very successful championship ran until 1992 and is very much credited with the revival of the Irish Draught Breed and increasing the level of Purebred breeding. Kitty has been a staunch supporter of Irish Draught National Breed shows and has attended most of them since the first breed show took place in 1990. She also never misses the Irish Draught day at the RDS each year.
Kitty has been the Secretary of the Cork/Kerry Branch of the Irish Draught Breeders Association since its inception in 2008. Starting with a small group of less than 10 members it has grown to nearly 50 members and the branch runs its own mixed horse sale for members and local breeders. Through her association with the branch, she was nominated to represent the branch on the National Governing Body in 2012. She has been a very committed member of the Governing Body where she was instrumental as part of a sub-committee in changing the organisation structure to a new limited company which will give the organisation a solid legal footing for the future. . Kitty was also one of the representatives from the organisation who was a member of the 2013/2014 H.S.I appointed Irish Draught Breed Taskforce, which produced a comprehensive report that received international recognition as a way forward for the breed.

Kitty has been involved in the organising and running of shows for many years and is often to be seen stewarding at shows and championships around Ireland. She is the current Secretary of Dunmanway Agricultural show a position which she has held for over 20 years, despite only signing up for three months. Kitty is also a member of The Munster Agricultural Society and an active member of the Equine committee for Cork Summer Show. She is a long serving member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Shows Association and the current Chairperson of the Southern Region of the ISA.
Kitty continues to breed an Irish Draught Mare “Enniskeane Lilac” and a Connemara pony on the farm in West Cork with the help of her family. The Governing Body of the Irish Draught Horse Breeders Association would like to congratulate Kitty on receiving the Hall of Fame award and thank her for her contribution to the association and the Irish Draught Breed.