Offaly bred horses compete at top event

TWO horses bred in Co Offaly, recently competed at one of the top international equestrian competitions in the world. The Irish Sport Horses, Comanche and Fernhill Gloster Rebel, competed at the four-star Badminton International Horse Trials, which took place in Gloucestershire in England.

TWO horses bred in Co Offaly, recently competed at one of the top international equestrian competitions in the world. The Irish Sport Horses, Comanche and Fernhill Gloster Rebel, competed at the four-star Badminton International Horse Trials, which took place in Gloucestershire in England.

Comanche (ISH), who is by the stallion I’m A Star and out of the dam French Girl, finished in 20th place with British rider James Robinson. This gelding was bred by Birr native, Joseph Cavanagh.

Finishing in 51st place was Fernhill Gloster Rebel (ISH) with Portuguese rider Duarte Seabra. The gelding, who is by the stallion Rich Rebel and out of the dam Gloster’s Golden Clover, was bred by Sheila Hough from Banagher.

Badminton is one of only six events at the top level known as ‘four-star’ in the Olympic sport of three day eventing. Horses at this level would generally be in consideration for Olympic selection and hopes will be high that the horse will be selected by Great Britain and Portugal for participation at London 2012.

Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland, Joe Walsh, said that it was a huge achievement for a horse to reach that level in the sport.

“Four-star horses are the gold standard in eventing. To breed a horse capable of competing at that level usually requires years of planning and good decisions. The Sport Horse sector is worth over €400m to the Irish economy and it has its roots in parishes all over Ireland” he commented.