Irish Sport Horses dominate at 2019 Badminton Horse Trials

Badminton BR Farm
WINNING ROUND: Piggy French and her Irish-bred ‘Vanir Kamira’ jump through the influential Hilton water complex on their winning round at Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials. (FW19-573AH) PICTURES: Anne Hughes

THE Irish Sport Horse ‘Vanir Kamira’ (ISH), bred by Kathryn Jackson in Co. Monaghan and ridden by Piggy French (GBR), has won the 2019 Mitsubishi Badminton Horse Trials in the UK. In another incredible result for Irish breeding, Irish Sport Horses filled all of the top six places and eight of the top 10 spots on the final leaderboard.

In what was a thrilling climax to the final Show Jumping phase, French and ‘Vanir Kamira’ (ISH) produced a perfect clear round inside the time to finish on a score of 26.8. They watched on as last to go ‘Ballaghmor Class’ (ISH), ridden by Oliver Townend, entered the arena with a cushion of one fence and one time penalty. They crossed the line with one fence down, but when they also added 1.6 time penalties to finish on 27.1, French and ‘Vanir Kamira’ (ISH) became champions. Third place on the podium went to ‘Cooley Lands’ (ISH), ridden by Christopher Burton (AUS) on a score of 28.1.

CLEAR: Jim Newsam and ‘Magennis’ jumped clear around the cross-country at Badminton, but were unfortunately unable to show jump on the final day. (FW19-572AH)

Co. Down’s Clare Abbott and ‘Euro Price’ (ISH) finished best of the Irish riders in 12th place. They lowered a single fence in the final phase, along with 0.4 time penalties to finish on 46.6. Just as they had done in Saturday’s Cross-Country, Ciaran Glynn and ‘November Night’ (ISH)(TIH) jumped clear and added just time penalties to finish 14th on 46.9. An excellent clear round inside the time saw Michael Ryan and ‘Dunlough Striker’ (ISH) finish 17th on 50.3.

Irish Eventing team manager Sally Corscadden was very happy with the Irish performance and said: “It was great to have three Irish riders finishing inside the top 20 at Badminton, as it’s always a tough competition. We saw some very good jumping performances. Obviously, it was disappointing for Padraig [McCarthy] that he had to withdraw with ‘Mr Chunky’ before the final phase, but he will be back for another day. On the whole, it was very positive.”


Speaking last week about the course, Irish Eventing team manager Sally Corscadden, said: “Eric Winter, designer of the cross-country course, describes this year’s track as being “different to what we’ve previously seen” and different it certainly is. It’s an innovative track and is sure to test the athlete’s Cross-Country riding and I am very much looking forward to seeing how our Irish athletes will answer the questions being asked of them.”

Irish Sport Horses dominated the leaderboard following Saturday’s Cross-Country phase at Badminton and incredibly filled all of the top seven places.

‘Ballaghmor Class’ (ISH), bred by Noel Hickey in Co. Limerick, led the way with Britain’s Oliver Townend on a score of 21.5. ‘Vanir Kamira’ (ISH), bred by Kathryn Jackson in Co. Monaghan, was in second with Piggy French (GBR) on 26.8, while ‘Graf Liberty’ (ISH), bred by Brian Livingstone, was in third with Christopher Burton (AUS) on 27.7.

Co. Down’s Clare Abbott was the highest placed Irish rider and lay in an impressive 12th place with the Irish Sport Horse ‘Euro Prince’, after a super clear jumping round Cross-Country, where they added just 10.8 time penalties to leave them on a score of 42.2. Padraig McCarthy and ‘Mr Chunky’ were next best in 19th spot. They picked up 11 penalties for a frangible pin in the Huntsman Close at the latter end of the course, and added just 3.2 time penalties to leave them on a score of 45.4.

An excellent round from Ciaran Glynn and ‘November Night’ (ISH)(TIH), where they jumped clear and added just six time penalties, saw them rise a massive 46 places and they sat in 20th on 45.7. Michael Ryan and ‘Dunlough Striker’ (ISH) also climbed the leaderboard following a clear round with 13.6 time penalties and they were in 26th place on 50.3. Jim Newsam and ‘Magennis’ (ISH) added only time penalties to their Dressage score and were in 43rd on 64.3.


Two Irish riders lay just outside the top 10 following Thursday’s opening day of Dressage at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in the UK, with Padraig McCarthy and ‘Mr Chunky’ in 11th place, just ahead of Clare Abbott and ‘Euro Prince’, who lay in joint 12th.

McCarthy (41) and ‘Mr Chunky’, were part of the silver medal winning Irish team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and they made an impressive Badminton debut last year when finishing eighth overall. A score of 31.2 penalties in Thursday’s Dressage left the Tipperary native nicely poised to challenge for another top 10 finish, with Cross-Country to come on Saturday, followed by Show Jumping on Sunday.

Clare Abbott and ‘Euro Prince’ (ISH) were also well-positioned in equal 12th place, following a score of 31.4 penalties. Michael Ryan and ‘Dunlough Striker’ (ISH) were next best of the Irish in 24th on 36.7, while Joseph Murphy and ‘Sportsfield Othello’ (ISH) were in 28th on 38.4. Ciaran Glynn and ‘November Night’ (ISH)(TIH) scored 39.7 and lay in equal 33rd, while Jim Newsam was in 38th with ‘Magennis’ (ISH) following a score of 41.1.

Britain’s Oliver Townend held the overnight lead on a score of 19.7, with the Irish Sport Horse ‘Cillnabradden Evo’, who was bred in Co. Meath by Tom and Orla Holden.

BREEDING – Badminton 2019:

1) Vanir Kamira (ISH) – 2005 mare by Camiro De Haar Z (ZANG) out of Fair Caledonian (WNTR) by Dixi (TB). Breeder: Kathryn Jackson (Monaghan). Rider: Piggy French (GBR)

2) Ballaghmor Class (ISH) – 2007 gelding Courage II (HOLST) out of Kilderry Place (ISH). Breeder: Noel Hickey (Limerick). Rider: Oliver Townend (GBR)

3) Cooley Lands (ISH) – 2008 gelding by Cavalier Land (ISH) out of Clover Light Girl (ISH)(TIH) by Clover Hill (ID). Breeder: Peter Rice (Monaghan). Rider: Christopher Burton (AUS)

4) Graf Liberty (ISH) by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Lisheen Star (ISH). Damsire: Cavalier Royale.

Breeder: Brian Livingstone. Rider: Christopher Burton (AUS).

5) Swallow Springs. (ISH) – 2008 gelding by Chillout (ISH) out of Kilila (ISH) by Cult Hero (TB). Breeder: Maria Keating (Galway). Rider: Andrew Nicholson (NZL)

IMPRESSIVE: Clare Abbott and ‘Euro Prince’ impressed the dressage judges at Badminton, where they completed in 12th place. (FW19-571AH)

6) Cillnabradden Evo (ISH) – 2006 stallion by Creevagh Ferro Ex Siebe (KWPN) out of Willow Gardenb [ISH] by King Henry (ID) Breeder: Tom & Orla Holden (Meath). Rider: Oliver Townend (GBR)


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