August 11, 2008

Irish sport horses are proving a dominant force in the leaderboard of the Olympic three-day-event so far. With just the showjumping phase left to go in competition in Hong Kong, eight horses of Irish breeding are in the top 15, and they're ridden by a variety of nationalities.

Current leader Marius (Germany) is a holsteiner, and second placed Abraxxas (Germany) is a hanoverian, but the next four placegetters - Irish Jester (Australia), Ben Along Time (Aust), McKinlaigh (USA), and Call Again Cavalier (GB)- are all Irish.

In seventh place is the selle français Ismene du Temple (France), followed by the hanoverian Butts Leon (Germany), and then the Swiss Warmblood Gazelle de la Brassierie (Belgium). Britain's Miner's Frolic, in 10th place, is the sole thoroughbred to make the top 15 list, and the top-class mare, Headley Britannia (Aust), another Irish cross, is 11th. She is just ahead of Frank Ostholt's Mr Medicott (Germany), another Irish sport horse.

Australia's Sonia Johnson has ridden Ringwould Jaguar into 13th place. The Aussie-bred horse is a first cross Australian Stock Horse. He is followed by two more Irish horses, Parkmore Ed (GB) and Connaught (USA).