Top lot fetches $50K at Irish eventing horse sale

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Kilbunny Blue Bird sold to British buyers for €29,000 at Ireland's Monart Sale, which was held online this year.
Kilbunny Blue Bird sold to British buyers for €29,000 at Ireland’s Monart Sale, which was held online this year. © The Monart Sale

An eventing horse auction that was forced online because of Ireland’s strict pandemic mitigation levels and 6-week lockdown has posted its best results to date.

The top-selling horse at The Monart Sale was three-year-old gelding Kilbunny Blue Bird, who sold for €29,000 ($NZ50,000; $US34,000). The son of Kilbunny Blue owned by Richie O’Hara attracted great interest from buyers from Britain and Germany, but was knocked down to British-based company Awarded2U Ltd.

The 2020 Monart Sale sale was scheduled to take place at Monart Equestrian, Enniscorthy, from November 2 to 4, but with lockdown in Ireland in place until December 1, the sale moved online. Running the sale in this format was a move to the unknown for the Monart team, but such was the success of the concept that some aspects will remain for future sales, organisers say.

Monart is Ireland’s only elite horse sale, with horses selected by a panel of 5* riders, Polly Jackson (GB), Sale Director Niall Griffin (IRL) and Bill Levett (AUS), and vetted by Olympic team vet Marcus Swail. With a clearance rate expected to exceed 80% and average prices rising from €11,000 in previous years to €13,000 in 2020, the sale received support from top-level riders from across the world.

“We’re thrilled that it worked and how every aspect played out,” said Griffin, an Olympic eventer. “The sale exceeded all of our expectations.”

North American buyers again had a strong presence at Monart, with 10 young horses selling to the US and Canada this year, including two grey three-year-olds to US veterinarian and eventing rider Katie Malensek. She went to €26,000 for the final lot, Mei-Fleure, a KWPN-bred gelding by Chapeau TN and from ISIS Fleure, sold by Henry Foley; and €20,500 for MRF Qwikstep, a son of Metropole (KWPN) from the thoroughbred mare Silver Comet. He was sold by Mike Comerford.

Three-year-old Mei-Fleure sold to US eventer Katie Malensek for €26,000 at Ireland's Monart Sale.
Three-year-old Mei-Fleure sold to US eventer Katie Malensek for €26,000 at Ireland’s Monart Sale. © The Monart Sale

Among the higher-priced lots was Monbeg Imperator (Emperor Augustus x OBOS Nancy Boone), sold by Tomas Doyle to British company Roundel Mfg Ltd for €25,000. Another was Rathnageera Leo, a three-year-old gelding by Quantino (Hol) from the thoroughbred mare Lord Luso. He was sold by Frank Casey to an anonymous buyer for €21,000.

Other notable sales included a three-year-old gelding by Cavalier Land, who was sold to double Olympic Champion and Rolex Grand Slam winner Michael Jung by Rosalinda Devereux for €17,500. Cavalier Land (Cavalier Royale [Hol] x Miss Highland [ISH]) is the sire of 4* eventing horse Cooleylands. Jung bought another horse after the sale, a three-year-old named Bouncer, from Killeen House Stud. The three-quarter thoroughbred is from the Irish Sport Horse mare Abbie Lady and by the thoroughbred Denounce.

Olympic silver medallist and World Gold Medallist Nicola Wilson went to €15,000 to secure Gortglas Lupin, a son of showjumper Luidam (KWPN) and from the Master Imp mare Gortglas Skye (ISH), from Sian Ball.

Irish Olympic couple Trish and Michael Ryan bought two three-year-olds; a gelding by Nazar (TB) and from Slygyff Beth for €13,000 from Barbara Hatton, and a gelding by Island Commander from the ISH mare Jockeyhall, for €12,000 from Myles Somers.

Sales selector and 5* rider Bill Levett said the success of the sale was a “real stamp of approval”.

“Riders want to try and find a good horse and to have these upper-level riders keep coming back, it gives us a lot of confidence that we’re on the right track and we’re providing them with the sort of horses they want to buy. Because, if we weren’t, they wouldn’t keep coming back.”

» View the sale catalogue

Full sale results:

Lot No Vendor Buyer Country Price
3 Tommy Considine Vicki Irlam GB €16,500.00
5 Myles Somers Jodie Amos GB €17,500.00
6 JJ Bowe Ruth Honey GB €10,000.00
7 Henry Foley S&M Eventing GB €12,500.00
8 Rosalinda Devereux M Jung DE €17,500.00
9 Tomas Doyle Benjamin King GB €13,000.00
10 Ruairi Brennan Alison Gardner GB €15,500.00
11 Brian Flynn Charlotte Agnew GB €16,500.00
12 Shay Leacy Phillip Martin GB €14,500.00
16 Catriona Redmond Geoffrey Nichols US €23,500.00
17 Mary Bolger Katie Dumas GB €12,500.00
19 Frank Casey Anon €21,000.00
20 Ann Cash Georgia Davies GB €9,000.00
21 Mike Comerford Katie Malensek US €20,500.00
23 Linda Murphy Manuel Senra Chover ES €13,500.00
25 Yana Verling Antonio Rusticoni IT €6,000.00
26 Emma Redmond J Turner GB €10,000.00
27 Hans Kuehnle Peter Felton GB €17,000.00
31 Julie Radden Fioruzzi Sport Horses S.R.L IT €6,500.00
32 Barbara Hatton Trish Ryan IE €13,000.00
34 Raymond Mc Chesney S. King US €12,000.00
37 Sean Donohoe Becky Pallas GB €8,000.00
39 Tomas Doyle Roundel Mfg Ltd GB €25,000.00
40 Trade Horse Ltd Hayley Tolson GB €12,000.00
43 Albert McDonald Oxstone Eventing GB €10,500.00
44 Brian Flynn Kai-Steffen Meier BE €13,000.00
48 John Murphy Kianna Luscher US €16,000.00
51 Barbara Hatton D. Clasing US €7,000.00
52 Tomas Doyle Gwen Emmerson GB €15,500.00
58 Richie O’Hara Awarded2U Ltd GB €29,000.00
60 Tom Casey D. Clasing US €10,500.00
61 Ann Cash Andrea Morris GB €12,500.00
62 Brian Flynn Anna Warnecke GB €12,500.00
63 Myles Somers Trish Ryan IE €12,000.00
66 Eleanor Dalton Charlie Clover GB €8,500.00
67 Ado Moran Harry Horton UK €6,500.00
68 Trade Horse Ltd Evan Brewer US €16,000.00
69 Donal Buckley Karen Centauro GB €11,500.00
70 Ciaran Moran Karl Slezak CAN €10,500.00
71 Henry Foley Mestern Eventing DE €11,500.00
72 JJ Bowe Stal Pen-Aubert NL €7,000.00
73 Sian Ball Alastair Wilson GB €15,000.00
74 Niall O Doherty Richard Webb GB €12,000.00
75 Anthony O Regan Vet And Care For Horses CZ €11,000.00
76 Tomas Doyle Josh Levett UK €11,500.00
78 Peadar Carter Laurence Hunt GB €6,500.00
79 JJ Bowe Stal Pen-Aubert NL €7,500.00
80 Henry Foley Sarah Hughes US €11,000.00
81 Mary Kehoe Layfield Renewable Ltd GB €18,500.00
82 Tommy Considine Laura Hanson GB €11,000.00
83 Damian Kelleher Maurice Cousins IRL €11,500.00
84 Brian Flynn Laurence Hunt GB €13,000.00
87 Henry Foley Matt Stanford UK €14,500.00
88 JJ Bowe Danielle Magner IE €8,000.00
89 Rachael Heald Robert Sirch DE €10,000.00
90 Henry Foley Nicky Roncoroni GB €11,000.00
91 Tomas Doyle Jack Pinkney GB €21,500.00
92 Mike Comerford Alison King GB €7,500.00
93 RODNEY Gault Rebecca Herbert GB €8,500.00
94 Barbara Hatton Hans j Kuehnle IE €14,000.00
95 Myles Somers Sian Hoskin GB €18,500.00
97 Frank Casey Ben Spraggon GB €13,500.00
99 Brian Flynn The Yard House GB €7,000.00
100 JJ Bowe F. Swanton GB €8,000.00
101 Henry Foley Katie Malensek US €26,000.00

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