Top of the world! Irish showjumpers bring home the bacon

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Bertram Allen and Pacino Amiro, the highest-earning Irish Sport Horse showjumper so far this year, as ranked by Hippomundo. 
Bertram Allen and Pacino Amiro, the highest-earning Irish Sport Horse showjumper so far this year, as ranked by Hippomundo.  © Sportfot

Irish-bred showjumpers are leading the world so far this year, with the Irish Sport Horse Studbook the highest-earning studbook in the sport.

With 292 registered Irish Sport Horses competing so far this year, according to a review by Hippomundo they have earned on average €3000 each, despite having significantly fewer horses competing than other studbooks.  The Oldenburger studbook is in second place in the rankings with average winnings of almost €2000 each, while Westphalian horses complete the top three with an average of almost €1800.

The studbook with the most horses competing so far this year is KWPN, a Dutch studbook with 3039 horses earning on average €933 each, followed by Selle Francais with 2575 horses competing.

The highest-earning Irish Sport Horse for 2021 so far is Pacino Amiro, ridden by Bertram Allen. The pair won a five-star Grand Prix in Wellington in February winning just over €132,000. Pacino Amiro (ISH) is a 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES), bred by Simon Scott in Co. Donegal and owned by Aiden McGrory.

Allen and Pacino Amiro have been together since October 2019 when they kick-started their campaign in the Young Horse classes in Opglabbeek, Belgium. Since then they have progressed through the levels and competed as part of the Irish three-star Nations Cup team in Prague in August 2020, before competing all over Europe and then heading for the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.

Among the many other Irish Sport Horses who have impressed on the world stage this year, the nine-year-old gelding Kilkenny has been ridden by Cian O’Connor to impressive results including a third-place finish in his first-ever five-star Grand Prix. Kilkenny has gone on to record several other top 10 finishes and was fourth in a hugely competitive four-star Grand Prix recently in The Netherlands.

Other Irish Sport Horses to make a big impression were the 11-year-old Castlefield Vegas, who was on the second-placed Irish Nations Cup team at WEF and also posted an impressive double for Bertram Allen when winning both the WEF Challenge Cup and the $137,000 three-star Grand Prix in the same week.

The 11-year-old Sligo Balou Boy also scored a major victory at the Winter Equestrian Festival with Darragh Kenny, while Andrew Bourns’ 10-year-old Sea Topblue has also been in excellent form.

Horse Sport Ireland Director of Breeding and Programmes Alison Corbally said the horses had all been bred in Ireland and produced through the Irish Sport Horse Studbook series age classes and the HSI supported RDS Championships.

“Given that many of the breeders have made significant investment in sourcing/upgrading mares, selecting suitable stallions and following the Horse Sport Ireland breeding and production schemes, there is no greater pleasure now, than for each breeder to follow and enjoy the success of their horse winning at the top international level.

“It is every breeder’s dream. As the Irish Sport horse is renowned for their longevity, and these are all young horses, we wish them many more years of top-level international success.”

Breeding details:
Pacino Amiro (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Pacino (BWP) out of Carnone Dancing Queen (ISH) by NC Amiro (AES). Breeder: Simon Scott, Co. Donegal. Owner: Aiden McGrory. Rider: Bertram Allen (IRL).
Castlefield Vegas (ISH) – 2010 gelding by Cassino (SWWB) out of Clarkes Quiet Optimistic (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeder: John Clarke, Co. Cavan. Owner: Martin Egan.
Kilkenny (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of MHS Pembrook Lady (ISH) by Guidam (SF) Breeder Sinead Brennan, Co Kilkenny. Owner Ronocco Jump Ltd.
Sea Topblue (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Chacco Blue (MECKL) out of Sea Top Lady (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeders: James & John Meade, Co. Clare. Owner: Deirdre Bourns.
Sligo Balou Boy (ISH) – 2009 gelding by Balou Du Rouet (OLD) out of Catiana (LBP) by Caletto I (HOLST). Breeder: Padraig Howley, Co. Sligo. Owner: Michael Kearins.

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