IT looked like a repeat win was on the cards in the A.B. Browne Oil All Ireland filly foal final when Kieran O’Gorman’s Munther entry, a full-sister to his 2019 champion, was pulled in top of the initial line-up.
However, judges Eyleen Nugent and Bernie Stack rearranged their final order with O’Gorman’s Munther’s Miss swapping places with Danielle and Louise Cusack’s Brittas Lady Grace, lying in third place in the preliminary order.
Seventeen finalists gathered in Moate for this year’s final, part of Horse Sport Ireland’s national showing series. There are few All Ireland showing finals that can boast of having Declan Nerney playing in the background but between a fine day and ample entertainment laid on, Moate was another show to enjoy its largest crowd in years.
This year’s champion is by the Cusack’s family own traditional sport horse stallion Clonaslee Captain Cristo and out of the Ramiro B-Cavalier Royale dam, Hallowberry Destiny. A full-sister to the 2018 Irish Field Breeders Championship winning combination, Brittas Lady Grace and her dam were reserve in the eventing section of this year’s championship. The same filly, who showed her wellbeing by jumping into the adjoining ring when she escaped during the final, also won the Dublin filly foal class two weeks ago.
“There were some lovely fillies in this final. Fellow judge Bernie Stack and I had a mammoth task indeed as the overall standard was very high. However, I think we can say without doubt the winner was an exceptional foal beautifully produced on the day. She possessed a good temperament, which, when coupled with bone and a lightness in step, give her all the attributes a filly will need going forward, whether that be for performance or as a broodmare,” commented Eyleen.
The Co Kildare duo’s reserve champion choice - Edel and Dominic Curtin’s dark brown filly - retained that place from the outset. By Castlefield Kingston out of the VDL Arkansas-Crosstown Dancer mare Corgrigg Dancer, the athletic type attracted much interest afterwards for her Banner County owners but was already sold to a Tipperary buyer earlier this summer.
Coincidentally, Louise Cusack and Edel Curtin are both members of An Garda Síochána, based in Naas and Kilrush respectively, although with an injured Curtin on the sidelines, Bernard Killeen, who is relishing the role of leading Corgrigg Dancer and Noel O’Shea deputised last Sunday.
In third was Munther’s Miss, another by an ‘in-house’ stallion in the thoroughbred Munther out of Brookfield Miss Lux, the same dam as O’Gorman’s 2019 champion. This Lux Z-Cavalier Royale mare and her dam Kildysart Royale were the winning combination in the 2009 Breeders’ Championship.
John Burchill’s Tyson filly out of the Ghareeb mare Slatequarry Sasha, who had her golden year at Dublin in 2016 with a Breeders Championship/Coote Cup double, was fourth and completing the trio of Cork owners in the top-five was P.J. Lehane. His Munther filly is another full-sister to a former Moate champion in 2018 with both out of P.J’s good servant P.J.’s Delight, by Lux Z.
The best-turned-out prize went to the dapper mother and daughter duo of Mary Dooner and Laura Pettitt with their Rockin Ruby and her Another Pleasure filly.
The same For Pleasure sire produced the champion foal at Moate: Pat Carty’s chesnut, the reserve champion in last month’s All Ireland colt foal final at Clarecastle, won by his neighbour Michael Dooner. As mentioned in that Clarecastle report, the colt’s distinctive blaze earned his name of Uppercut. Padraig Bohan owns the reserve champion foal by Inisfree The Holy Grail while Uppercut’s dam, the Kings Master mare Master Smooth, was reserve champion broodmare to the Mannion family’s Lackagh Lightfoot, by Western Blues. In another coincidence, this Touch Of The Blues stallion was bred by Edel Curtin’s sister Siobhan Kennedy.
Lackagh Lightfoot also won the Irish Draught mare title with Jimmy Noone’s Crusheen Lady Luna, by Tors Gentleman Farmer, taking reserve and the overall Irish Draught title was won by James and Anna Lennon’s Bunnahinney Boy, a Carrickcottage Star three-year-old.
“Could that trophy be any bigger, Dad?” James and Anna Lennon’s Bunnahinney Boy eyes up the Irish Draught champion trophy \ Susan Finnerty
The overall native breed champion was Ellie Rogan’s Tullaree Fear Bui. This Templebready Fear Bui grey was the recent reserve working hunter champion at Clifden recently for his young pilot and won the Moate Connemara champion title too. Reserve in this Connemara championship was Avril Kelly’s Dunran Love In The Mist, by the late I Love You Melody.
There was sparse entries in the young horse classes, the pattern of autumn shows in recent years, but Alison Rountree’s Olympic Dream, by Colandro, had a good day, winning two titles, including the young horse championship. Reserve in both the young horse and filly championships was April Keogh’s Ringfort Cruise filly Gallenbridge Ringfort Lady.
In comparison, ridden horse class entries far outnumber young horse numbers. Another family connection here was the mother-and-daughter team of Kate and Amory McMahon’s Woodfieldfarm Baloo, the ridden horse champion. A full-brother to breeder Rosemary Connors’ former All Ireland three-year-old champion Woodfield Xtra, the two are by Spirit House out of the big winner Woodfield Valier.
The reserve ridden horse champion went to Sir Sheldon, yet another winning cob owned by Kate Boyce from Aughrim Stables.
Colin Doyle, said to be Ireland’s youngest show secretary, shone in his role although even the task of gathering a full set of results for this week’s paper (a free service open to all) was hampered by the number of late entries and missing details.
Pat Carty with Master Smooth and Uppercut, his Moate reserve champion mare and champion foal \ Susan Finnerty