KEEPING to herself in the stand at the clock end of Ring 1 late on Friday morning, Daphne Tierney looked on with pride, and restrained delight, as judges John Ferguson and Lucy Killingbeck chose her Bloomfield Watergate as their youngstock champion of the 2022 Dublin Horse Show.

Later in the day, the Co Wicklow owner’s smile was even wider as the Jane Bradbury-produced three-year-old, who is out of the Ars Vivendi mare Ballyconnery Surprise, won the Pembroke Cup as champion home-bred exhibit, an award so very highly-prized by Tierney.

Had there been betting on the outcome of the destination of the Laidlaw cup, chances are that the bay gelding would have started as favourite for the youngstock title. By the recently-deceased thoroughbred stallion Watermill Swatch, he had been crowned All-Ireland three-year-old champion at Bannow and Rathangan where he was shown, as he was last week, by Michael Lyons.

On his way to the top spot at Dublin, Bloomfield Watergate first won Thursday afternoon’s three-year-old lightweight geldings class where he claimed the red rosette ahead of Yvonne Pearson’s home-bred Woodview Firestarter. That bay, who had stood reserve to Bradbury and Tierney’s Bloomfield Breagura at Balmoral, is by the deceased thoroughbred Greenan Fort out of the well-related Kief Queen B (by Munther).

Lyons could have found himself with a difficult choice to make had the Bradbury-bred Bloomfield Breagura won his middle/heavyweight class. As it was, that Dignified van’t Zorgvliet gelding had to settle for third behind Declan Daly’s Flynn, and John and Julia Crosbie’s home-bred Cavalier Land gelding Brewery Lane who had finished reserve to Bloomfield Watergate in the all-Ireland.

The judges were taken by Flynn who was home-bred at his Hayfield Stud outside Clonakilty by Daly as the bay was to finish the day as reserve champion three-year-old and the week as reserve in the Pembroke Cup championship. The son of Munther is out of the Brookfield Floating Lux mare Floating Valley.

Also through to the judging for the Captain Anthony Maude Cup were the winner and second-placed exhibits from the sole three-year-old fillies’ class, both of whom were home-bred.

Carrying the red rosette was Anthony Gill’s Glen Future, a bay by Future Trend out of the OBOS Quality 004 mare Future Girl whose grandam, Flynns Girl (by Mandalus), bred three winners on the track, including the Grade 3 chase winner Foxtail Hill. This is the family of Spirit Leader and Game Changer among others.

The second-placed filly was Julie Radden’s Clinton Rose, a bay by Dignified van’t Zorgvliet out of the well-known Mr H VII mare Rose Garland, a staple on the breeding circuit for many years as a broodmare and dam of successful show horses.

At present, it is unclear whether we shall see Bloomfield Watergate compete under saddle in Ireland next year as, after the All-Ireland, he was actually purchased by Brendan Furlong, a Co Wexford-born veterinary surgeon who lives in New Jersey.

“Brendan has left Watergate with us for the present and he is out in the field,” said Bradbury who narrowly missed out on a tantalising Dublin Horse Show double when Tierney’s Bloomfield Distinction ended up reserve supreme show hunter in the Main Arena on Saturday morning. “We are holding on to Breagura to produce ourselves next season.”

Reserve Star

Standing reserve in the youngstock championship was the champion two-year-old, Jason Dunphy’s Vivas Star who started his Dublin journey by winning the lightweight colts or geldings’ class on Thursday morning. By the Belgian Warmblood stallion Vivant van de Heffinck, the bay was bred in Co Clare by Gearoid Duggan. His dam is the Grade B jumper Clenagh Princess (by Valentino-N).

Co Cork’s Patrick O’Sullivan exhibited the champion yearling Murrisk Curious Vancouver who, as his name suggests, is by Vancouver and was bred in Murrisk by Michael Grady. He is out of the Gentle Diamond mare, Stonehall Diamond, who has produced five foals by Numero Cruise, this Dublin champion and a colt foal this year by SHS Quattro Cruise.

O’Sullivan and his team also picked up a turn-out prize which was sponsored by the McCusker Group Lurgan and awarded in each of the young horse classes. The youngstock champion and his stable-companion were among such winners.

The reserve champion two-year-old was the middle/heavyweight geldings’ class winner, John Mulconroy’s OTG Killaloe. Bred in Co Clare by Marguerite Egan, this bay is one of just four horses registered on CapallOir by the British thoroughbred Virtual (by Pivotal) while his dam, the traditionally-bred Reno Joan, is by another thoroughbred in Reno Rebel.

OTG Killaloe won his class ahead of Pat Martin’s turn-out winner Imperator, a well-related son of Emperor Augustus, and these two geldings were judged champion and reserve in the traditional horse championship in which there was just one other animal forward.

The Etheridge Farm & Stud in Dorset where Virtual stands was delighted to promote this success by a son of their Group 1-winning miler who is sire also of the Shark Hanlon-trained Hewick, winner this year of the Tote Galway Plate and the bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) in Sandown.

While the show organisers are pitching these young horse classes at breeders and producers of animals with ‘the potential to be a top-level sport horse’, it has to be remembered that very few horses reach the top-level and that most will end up in the hands of amateurs who have been well-served in the past by the traditionally bred Irish Sport Horse. The decrease of these in the young horse classes was remarked on worriedly by last week’s show hunter judges.