TIHA Hunter Show and Go – Irish Field Report

Well-produced hunting horses with bone, substance and manners were in strong demand at the Traditional Irish Horse Association Hunter Show & Go Sale

Caitriona Murphy

MORE than 200 people travelled to Scarteen in Co Limerick on Tuesday for the second ever Traditional Irish Horse Association Hunter Show & Go sale, where well-produced hunters met strong demand.

With 42 horses catalogued, some 25 horses were sold on the day and further sales are expected to be concluded in the coming weeks and days.

Although all sales conducted were private deals, it is understood that the top price secured on the day was €10,000, while the average was close to €7,000.

Athlone dealer Jim Derwin supported the inaugural sale in 2013 and returned again on Tuesday to buy no less than 11 of the horses on offer.

“I bought 11 altogether and I paid from €5,000 to €7,000 for my horses,” he told The Irish Field. “I bought four horses at the sale last year but I have to say I haven’t seen as good a bunch of horses together in a long time as I saw there [in Scarteen].

“Last year I thought some of the horses had too much blood to them, a lot of them were three-quarter bred but this year I thought the selection was better, they were real proper Irish hunting horses that people are looking for. They were very, very nice horses.”

The Westmeath man, who was also active at Cavan sales this week, added that he did not have any particular clients in mind for the horses he bought but it is unlikely they will remain in his yard for too long, as he reports a good trade for well-produced good-looking hunters in England, Germnay and Holland.

“I sold 13 horses to Holland for hunting lately and seven more went to Belgium the week I went to Lanaken with my jumping horse,” he said. “Customers like that type of horse I bought - big greys that have been well hunted, horses with good bone and big fronts to carry big men. They need to be looking really well and do their job.”

Derwin’s purchases were lots 7, 10, 15, 16, 18, 23, 27, 29, 30 and 42 in the catalogue, which is available to view on the TIHA website.

Agent Clare Ryan also brokered a deal for British clients Duncan Stoddart and Caroline Boyden, who were very happy with their new mount, the 17.1hh brown gelding Mr Riordan. Consigned by Elizabeth Ahern, the five-year-old Heigh Ho Dubh gelding is now destined for a career hunting with the Cattistock and Blackmore Vale in England.

“He was beautifully ridden by Ann Leonard and was very well-mannered. In fact, he was one of the only horses who stood to both open and close the gate,” remarked Ryan. “My clients were sold on the ride when they tried him.”

The pair, who had earlier tried a Grange Bouncer gelding, returned to England on Wednesday but not before they bought the first horse too.

Eamon Gleeson of the Traditional Irish Horse Association recorded sales to buyers from England, Holland and Germany on the day, while another sale is pending to America and several horses were bought by Irish buyers and two horses are to remain in Scarteen country.

“Trade was strong and sellers really upped their game since last year in the way that the horses were produced,” he maintained. “A good model with hunting mileage and well schooled on the flat will sell very well.”

Video footage of all horses who jumped the Hunter Show & Go course which consisted of wire, banks, logs, hedges and rails, is now available online (www.tiha.ie) and more sales are set to be concluded in the coming weeks.

Plans are already underway, meanwhile, to expand the selection process for the 2015 sale to possibly include selection dates in the midlands and potentially to include a smaller, working hunter or ladies’ hunter section to the sale.

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