famous irish sport horses

List fo famous irish sport horses

Shear L’Eau – 1991 Gelding – TIH

Sire: Stan The Man (TB)

Dam: Starry Night II (ISH)(TIH)

Dam Sire: Carnival Night (TB)

Breeder: Edward Walsh, Clare

Discipline: Eventingfamous irish sport horses

Shear L’Eau, a horse Roddy Dean found in Ireland, amassed over 1,400 British Eventing points throughout his competitive career. They won Team Gold at the European Championships in Punchestown (2003) and Blenheim (2005), when they were the only combination to make the time (2005). Other competitive milestones for the horse were two top-10 places at Kentucky CCI4* and a fifth place finish at Burghley CCi4* in 2003.

Leslie rode Shear H2O to Team Silver in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, and Shear L’Eau was his full brother. In 2017, he passed away. I am 26 years old.

“He was a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” says the rider. Leslie Law is a lawyer.

“He was a fascinating man with a lot of personality. He has always shown such quality in competition at a very young age.” Leslie Law is a lawyer.


Abbervail Dream – 1987 Gelding – TIH

Sire:Chair Lift (TB)

Dam: Killea Beauty (ISH)

Dam Sire: Leabeg (ISH)

Breeder: Majorie Quarton, Tipperary

Discipline: Showjumping

Mac was sired by Chair Lift, a thoroughbred gelding out of Killea Beauty and Smooth Stepper xx. Dr. Noel Cawley sold Abbervail Dream to Robert and Dina Verburgt in 1990 as a three-year-old. After being broken to saddle in Ireland, he traveled to Di Lampard, who began competing him in novice classes at the age of four.

Abbervail Dream qualified for three young horse finals at the Horse of the Year Show in 1993, but Di injured her leg in a collecting ring accident. He won the Queens Cup at Hickstead when he was seven years old, and the following year he competed in his first World Cup in Olympia in London. This was the start of a long and successful international career for the combination, which saw it become the backbone of the British team. Di and Abbervail Dream made their British Team debut at CSIO Rotterdam when he was eight years old, and they went on to make almost 40 appearances in the British Team after that.

Di Lampard and Abbervail Dream participated in two European Championships (Hickstead and Arnhem) and two World Equestrian Games (Hickstead and Arnhem) (Rome & Jerez). Lampard and Abbervail Dream finished 12th individually and 12th as a team in the 1998 World Equestrian Games. Abbervail Dream was named “Horse of the Year” by Horse & Hound readers in 1999. In 2004, Hickstead declared Abbervail Dream to be retired.

“Mac was a strong, courageous, yet cautious blood horse with limitless potential – he was a warrior who excelled in representing the United Kingdom in nations cups throughout the world. We shall all cherish our memories of him for the rest of our lives.” Robert and Dina (Matta) Verburgt are the proprietors.


High Kingdom  – 2001 Gelding – TIH

Sire; Master Imp (TB)

Dam; High Dolly (ISH)

Dam Sire: Chair Lift (TB)

Breeder; William Micklem, Wicklow.

Discipline: Eventing

High Kingdom, ridden by Zara Tindell (GBR) and owned by Grand National winner Trevor Hemmings, has had a long and successful international career. The peak of his career came in 2012, when he placed 8th individually and won Team Silver at the London Olympic Games. At the Luhmuhlen CCI4* in Germany, the couple finished second behind another classic Irish Sport Horse, Mr Cruise Control.

10th place at Burghley CCI4* 2011, 5th place at Saumur CCI3* 2011, 5th place at Burnham Market CIC3* 2012, and 3rd place at Bramham CIC3* 2012. High Kingdom, a 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse, finished third in the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* in 2017, with Mr Medicott, a traditional Irish Sport Horse, taking fourth place (aged 18).

High Kingdom had competed in 35 FEI events at the end of the 2017 season. High Kingdom is Mandiba’s full brother, who competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing under Karen O’Connor of the United States.

“High Kingdom moves like a dream, galloping like a racehorse, turning like a show jumper, and galloping like a racehorse. He’s the quintessential 21st-century event horse, and he’s Irish, too! I wish I could go back in time and ride him.” Jimmy Wofford is a three-time Olympian and two-time silver medalist from the United States, as well as a top trainer.


Special Envoy – 1980 Gelding – TIH`

Sire:King of Diamonds (ID)

Dam: Highland Lady 3 (ISH)

Dam Sire: Highland Flight (ID)

Breeder: Mary Hughes, Kilkenny

Discipline: Showjumping

Rodrigo Pessoa, who won the Dublin Grand Prix with Special Envoy in 1989 and finished third in the Grand Prix at Aachen in 1990, has died at the age of 74. Rodrigo was just 17 years old when they competed in the World Championship that year. Marion Hughes of Kilkenny had been working with the horse for more than 20 years before passing him on to his son’s care.

Rodrigo was the youngest rider competing at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, at the age of 19. Rodrigo and Special Envoy won Grand Prix at Aachen (1992, 1993, 1994, 1997), Arhus (1994), Geesteren (1997), Geneva (1993), Mechelen (1992), Paris (1993) and the Eindhoven Derby (1993). Rodrigo also won Team Gold in the Pan-American Games in Argentina in 1995.

“Special Envoy was a fantastic horse; he was the first horse I rode in the major GPs, and he catapulted me onto the world stage. With him, I competed in my first World Championship and Olympic Games. I was fortunate to have had many good horses, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be him for propelling me into the big leagues.” Rodrigo Pessoa is a Brazilian footballer.


Carling King, 1991 Gelding – TIH

Sire:Clover Hill (ID)

Dam: Gortnageer Star (ISH)

Dam Sire: Chair Lift (TB)

Breeder: Dr Pat Geraghty, Galway.

Disciplie: Showjumping

Carling King, trained by Mike Buckely of Waterford, won the Five Year Old fina at the 1996 Dublin Horse Show. The next year, they competed in the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses in Belgium, representing the Irish Sport Horse Studbook.

Carling King was a long-serving member of Team Ireland, winning 11 Nations Cup wins and winning Team Gold with Ireland at the 2001 European Championships. In 2000, Carling King won the Hickstead Grand Prix, and in 2003, he won the King George V Cup at Hickstead. He was ridden by Kevin Babington who finished fourth in the individual standings at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“He was the kind of once-in-a-lifetime companion that many riders only fantasize about. We competed in the Olympics, European Championships, and World Championships, won several Grand Prix events, and he was one of the most successful Nations Cup horses ever to represent Ireland. This horse placed me on the map, and I’ll be eternally thankful for his presence in my life. Many people liked him and will miss him.” Kevin Babington is a writer and a musician (on the death of Carling King in 2014)


Flexible – 1996 Stallion – TIH

Sire: Cruising (ISH)

Dam: Flex (ISH)

Dam Sire: Safari (TB)

Breeder: Catherine & Edward Doyle, Kildare

Discipline: Showjumping

When Flexible’s dam, international showjumper Flex, competed in a National Championship, she had just been scanned in foal to the excellent showjumper Cruising, and she defeated Cruising, ridden by Trevor Coyle (IRL), by fractions of a second.

Flexible won the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in the Netherlands at the age of 16, ending a 25-year drought in the finals for the United States. As a young horse Flexible was ridden well by Edward Doyle before being sold to Harry and Molly Chapman. Flexible finished second behind Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly in the 2008 FEi World Cup Final in Gothenburg.

In 2012 Flexible was named USEF Horse of the Year and placed eighth individually for Team USA at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The 16 HH Flexible performed at Grand Prix level until he was 21 years old, retiring in 2017 with 35 FEI victories after a remarkable career. Flexible has a 5* rating for his individual Showjumping performance and is an Approved stallion in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook.

“There have been so many victories, including the 2012 World Cup Finals. Complete dominance at the 2012 Olympic trials, followed by an eighth-place result in London. A strong competitor who knew what he was doing. A once-in-a-lifetime horse. It’s bittersweet, but we’re pleased to be able to retire him at RFS, where he knows and loves. He is well and cheerful, and he intends to continue working and being a part of the gang.” Fellers, Rich

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