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: Eventing

Shear L’Eau, who was sourced in Ireland by Roddy Dean, collected more than 1,400 British Eventing points during his competitive career which began in the Spring of 1998.

Under Leslie Law Shear L’Eau climbed the international ranks with the pinnacle being Individual Gold & Team Silver medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Together they won Team Gold at the European Championships in Punchestown (2003), where they were the only combination to make the time, and Blenheim (2005). The horse’s other competition highlights included two top-10 finishes at Kentucky CCI4* and 5th at Burghley CCI4* in 2003.

Shear L’Eau was the full brother to Shear H2O, who Leslie rode to Team Silver in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. Died in 2017. Aged 26.

He was a true horse of a lifetime,” Leslie Law

“He was a wonderful character and he had a lot of personality. Competition-wise, he always showed such quality from a very early age”. Leslie Law

Ambassador (TIH)

1964, Grey,
Irish Sport Horse Gelding

1972 Olympic Gold -Graziano Mancinelli claimed the individual show jumping gold medal for Italy with the Traditional Irish bred gelding Ambassador. Bred by Waterford’s Tom Clancy, Ambassador had previously been ridden successfully by Ireland’s Tommy Brennan with whom he had fantastic success and represented Ireland at the 1971 European Championships in Aachen, Germany, placing 10th individually.

Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Kilbaha - 1983 Gelding - TIH

Sire:Tudor Rocket (TB)
Dam:Scarlet O’Hara (ISH)
Dam Sire: Rhett Butler (TB)
Breeder: Timothy O’Sullivan, Cork
Discipline: Showjumper

Comdt. John Ledingham rode Kilbaha to win the Hickstead Derby in both 1994 and 1995. Kilbaha had previously been ridden by David O’Regan before being purchased by the Irish Army Equitation School.

Ledingham and Kilbaha formed a solid partnership that saw them competed at major championships including the World Equestrian Games in 1994 & 1998 and the European Championships in 1996 & 1997.

Together they were on winning Nations Cup teams at venues such as Aachen, Calgary, Zagreb, Dublin and Spruce Meadows. Ledingham and Kilbaha also added the Grand Prix to winning the Grand Prix of Altenhof and Drammen to their lifetime achievements.

Kilbaha was on many winning Nations Cup teams around the world. He was not an indoor horse, he loved big open spaces and Hickstead was tailor-made for him. He was the best horse I’ve ever sat on. He was careful, and you knew if you had a pole it was your fault. He had unbelievable trust in me”. Comdt. John Ledingham

Boomerang (TIH)

Irish Sport Horse Gelding

One of the most famous of Traditional Irish Horses is Boomerang known later on as Carroll's Boomerang. Famously partnered and ridden by Eddie Macken Boomerang was bred by Jimmy Murphy of Maifield, who sent their Irish Draught mare, Girl From The Brown Mountain to Battleburn owned by John Shine, Meenroe, Meelin, Co.Cork.

Boomerang was broken and hunted with the Kimoganny Harriers and his talent was noticed.  He was sent to Iris Kellet, where Eddie Macken then a working pupil in Kellets yard jumped  Bommerang known then as Battle, in the RDS Dublin Spring Show as a four-year-old.

He was sold to the UK and then to Paul Schockemöhle in Germany and renamed Boomerang.  Eddie Macken at that time had also made a career move to the continent where he rode horses in  Schockemöhle’s yard.  Tragedy struck when Macken’s best horse broke her back.  This was when Macken was partnered back with Boomerang and the magic began.

During 1975-1979, they were to win or take second in a record-breaking 32 major Grand Prix's or Derby events across Europe and in the USA with record winnings over a million pounds in today's money.  In 1977 Eddie Macken was gifted Boomerang by Dr Schnapka.  They became one of the most famous pairings in history capturing many hearts.

Durlas Eile (TIH)

17.1 hh, Brown
Irish Sport Horse Gelding

Durlas Eile named after his birthplace Thurles was bred by Father Sweeney in Co Tipperary.   This was the horse that would go on to be a  Badminton winning Champion, team winner at the World Championships and individual winner at the European Championships as well as creating a world record price before the Mexico Olympics. Durlas Eile’s sire was by Thoroughbred Artists Son, by the famous Gainsborough. Artists son sired many a good steeplechaser but it was for Quare Times who won the Grand National in 1955 he is most remembered for. Durlas Eiles Dam, Royal Cob by King Cob out of Royal Gem came from equally good parentage and the dam at seventeen years of age foaled down a big foal destined for success.

Throughout the year 1964-1965 Eddie Boylan was encouraged and trained by Mr. E Schmit-Jensen, the international dressage judge.  In 1967 Durlas Eile scored over 84% of the dressage marks, contributing to their European Gold Medal championship wins at Punchestown. It is believed that this performance has never been equalled. It was said that “the exhibition in dressage for that was what it really was-is thought to rate as the best ever in Three-Day Event”; Durlas Eile won international competitions at all 3 disciplines (won Championship in Dublin with Army Equitation School and Prix St George at the White City in London with Eddie.) Durlas Eile was going to the Mexico Olympics but he was sold for a world record market price for a Three-Day Eventer to a Canadian, Barry Sonshine for the price of £19,000 and the extraordinary partnership between Major Boylan and one of Ireland's  greatest horses came to an end.

Lenamore - 1993 Gelding - TIH

Sire: Sea Crest (ID)
Dam: Karinella (TB)
Dam Sire: Valiyar (TB)
Breeder: Helen Walsh, Kildare
Discipline: Eventing

Ridden by New Zealand’s Caroline Powell, Lenamore holds the record for the number of consecutive Badminton CCI4* completions, at an impressive seven. In total Lenamore successfully completed twelve CCI4* events. Powell and Lenamore represented Team New Zealand at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and London Olympic Games 2012 where Lenamore and Powell added a team bronze medal to their long list of achievements.

Lenamore became the most successful British Eventer of all time, after being placed fourth at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in 2011 bring his then total to 2203 British Eventing points, surpassing the previous title holder, the traditional Irish sport Horse Spring Along. In 2010 Lenamore, aged 17, won Burghley CCI4* and later that year was awarded the Horse Sport Ireland award for ‘The Competition Horse that Epitomises the Longevity & Durability of the Irish Sport Horse’. Lenamore was retired from eventing at the age of 20 in 2013.

He’s an amazing little horse and always one that is a delight to watch. It will be strange not watching him bounce around the cross country” Sir Mark Todd (on Lenamore’s retirement)

Flexible - 1996 Stallion - TIH

Sire: Cruising (ISH)
Dam: Flex (ISH)
Dam Sire: Safari (TB)
Breeder: Catherine & Edward Doyle, Kildare
Discipline: Showjumping


Flexibles dam, international showjumper Flex, had just been scanned in foal to the outstanding showjumper Cruising when she competed in a National Championship and beat Cruising, ridden by Trevor Coyle (IRL), by fractions of a second.

Ridden successfully as a young horse by Edward Doyle, then sold to Harry & Molly Chapman in the USA as a 6 Year Old, Flexible went on to make history internationally.  Under the guidance of Rich Fellers (USA) Flexible competed in no less than eight FEI World Cup Jumping Finals and won numerous top-level international grand prix competitions.Flexible jumped in his first FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg in 2008, finishing 2nd to Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly. Four years later he won the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in the Netherlands at the age of 16, ending a 25 year drought for the USA in the finals.

Several outstanding achievements in 2012 saw the partnership selected as part of Team USA for the London Olympic Games where they finished 8th individually. Later that year Flexible was acclaimed USEF Horse of the Year. The 15’3HH Flexible competed at Grand Prix level until the age of 21, retiring in 2017, having accumulated 35 FEI victories in what was an exceptional career. Flexible is an Approved stallion in the Irish Sport Horse Studbook and has a 5* rating for his own Showjumping performance.

So many wins including the 2012 World Cup Finals. Complete domination of the 2012 Olympic trials and an 8th place finish in London. A fierce competitor who understood the sport. A horse of a lifetime. Bittersweet, but we are proud to have the opportunity at RFS to retire him at the farm he knows and loves. He is happy and sound and will still work every day and be one of the gang.” Rich Fellers

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

Under Waterford’s Mike Buckely Carling King won the Five Year Old fina at the 1996 Dublin Horse Show. The following year the pair represented the Irish Sport Horse Studbook at the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses in Belgium.

Carling King was later purchased by Saly Glassman and went on the be ridden by Ireland’s Kevin Babington. Carling King won Team Gold with Ireland at the 2001 European Championships and was a long serving member of Team Ireland recording 11 Nations Cup victories. Carling King went won the Hickstead Grand Prix in 2000, the King George V Cup at Hickstead in 2003. In 2004 Babington and Carling King placed individual fourth at the Athens Olympics Games.

He was my once in a lifetime partner that many riders only dream of having. We travelled all over the world and jumped at the Olympics, European Championships, World Championships, had numerous Grand Prix victories and he was one of the most successful Nations Cup horses to ever represent Ireland. This horse put me on the map and I will be forever grateful that he came into my life. He was loved and will be missed by many.” Kevin Babington (on the death of Carling King in 2014)

Ryan's Son (TIH)

16hh 1983 Bay
Irish Sport Horse Gelding

The Horse that made me - John Whitaker

At 18 years of age a young Yorkshire lad first impressions of the bay gelding called Ryansson were mixed. Ryan's son was by Ozymandias (TB) out of an Irish Draught mare and was the horse that would launch John Whitaker's career.

Ryan’s Son and Whitaker partnership went from strength to strength for over 14 years. Ryan Son was ridden in the same snaffle bit he came in as a four-year-old. The honest and brave Irish gelding for ten years became the highest earner in prize money and an Olympic silver team medallist while endearing himself to legions of fans worldwide.

Other wins include the Midland Bank Great Northern Championship, the Bass Grand National, and the Everest Double Glazing Championship, The Royal International Horse Show, Horse of the Year Show and Olympia and were the leading national money winner four times (1976, 1978, 1979 and 1983).

Ryan’s Son won the Irish Horse Board (IHB) prize for the best horse bred in Ireland. In his career, he had jumped nine double clear rounds in Nations Cups. Ryan’s Son and John Whitaker had many other defining moments of sporting glory from silver in European Championships to bronze in the World Championships. At 17 years of age, Ryan’s Son won the King George V cup Hickstead in 1983 and it was at this historic derby in 1987 where Ryan’s Son had a fall that proved fatal. Ryan’s Son is remembered to this day as one of Ireland’s most extraordinary horses.

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

Special Envoy spent his earlier years being produced by Kilkenny’s Marion Hughes before being sold by Marion’s father Seamus Hughes to Nelson Pessoa. The new partnership won the Dublin Grand Prix in 1989 when Pessoa was 54 years of age. He later gave the ride on Special Envoy to his son Rodrigo, who clicked with the horse from their first show together in 1990 (Rome) and came 3rd in the Grand Prix at Aachen. They competed at that year's World Championship, with Rodrigo only 17 Years Old.

In 1992 Rodrigo joined the Brazilian team for the Olympic games in Barcelona and, aged 19,  was the youngest rider contesting the Olympic Games. Riding Special Envoy he claimed individual 9th. Rodrigo and Special Envoy accumulated Grand Prix wins in Aachen (1992, 1993, 1994, 1997), Arhus (1994), Geesteren (1997), Geneva (1993), Mechelen (1992), Paris (1993), Wiesbaden (1993) and the Eindhoven Derby (1993). In addition to this Rodrigo and Special Envoy won Team Gold at the 1995 Pan-American Games in Argentina.

“Special Envoy was a remarkable horse, the first horse I mounted in the main GPs, he launched me in the great international circuit. I did my first World Championship with him, my first Olympics. I was lucky to have had many quality horses, but should I have to choose one, it would have to be him, for launching me in the great competitions.” Rodrigo Pessoa

Abbervail Dream - 1987 Gelding - TIH

Sire:Chair Lift (TB)
Dam: Killea Beauty (ISH)
Dam Sire: Leabeg (ISH)
Breeder: Majorie Quarton, Tipperary
Discipline: Showjumping

Abbervail Dream was bought in 1990 in Ireland by Robert and Dina Verburgt as a 3 year old unbroken liver chestnut gelding from Dr. Noel Cawley. Mac was by the thoroughbred gelding Chair Lift out of Killea Beauty, by Smooth Stepper xx. After he was broken to saddle in Ireland he moved, aged 4, to Di Lampard who started competing him in novice classes and they began a journey which would touch many lives. Di an Mac quickly established a close bond which was to last a lifetime.

In 1993 Abbervail Dream qualified for three young horse finals at the Horse of the Year Show but a collecting ring accident left Di with a broken leg. At the age of 7 he went to Hickstead and won the Queens Cup, that same year jumping his first World Cup at Olympia in London. This marked the start of a highly successful International career during which the combination became the mainstay of the British Team. Di and Abbervail Dream made their debut in the British Team at CSIO Rotterdam when he was eight years old and this was followed by over 40 appearances in the British Team. Abbervail Dream’s last appearance in the ring was at St Gallen CSIO in 2003 in a Nations cup career spanning a decade. This included victories at venues such as Dublin, Hickstead, San Marino and Lummen.

Di Lampard and Abbervail Dream competed in two European Championships (Hickstead & Arnhem) and two World Equestrian Games (Rome & Jerez). At the 1998 World Equestrian Games Lampard and Abbervail Dream won Team Bronze and placed 12th individually. In 1999, readers of the Horse & Hound voted Abbervail Dream “Horse of the Year”. Abbervail Dream was officially retired at Hickstead in 2004.

Mac was a tough, brave yet careful blood horse with unlimited scope – he was a fighter who excelled in representing Great Britain in nations cups around the World. All of us will treasure our memories of him forever”. Owners Robert and Dina (Matta) Verburgt

Rossinan (TIH)

1972 Grey
Irish Sport Horse Gelding

Born in 1972 in the townland of  Rossinan Co Kilkenny, this Grey Traditional Irish horse went on to win Olympic Gold in the Individual 3 day event in Moscow ridden by Frederico Roman (Italy).

Rossinan’s magnificent win brought great glory to Co. Kilkenny and his breeder Brigid Sutton of Mullinavat Co Kilkenny.

Rossinan dam was by Aeolian and was a registered broodmare that was hunted regularly with the Kilkenny Foxhounds till her first foal.  His sire was the thoroughbred Dilly Carr.  Sold as a yearling through the Mart in Carrick On Suir to Hilary Devlin for £200,  he was broken and schooled as a novice event horse.

As a 5-year-old he was placed in the novice classes in Whitepark and Rademon in Northern Ireland.

A year later as a 6-year-old Rossinan competed in Gowran Grange National Class at Punchestown whereby he was bought for an Italian client by Bill Butler a former Olympic rider.

Ridden by his new Italian rider Marion Turner Rossinan finished fifth in the Italian championships.  He was then purchased by the Italian Olympic Equestrian Federation and given to Frederico Roman where they won the Olympic Gold in 1980.