Oct 14, 2022 · Patrick Hester

89 of the 91 preselected and catalogued foals appeared last Saturday at Glenamaddy Equestrian Centre for the largest collection yet for The Breeders Select Foal Sale Ireland Edition No 5.  The now widely known and recognised event organised under the umbrella of The Irish Horse Centre is a marketing initiative powered by the Mayo Roscommon Breeders Group.

Director/Public Relations Officer Patrick Hester explained that the strategy for the sale is simple:

‘Clear and transparent foal/young horse selection, international marketing and promotion and sustain a loyal customer base is now delivering for both the breeders return on investment and for the market in terms of the correct foal product for show-jumping and eventing’.  

Prior to the sale an era of looming discontent had built up with the rumblings in the global markets of energy and economics yet quality foals and the consistency of selling with 61 lots sold under the hammer, rewarded the committed, goal orientated and focused breeder at the Glenamaddy venue.  

Lot 123 Des McDonnells athletic bay colt by Jardonnay VDL  set the standard for ‘quality pays’ as the topped priced foal on the day purchased by Tommy Gibbons on behalf of Oonagh Gilvary for 12500 euro. The impeccably turned-out and produced son of the unfortunately now no longer entire stallion  Jardonnay VDL having recently been sold to the USA had been carefully selected by Des via online videos and recommendations from close friend Barry Heffernan.

Des Mc Donnell comment:  ‘I liked the stallions type, movement and overall athleticism which I thought complimented the mare as she covers a lot of ground herself and is from a great family line and this year's foal has just exceeded all expectations. The sale (Edition 5) is now rewarding us for being focused towards breeding quality for the market and the sport’.

Commenting on Edition 5 ‘The sale is so well marketed and has gone from strength to strength in recent years which is a testament to the hard work put in by the committee but also the support from the sector both breeders and buyers that continues to make the sale so great’. Oonagh Gilvary also commented ‘We are delighted with the quality of our purchase under the careful guidance of Tommy Gibbons and we look forward to its prospects in the future.’    

Other headliners saw the top priced filly on the day Lot 162 Frank Cunningham’s Cornet Oblensky x Mermus R sell for 9500 euro to Adrian Williams Sport Horses and Lot 143 which hit the market early  at 4400 euro from Tomas Hester was rewarded 9000 euro both for his athletic filly by Aganix du Seigneur x Baloubet du Rouet x Paradox and for his own bravery selling to Kilkenny based Shane Sinnott.

In line with the sales strategy ‘Sustain a loyal customer base’ Ballyward Equestrain accounted for nine of the well bought foals on the day which further cements the trust that is developing within the sale and links within the supply chain which has been built up by the founding members.  

Young Horse Auction:

The inaugural young horse auction ran by the group achieved a top price of 15000 euro for Maura Crowleys RDS campaigner 3 year old mare by Jorado x Ringwood Harley Carol x Clover Hill underwent  competitive bidding to be knocked down to local equestrian centre operator Joan Fallon and will be later campaigned by her daughter Erin and yet again quality and the market met demand by both parties. Edition 1 of the auction will require further reflection by the group as overall expectations for the sale were not achieved and it will be back to the drawing board for Edition 2 2023 with a refocus on  the young horse evaluation and selection criteria and a proposed Knowledge Transfer National event on linear scoring may also incorporate production training for breeders and producers.


Aside from the relentless drive of the key founders: brothers Mark and Patrick Hester, Noel Kilroy and John Murphy it is without doubt the initiatives by the Mayo Roscommon Breeders Group are unachieveable  without the support of the following individuals who work tirelessly on compiling the information for the catalogue, online platform and operations: Leo Larkin (Flatout Media Video Editing); Peter Van de Bulck at PWEB Solutions (Website); Anna Suess @aennies_wild_photography; Chloe Hester (Social Media);  Sinéad Mallee (Graphic Design), Liz Murphy and Caroline Tunney (Operations and Hospitality), and all the Team at Glenamaddy Equestrian Centre and Galway VEC.

The Irish Horse Centre Market Place

To further support unsold young horses, foals and reserve foals from selection days the groups new initiative The Irish Horse Centre 'Market Place' aims to facilitate year-round marketing and promotion of Irish Sport Horses via the IHC Platform. 




Top Price 12500 euro

Average: 5675 euro

Clearance: 68.5 %

Turnover: Edition 4 (290.100euro) Edition 5 (346.170 euro)

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