World-class tal­ent cen­tre churn­ing out cham­pi­ons

Ch­eryl Brod­er­ick and her show jumper brother Greg are com­bin­ing tra­di­tional breed­ing ex­per­tise with the lat­est sci­ence to pro­duce a string of top horses

Irish Independent - Farming - - HORSES -

WE all know that horse breed­ing is not an ex­act sci­ence. A top stal­lion and a top mare do not al­ways breed the best, but when it does, there is im­mense sat­is­fac­tion.

There was no hid­ing the de­light on the face of Ch­eryl Brod­er­ick of Bal­ly­patrick Sta­bles when the home-bred BP First Edi­tions won the five-year-old na­tional cham­pi­onship at the Dublin Horse Show in Au­gust.

“It was an­other great day — this is what breed­ing is all about,” she says. “This is our sec­ond home-bred to win as Su­per Chilled was the six-yearold cham­pion in 2014.”

Ch­eryl and her brother Greg — a lead­ing Ir­ish show jumper — run one of the largest pri­vate sport horse breed­ing and pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in Ire­land. And, with the num­bers of foals and young horses in­creas­ing with each pass­ing week, they are also fast catch­ing up with their for­eign coun­ter­parts as be­ing the best in the business.

To­day the breed­ing farm at Kil­la­hara, Co Tip­per­ary is home to some 70 brood­mares — a num­ber of those be­ing re­cip­i­ent mares — with a fur­ther 150, from foals and young­stock right through to in­ter­na­tional per­form­ers, based here or at Greg’s main base out­side Thurles or at rented land nearby.

Bal­ly­patrick Flight, the dam of BP First Edi­tions, is one of the most pro­lific mares to have joined the team in re­cent years.

A na­tional cham­pion as a seven-year-old, her pedi­gree is sec­ond-to-none as a half-sis­ter to Greg’s 2016 Olympic ride MHS Go­ing Global. Bred by the late Ita Bren­nan, both are out of the Cav­a­lier Royale mare Gowran Lady.

“Greg won a lot with her as a young horse so she was al­ways go­ing to be a valu­able brood­mare,” Ch­eryl says.

Long be­fore her com­pe­ti­tion ca­reer had ended, Greg and Ch­eryl had made the wise de­ci­sion to ob­tain em­bryos from her for trans­fer to a re­cip­i­ent mare.

Em­bryo trans­fer in horses has been de­vel­op­ing at a tremen­dous rate since the 1970s and is now prov­ing to be hugely ben­e­fi­cial to breed­ing pro­grammes, par­tic­u­larly in show jump­ing.

It is widely ac­cepted as a valu­able tool to in­crease the num­ber of prog­eny from ge­net­i­cally valu­able mares, many of whom con­tinue to com­pete while a sur­ro­gate car­ries its foal for 11 months. Its grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity has now also made it af­ford­able to breed­ers as more ve­teri­nary sur­geons of­fer the ser­vice.

In her first year breed­ing, Bal­ly­patrick Flight, by Laughton’s Flight, pro­duced two foals. The fol­low­ing year she pro­duced three, in­clud­ing two fil­lies by Verdi. One of those was BP First Edi­tions, who is now mak­ing waves un­der sta­ble rider Dar­ragh Ryan un­der the own­er­ship of Ro­nan Roth­well and David Cullen.

Since 2012 Bal­ly­patrick Flight has pro­duced a fur­ther nine foals by top-qual­ity in­ter­na­tion- al jump­ing sires.

To ac­cess these stal­lions Ch­eryl uses the ser­vices of both Stal de Muze in Bel­gium and Ir­ish agent Emma-Rose Con­roy of Euro Stal­lions.

In 2016 Bal­ly­patrick Flight’s foal by Quidam Ju­nior I topped the elite foal sale at the Bolesworth In­ter­na­tional Show when knocked down to a Czech-based syn­di­cate for just over €34,000. As a three-parts brother to MHS Go­ing Global, he was al­ways des­tined to be in high demand.

With MHS Go­ing Global now jump­ing for Greece with Athina Onas­sis, the Brod­er­icks have re­tained his full-sis­ter, the three­year-old MHS Seven who also boasts an im­pres­sive pedi­gree that in­cludes Grand Prix show jumpers Royal Ath­lete, Royal An­them, MHS Au­to­matic and Kil­coltrim.

One of this year’s foals by Stakkato Gold out of Bal­ly­patrick Flight was also put through the Bolesworth Auc­tion where he fetched €40,000. He was sold to the Ukraine.

An­other by Stakkato Gold out of BP Quidy, dam of Kevin Babing­ton’s mul­ti­ple Grand Prix win­ner Su­per Chilled, also found a new home that same evening — the US-based Ir­ish rider was the high­est bid­der at €26,000.

Su­per Chilled’s dam Bal­ly­patrick Codex was a mul­ti­ple win­ner for Greg be­fore re­tir­ing to the breed­ing shed.

In ad­di­tion to own­ing some nice young­sters based at Bal­ly­patrick Sta­bles, Kevin’s for­mer 1.55m jumper Good­wins Loy­alty, as well as sev­eral other mares, has re­cently joined the herd to start their breed­ing ca­reers. This year Good­wins Loy­alty pro­duced two foals by Stakkako Gold and Comme Il Faut.

While all the Brod­er­icks’ home-breds are mar­keted for sale as foals, they are also dis­persed as three-year-olds, with a se­lect few re­tained to be bro­ken and brought on by Greg and the team.

“We are a sell­ing yard, so ev­ery­thing we have is for sale,” Greg says.

In the past few months Greg has also bought in some very well-bred foals, in­clud­ing two from the fam­ily of dou­ble Olympic win­ner Sap­phire, and the €17,000 sale-top­per at the re­cent elite foal sale at Bar­nad­own. By Kan­nan, this colt is from the same fam­ily as MHS Go­ing Global.

In or­der to breed the best us­ing top-class con­ti­nen­tal stal­lions, a top-class breed­ing herd is es­sen­tial, and it is clear that Bal­ly­patrick Sta­bles al­ready have one of the finest in Ire­land.

Bal­ly­patrick Mys­tique was an­other great ser­vant to Greg in the early days, hav­ing picked up nu­mer­ous young horse ti­tles as well as bronze in the sev­enyear-old de­cider at the 2013 FEI World Breed­ing Cham­pi­onships. On the back of her suc­cess in Lanaken the mare was sold to Canada but two years ear­lier the Brod­er­icks had ob­tained two em­bryos, re­sult­ing in two fil­lies by In­doc­tro. Both are now part of this valu­able breed­ing pro­gramme and have so far pro­duced foals by Stakkato Gold and Plot Blue.

A decade ago Greg en­joyed im­mense suc­cess on the Na­tional Grand Prix cir­cuit with the Laughton’s Flight mare Mrs Quinn, who is now re­tired and breed­ing win­ners.

From the same fam­ily as the Army’s 1.60m cam­paigner Shan­non­dale, she has pro­duced eight foals so far. Her first pro­duce, a colt by Plot Blue foaled in 2012, is now com­pet­ing with much suc­cess in the young horse ranks un­der the name Quin­nton. With Dar­ragh Ryan in the sad­dle he won this year’s RDS five-year- old qual­i­fier at The Mead­ows.

“We also have a very promis­ing three-year-old filly out of Mrs Quinn and by Car­dento who is now with Greg. We have al­ready flushed her so hope­fully will get a foal from her too.”

In re­cent months the Brod­er­icks have ac­quired some high-pro­file Ir­ish mares, in­clud­ing the for­mer Puis­sance spe­cial­ist Cruise Hill. To date the daugh­ter of Cruis­ing has pro­duced just one foal, but Ch­eryl is op­ti­mistic that by us­ing em­bryo trans­fer she may be able to breed again.

They have also se­cured Evening Star, the full-sis­ter to Mered­ith Michaels-Beer­baum’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship win­ner Stella 153. “Stella died shortly af­ter we got Evening Star and we have taken one em­bryo from her so far,” Ch­eryl said.

Stand­ing a stal­lion at stud was never in the pro­gramme for the Brod­er­icks, but this year they have di­ver­si­fied with the su­perbly-bred three-year-old Jo­rado.

By the Hol­steiner Diarado, he oozes pres­ence and po­ten­tial and is guar­an­teed to make an im­pact as both a show jumper and as a sire in time to come.

“We are also thrilled to have bought a full-brother to Elvis Ter Putte who will hope­fully be stal­lion ma­te­rial in a few years. We feel this is the way for­ward,” Ch­eryl con­cludes.

BP First Edi­tions, a daugh­ter of Bal­ly­patrick Flight, was crowned five-year-old cham­pion at the RDS in Au­gust

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