Last Tuesday 17th September Ruth gave birth to our little boy Benjamin. It was an incredible experience and will no doubt change our lives, only for the better. I'm improving at changing nappies and getting used to the fact that now there is someone in the house more deserved of attention than me!!
Last week we heard of record prices paid for a top showjumper and I see this as only good for the sport. We all like to have goals and aim high and the reported €11 million paid for Paloubet for Edwina Alexander to ride certainly created a stir in the equine world! As I see it the market has changed considerably in the last 5 years. The middle market is weak and the only two types of horses that are easy to sell are "easy ones" or "top ones".
In Ireland too often we like to crib and blame others as to why we are not attracting more international clients. There are several reasons for this but one obvious one is the current system of young horse classes throughout the summer is majorly flawed. It encourages riders to jump the young horses too often, to gallop against the clock and in doing both you are neither producing the horse correctly to either market it for sale or to develop it to the next level. Emphasis should be on training the horse to ride nicely, jumping him less often and maintaining a healthy sound animal as all these traits will help with either sale or further career.
Breeders and riders should be honest with themselves and look to the market and move accordingly - all the emerging markets and high prices paid can only be good for the sport and the industry but we must educate ourselves so we can service the demand otherwise we will get left behind!
Having said that well done to all the Irish who did well in Lanaken at the World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses, especially Greg Broderick who won the 5 yr old final.
Off to Cavan for the week.
Check back next week for more news,