Mare Bred To Irish Draught
Pinon Lilli, shown left ridden by Emily Cureton, continues
How do you build a good breeding program?
Any one successful in breeding knows good mares are most important.
That is why the owner of O'Leary's Irish Diamond was thrilled with
the contract to breed Grand Prix mare Pinon Lilli. "We're thrilled,"
said Jim Leary. " I knew Lilli when Irish rider Damian Gardiner
rode her to three Grand Prix victories including the $50.000 grand
prix at Denver." She also won at Spruce Meadows and Indio.
I thought she was one of the classiest mares in the world. "
We have been quite selective in which mares we breed to O'Leary's
Irish Diamond and have been criticized for denying a contract to
some mares." said Leary. "But, when a foal turns out ugly
onlookers don't ask the question who is the mare, they always ask
who was the stallion." But more important is our goal to put
top notch horses on the ground.
It has taken time to earn the respect, by owners of top mares, for
O'Leary's Irish Diamond. Leary said he asked the stallion to perform
and he has performed. "Why would the owner of a top performance
mare want to breed to a stallion that hasn't proven he can perform?"
The eight year old stallion has certainly proven his performance
ability. He first competed successfully through third level Dressage.
Leary maintains he is ready to do Prix St. George dressage today.
However, Internationally acclaimed jump rider Rob Gage changed Leary's
mind six months ago. Gage started jumping O'Leary's Irish Diamond
in December. Since then the Irish Draught Stallion by Glidawn Diamond
has won open jumper and open modified jumper championships. Not
only does he win, he does it in a form that is very impressive.
The owner of Pinon Lilli, Judy Cureton, saw Irish compete in Tucson.
After learning that the stallion had maybe the best jumping pedigree
in Ireland, Cureton decided it was the way to go. She hopes that
an attempt to transfer two embryos from the breeding to donor mares
is successful. Pinon Lilli is a Dutch Warmblood.
Other Good mares bred to Irish
The next compliment to a stallion owner is when the owner of a good
mare likes the offspring and decides to rebreed to the stallion.
The practice is sound. For example the grandsire of O'Leary's Irish
Diamond, King of Diamonds, produced five very good offspring when
bred to the famous Irish Draught Mare Kildalton Countess. The results
were also good when King of Diamonds was bred three times to the
mare Gowran Betty. Seven approved stallions were the result of these
two breed combinations. In fact those seven stallions dominate Ireland's
genetic index. O'Leary's Irish Diamond has Kildalton Countess on
his Sire's side and Gowran Betty on his dam's side.
In America Sue Holland fell under some criticism when she decided
to breed her pure bred Irish Draught Mare Bonnie Bell Supreme to
O'Leary's Irish Diamond not once but three times. Her critics advised
her she should be for expanding the Irish Draught gene pool. Sue,
however, liked the the offspring. She sold her mare to Liz Freeman,
who owns the highly regarded Flying Harp Farm. Liz bought Bell when
she was in foal by Irish. Freeman liked the third foal, the filly
Hermione, and recently bred Bonnie Bell Supreme once again to O'Leary's
Numerous repeat breedings to Irish are common. Breeders like Mary
Hutchinson of California who has bred her highly regarded Selle
Francais approved mare three times. Barbara Baris of Florida has
two mares in foal making her total breedings to Irish seven. Mary
Dye in Washington will soon have five offspring by Irish. More than
ten other breeders have three offspring by America's most popular
Irish Draught Stallion.
As a Yearling Hermione displays the characteristics desired
in a purebred Irish Draught.
Hermione's older brother the two year old Frankie.
Frankie is a Irish Draught stallion prospect owned by Pam