Saturday, 22 June 2019

We have just got back from a road trip to Ireland where we took Popaway and Jess (We Never Give Up) to the Irish National stud to visit a very nice stallion called Elusive Pimpernel. You might question our judgement taking Jess as she hasn't been the best point to pointer in the world but I happened to look at her pedigree before giving her away for a hunter and it is pretty impressive - She is very flat bred, so for her to win four point to points is good in itself and shows how much she tries. Her brothers and sisters have won 38 races between them and £446,147 in prize money but the great thing is how many times they have run  - Her half brother for instance, Mount Vesuvius has won five hurdle races and been placed 27 times and her other half brother, Catlike Move has won 16 races and placed 25 times. This consistency goes right through her pedigree. She herself has run 48 times with nine different novice jockeys on her back and has never had a lame day. Personally I think that these qualities - ability, soundness and genuineness are the most important in a brood mare and I am very excited about what she might produce. We took the overnight ferry on Tuesday and she was served on Wednesday. We were hoping that the trip would have brought Popaway on but she still hadn't started to ovulate so we left her grazing in the sunshine at the stud when hopefully she will be covered on the Sunday and where we know she will get the best of care.

Popaway and Popalong in Ireland

Invincible Spirit - Sadly slightly out of our price bracket at £120,000 for a service!
The Irish National stud were absolutely brilliant with us and fabulous with the horses. Their staff are second to none and they couldn't have been more helpful - even to the point when I mentioned that I was looking to buy some Wexford potatoes as I had heard they were the best, the stud groom promised he would find me a bag and send it back with Popaway - Result!
It was a great trip and not as difficult as we thought it would be. Doug will probably pick up Popaway later on in the week.
We had a lovely few days and the stud is stunning to look around with the most beautiful gardens.
Part of the gardens at the Irish stud

What really impressed me was the way they treat their stallions - They all have their own paddocks and they all go out every day. The mares are also teased much more than in the UK which brings them on naturally rather than trying to force the issue. It was wonderful to see some of the old heroes of racing spending their retirement in the fields with Hurricane Fly, Beef or Salmon and Moscow Flyer being lucky enough to spend their last years there.

Elusive Pimpernel - Hopefully he will be the sire of Popaway and Jess's foals.