Llangollyn LL Crowned Grand Champion at Irish Draught Horse Society of North America/United States Eventing Association Future Event Horse Classes
RELEASE: October 15, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By the United States Eventing Association
At the Irish Draught Horse Society of North America (IDSNA)/United States Eventing Association (USEA) Future Event Horse (FEH) classes in Lexington, VA, held in conjunction with the IDHSNA National Show, it was Diane Halpin's Llangollyn LL who trotted away with the Grand Championship at the end of the day. Shown by Bruce Griffin, the stunning two-year-old Hanoverian filly scored a commendable 81.1% in the Two-Year-Old Fillies class before claiming the Grand Championship in the final class of the day. Two-year-old Irish Draught gelding Ballygrace Rebel, bred by Sue Rowdon but recently purchased by Blackberry Ridge Farm, won his class with a 85.0%, but had to settle for overall Reserve Grand Champion.
Judged by Irish judges Noel Collins and Oliver Fleming and local judge Barbara Batterton, "Llyn" earned solid 8's and even a 9.
Diane Halpin of Great Falls, VA, co-owns the precocious dark bay filly with her husband, Peter. "We bred her ourselves," said Halpin. "She was born May 1, 2007, and was our first foal (of six I've delivered). Her birth was easy and she has been a real center-aisle baby from day one—loving people, standing for long periods with whoever was in the center aisle, especially standing blissfully for grooming."
Halpin can look forward to Llyn blossoming into a very tall, but athletic young horse in the future. "Her sire Landkoenig sired Lantinus, whom the Irishman Denis Lynch had in the #1 international show jumping ranking, passing Shutterfly, just before the capsaisin disaster at the Olympics. Landkoenig produces tall, relaxed horses with big bones. I have three: One is 18 hands and our yearling is 16.1 already."
"Llangollyn's dam D'Legacy, by Diamont out of a Thoroughbred mare, is also tall but very refined with a stunning head," added Halpin. "Llangollyn's yearling half-brother out of D'Legacy but by Pablo won the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF Hunter Breeding Championships-East Yearling Colts/Geldings class and was Best Yearling at Keswick, Best Young Horse at the Kentucky National Show and also at the USEF Zone 3 finals. He is currently ranked #10 nationally in Yearling Hunter Breeding, and he is a very beautiful colt with a droll, funky personality. All of ours are Hanoverian-branded though infused with other warmblood and Thoroughbred blood."
"Llangollyn's name was chosen from the Llangollen estate above Upperville [Virginia]—a major destination for the partying '30's crowd—and because I liked the Welsh associations," continued Halpin. "She is started under saddle and should be easy to bring along. She is for sale and should make a super Young Event Horse."
The Halpin family has been involved with the Future Event Horse program since it's inception three years ago. "Our Fuerst Aphrodites R was overall Reserve Champion in 2007 and her full brother Fuerst Apollo was overall Yearling Champion last year. As an eventer, I've planned for all my babies to event although Fuerst Aphrodites R is show jumping and Fuerst Apollo is still only two."
Reserve Grand Champion, but overall high-scoring young horse, was Ballygrace Rebel, originally owned and bred by Sue Rowdon of Hartwood, VA. Affectionately known as "Declan" (in honor of Rowdon's friend's late great Irish horse), the Irish Draught gelding is sired by Snowford Bellman, one of the most well-known RID (Registered Irish Draught) stallions in the Irish Draught community. Bellman was retired over the weekend at the IDHSNA show with longtime owner and handler Tony Phillips of Blackberry Ridge Farm. The owners of Blackberry Ridge Farm were so impressed with Declan, that they purchased him at the show.
"He'd been in training with Blackberry Ridge Farm this summer, and went on to show at the Green Hill Park FEH event in August," said Rowdon. Declan took home a strong score of 80.5 from the show, and further impressed Blackberry Ridge Farm co-owner Debbie Dobbs. "Debbie just fell in love with Declan this summer," added Rowdon. Blackberry Ridge Farm was eager to get their hands on the stunning young gelding, who inherited their stallion's presence and impressive gaits.
Linda Cowasjee's filly, Kilkelly See The Difference, won her second straight FEH show this year, this time with a score of 75%. The dazzling grey filly won the Yearling Fillies class as well as the overall Yearling Championship. At her first show at Waredaca, the filly won Grand Champion, then went on to win her Irish Draught Partbreds Ages 1-3 at the prestigious Upperville Horse Show [Virginia] a week later.
"Cee Cee" is sired by Cowasjee's athletic Irish Sport Horse stallion, Kilkelly All's Well, and out of Crest View, a talented RIDSH who was imported and competed in eventing by Wendy Furlong under the name Dreamcatcher. Crest View had an illustrious eventing career, with great success at the Intermediate level.
Gina Kirby's Kilkelly Double Take won the Yearling Colts/Geldings class, and was named Reserve Champion for the Yearlings. Kilkelly Double Take is a purebred imported Irish Draught gelding, and was sired by K.E.C. Double Diamond, and out of Penmerryl's Vespa.
Though Llangollyn LL won the two-year-old filly class, and the overall Grand Championship, it was Ballygrace Rebel who was named Champion Two-Year-Old.
Tully Cross Calieb, owned by Tully Cross Farm, earned top honors in both the Three-Year-Old Colts/Geldings class and the Three-Year-Old Championship. Shown by Blaine Orris, the grey RID gelding is sired by The Pride of Gloster and out of Cappoach Lass. Larry and Michelle Robbins' three-year-old RID stallion Kilronan's Glenstone (Glenlara x Little Gem) took second in the class with a 72% and was awarded Reserve Champion Three-Year-Old. Irish Belle won the Three-Year-Old Fillies class with a 72%.