Starting over,selling horses and the universe

The universe has a way of fucking with you. All that time that I wanted to event,I spent inordinate amounts of my life working in showjumping and every horse that landed in the yard was a jumper. When I eventually decided Id like to showjump,my full back Jj died and my super-sub Mist

Mist jumping at home
Nelly jumping at home

was up on the blocks giving the vets a headache. I’m pretty sure he also funded a two week vacation to Barbados and down payments on a new X5 for everyone at the hospital but I digress. Not a jumper in sight,woolly or otherwise.By now,Vector M2S had been sold to Italy,Mist’s brother sold to America and I had moved in with Niall so horses were stuck in  Corners of sheds everywhere and liveries were no longer an option. Quite by accident and as a result of the sale of Vector,a giant bay mare called Kim arrived. She was fantastic,just the sort of horse you’d love 10 of. She was here 6 weeks and she paid for a brand new horsebox. Money. I like that shit. And I suddenly realised that I could earn that shit too.

what followed was me deciding that buying and selling on a small scale was a good plan. I had two criteria-one,if I didn’t like horse enough to want it for myself,I didn’t buy. Two,I had rules-must be a mare,pref unbroken,under €1200 and not an obvious psycho. It worked a treat. I bought and sold nine horses in 5 years. Some made great money,some not so much but they ALL made a profit and they ALL went on to do great things for their owners. Almost all of them won or placed eventing and a few others that I had had a hand in producing were now also really starting to perform both nationally and internationally. I could do this shit,and I could do it well.

Alongside the horse sales I ran the odd training clinic. In recent times I incorporated charity fund raisers and we have had Giants of the sport over to teach-Lucinda Green,Jock Paget,Blyth Tait,Clayton Fredericks… makes no money but its fun and people are learning. Free tea and biscuits proved an excellent lure.

Mist did what he could,when he could but it was becoming obvious that he was struggling. I had a couple of days training with him where he showed just what he was capable of. He pinged out over fences he couldn’t see over easily and for the fun of it but it added to his soundness woes. I eventually was able to have him operated on for kissing spine and he has turned inside out. His joints are still crap but the medication being used has been great and the horse has never ever been better at 13 years of age. Long may it continue.

Two years ago I bought a scrap of a grey mare called Nelly with no mouth,and legs that had so many splints you could be forgiven for thinking she was a one woman abacus. There was nothing to like except that she fitted the criteria and she jumped like a star. I bought her and she was very decent. Since I still had (and have) no idea what to do now,myself and Niall decided to have a baby. Nelly sold to Sweden but in quieter moments I wish I had kept her. I never ever regret money. EVER. But I slightly regretted the sale. Charlie was born,Mist went for surgery and I bought an unbroken three yr old filly from my long time clients and friends in Donegal. It was time to start again.Again. Again.


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I am a Sports horse producer based in Ireland. That sounds very grand....the reality is that life here is crazy-trying to fit four horses,200 cattle,a baby and a husband into a day results in tales of the insane and a feeling of lurching through life with no clue what's going on. I have a keen interest in everything from planets to bones to quantum mechanics,and am a perpetual asker of the question 'why?'.

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