Enniskeane Countess

A Irish Maternal Dynasty

Enniskeane Countess, a full Irish Draught mare born in 1961, became the champion mare of 1967. This mare was then able to establish a breeding and performance dynasty, which few mares can match. With only a partial pedigree of her available we are still able to locate some source of maternal power in her lineage.Enniskeane Countess Pedigree

With 50% of her pedigree "unknown", what remains is still powerful for great filly factors and broodmare success. Studying Warmblood or Sport Horse pedigrees can be difficult because often the mare line is incomplete or a mare might be named but not breed identified. With only half her pedigree visible, this mare still has plenty of potent punch. Enniskeane Countess carries three different lines of Woodranger, an old and highly successful Irish line, a proven producer of quality horses and great broodmares. Two of Woodranger's daughters are here: Maud Allen and Woodranger Mare. Glen Lad the sire of Enniskeane Countess, is linebred x3 to Woodranger Mare through a son: All Moonshine and two daughters: Molly Grey and Plover. This is a powerful filly factor and a rare thing to see in Irish horses.

Yet, even with such a partial lineage there is this extraordinary filly factor in the Woodranger Mare lines. The dam side enlarges on this by bringing in a sister to Woodranger Mare: Maud Allen.

Enniskeane Countess carries another very potent maternal duplication with the Young Arthur II lines in her sire Glen Lad being both by daughters: Molly Grey and Dandy. This is surely one of the reasons Glen Lad himself was successful as a sire. Good stallions need filly factors.

Enniskeane Countess produced two good stallion sons: Enniskeane Prince, a show jumper and good sire, and his full brother Enniskeane Pride. Her greatest fame however, comes through her daughter: Kildalton Countess, who by building on her dam's strong genetic base became one of the greatest foundation mares in the Irish breed.Kildalton Countess Pedigree

Kildalton Countess' record as a broodmare can start with the fact that she was barren only twice in twenty years. She had 6 stallion sons: Glidawn Diamond, Diamond Lad, Diamonds are Trumps, Kildalton King, Kildalton Gold and Pride of Kildalton. This puts her in the BIG TIME of famous broodmares. Plus she had some good daughters too: Kildalton Rose, Kildalton June and Kildalton Merrygirl. 

Kildalton Countess and her dam, and brothers, are a linebreeding resource for Irish breeders. How do you get great horses? You build up the great genes the horses carry in their lineage. How hard can it be with this many superior representatives of this mare and her dam? This Irish family is a genetic gold mine for Sport Horse breeders.

The strengths of this family are an illustration of the explosion of potency and talent that can happen when the female side of the gene pool is developed.

Kildalton Countess obviously received maternal power from her dam. But her sire: Ben Purple contributed as well.

Ben Purple is a key sire in the Irish Draught and an exceptional broodmare sire. He is linebred to Galty Boy, a line known for jump ability, but unless there is a daughter or sister in the "unknown" part of his pedigree, then Galty Boy is represented by sons only. The practice of breeding back to the male representatives of significant ancestors causes a loss of ability and potence, usually completely by the third generation. As a side thought on this, the Irish Horse used to dominate in world standings in show jumping, but it does not now. Could this practice of valuing only the male be behind this loss?

Ben Purple is also linebred to the great Kildare 3x6, and Brian Og 4x5. And these lines are helpful to his lasting stallion legacy. Kildare is a famous foundation stallion himself, champion of the Dublin Horse Show in 1920, he had 17 stallion sons and was dam sire of 11 more. This an incredible record, and in addition he is known as a performance transmitter. Kildare is here by a son, Pride of Cork (his best son) and Magic Float, a daughter. This is a colt factor.

Kildalton Countess enlarged on this gene power by adding another son line of Kildare: Kilglass Guardian, through her dam.

Brian Og is represented by 2 daughters: Blue Pearl and Newtown Wonder, this is a very strong filly factor.

The Kildare and Brian Og duplications close up would account for Ben Purple's success as a stallion. Plus every time he met the Kildare line in a mate, his daughter line of it would bring balance and allow the full genetic power to come through to the foal.

Both Enniskeane Countess and Kildalton Countess carry a rare Irish Mail daughter: Perilla. Irish Mail, another foundation sire, had 14 stallion sons. Whenever one of these sons shows up in a mate, the Countesses' daughter line balances and improves it.

Breeders of Irish Horses can target lines of the Enniskeane Countess family through her sons and daughters to build sport and breeding greatness into their herd.

The traditional Irish horse: the Irish Draught, the Connemeara Pony and the Irish Sport Horse are experiencing a crisis. After twenty years of the warmblood invasion into their country and the crossing in of the continential lines they have not found the improvement they had hoped for, most significantly for an improved jump have not happened (see Cavalier Royale) for more on this. The bloodlines of the Irish Horse have now in many cases been mixed with continental lines, and the essence of their unique sport horse has been adulterated in some cases, to the point that there is now a strong foundation movement in Ireland to preserve their national treasure: the incomparable Irish Horse. Read more on this movement on The Traditional Irish Horse Association and read a concise accounting of the issue on the article: "The Traditional Irish Horse-a unique, distinct and separate breed--except in the Irish Horse Register" by Seamus Davis--which you will find in the news section. If you are a breeder of Irish horses you may want to join this association.

2016 update--The Irish Horse, both the Irish Draught and the Connemara Pony are direct descendants of the Irish Hobby--as is the Thoroughbred and the American sporting breeds. Ireland has had wars with and been dominated by England for long periods of time, resulting in loss of their stud records and many of their horses--both destroyed in political purges and sold away. 

With DNA revelations of the last decades we now know that the Irish Horse  is largely descended from the Irish Hobby and is closely related to the Thoroughbred, and as I mentioned to several American breeds.

Through researching the jumping trait via the American breeds and then the European, it became clear that all the sport trait trails led back to the old Irish Hobby. It is the root and so the Traditional Irish Horse is also then a well-spring of that undiluted trait.

With large pedigree sections unrecorded it is difficult to pinpoint the root lines, however because of the DNA findings along with evaluation of current and past performance records, it will be possible to identify the potent carriers. It is of the utmost importance that the Irish Horse be preserved in an unadulterated state to preserve the original sport bloodlines.

The information on the Irish Hobby found previously on this site can now be found with considerable additional research in the book American Running Horse.