Ray Brown pictured with the horse he bred, DRS WEC Mermus Rua, and professional showjumper Paddy O’Donnell.

Delight for Ballinahown breeder as horse makes Ireland team

Local horse breeder Ray Brown, who is based in Ballinahown, received a wonderful boost recently when a horse he bred was selected to represent Ireland at the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships in Lanaken, Belgium.

The World Championships for young horses (aged five, six or seven years), will be held next week, from September 21st to 25th, in Belgium.

DRS WEC Mermus Rua, the horse bred by Ray, will be one of the five horses representing Ireland at the championships.

Originally from Portlaoise, Ray lives in Loughill, close to the Offaly/Westmeath border. He works as an electrician but has always had an interest in horses.

“This is a dream come true for a small breeder,” said Ray, who is planning to travel to Belgium for the championships next week.

“I’ll definitely travel to Belgium for the World Championships. It’s a massive event and a once in a lifetime trip,” Ray said.

“I’m thrilled that the horse was picked. I don’t ride horses and I don’t have any land to keep them, but I’m very lucky to have great neighbours who help me out,” he continued.

Ray is particularly thankful to Eugene Boland (Snr) and Mary Heavin for all their assistance.

“You could ring Eugene in the middle of winter when it’s lashing rain looking for a bale of hay and he’d come down with it straight away and he wouldn’t take a penny for it! He's the salt of the earth.

“I’m just a hobby breeder and only for people like Eugene and Mary, I wouldn’t be able to do it at all,” he added.

WEC Mermus Rua is now owned by Pat Peare (Wexford Equestrian Centre), who bought the horse from Ray as a foal.