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Day in the Life of Marion & Clare Hughes

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You can’t interview one sister without the other because both ladies have had a terrific month on the world stage of show jumping, winning world titles for the sport horses that they produce and breed.

Clare Hughes is a pharmacist and owner of CF Pharma which is a first medical device manufacturing company in Kilkenny. She is married to Melvyn Kennedy and they are parents to Seamie (17), Izzy (15), Chloe (12) and Annie (6). Clare grew up on the home farm in Cuffsgrange with her five sisters and brother. Her late father Seamus bred many international horses from the Cuffsgrange yard. Clare competed in show jumping at a national level until finishing college and her career took over. She now has a yard adjacent to her sisters Marian’s, where both are walking in their father’s footsteps, with the hopes of breeding the next Irish Olympian horse.

Marion Hughes has ridden internationally for Ireland in the Athens’s 2004 Olympics on the Irish equestrian team. This was also the last time Ireland competed in the Olympics as a team. She won the Aga Khan at the Dublin Horse Show. She is mum of three daughters, Molly (17), Marta (13) and Maltide (9) and married to Miguel Bravo. Both husband and wife are international showjumpers and trainers. They met while on the show jumping circuit. Miguel is from Portugal where they have a farm that they use as a base for their international horses. They also have the home farm in Cuffsgrange. They still compete but are spending more and more time helping their team of riders at Hughes Horse Stud (HHS).

When the two sisters work together magic happens! To top it off their children are also carrying on the family legacy. Clare’s son Seamie recently won a gold medal in the World Young Horse Breeding Championship, with Marion produced the silver medal winner at the same show.

Here is a glimpse into the sister’s world…

Ladies, describe your typical day with breeding horses.

Morning – The yard starts at 7.30am, where horses are fed, mucked out and the day begins. Breakfast for us is when the horses have theirs!

Lunch – A combination of training, looking at the young horses and reviewing inputs into the breeding programme.

Dinner – When the professional contract riders finish their day’s work at 5pm, our kids take over and rid out. Homework is done after and dinner is 7.30pm. The yard is closed up after the final check at 8pm.

You both must be still over the moon with your recent success at the world championships in Belgium?

C: Yes, that was the perfect end to the competing year, as we will take it easy now with the horses for the next........

© Kilkenny People