Sarah Carless reports..
Whilst the event featured a record number of 366 competitors representing 16 countries, British riders dominated at Tattersalls International Horse Trials with Brits taking victory in five of the classes at the Irish event.
Celebrated comedy star Jennifer Saunders had her first winner at Tattersalls when her eight-year-old horse Cooley Monsoon, was ridden to victory by Piggy French in The Eventing Ireland CCI** class.
French went second last into the show jumping arena, needing a clear round which she duly produced on the eight-year-old Cooley Monsoon scoring an overall 27.4. James Avery, who had led the competition from the dressage phase with Vitali went on to drop a rail and collect one time fault dropping him down to seventh in the final standings and handing French victory. It was a British one-two as Pippa Funnell finished second with Maybach (28.6) with Australian Kevin McNab and Brookfield Quality finishing in third (29.3)
The feature class, The Irish Field CCI3* saw British Rider Izzy Taylor pip her compatriot William Fox-Pitt by a few hundredths of a second to take victory. Riding Call Me Maggie May, the pair were faultless over cross country and show jumping to move from 6th to 3rd overnight and then take the title on a score of 28.5. Taylor finished on the same score as Fox-Pitt but as she was under the optimum time in the cross country phase while the latter was just over she claimed the title. Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal had been leading the pack following the dressage and cross country but a pole down on the final day dropped him and El Kazir SP down to third place.
The George Mernagh Memorial CIC3* was dominated by riders from the southern hemisphere. Australian Emma McNab and Fernhill Tabasco came out on top having been in contention from the start with a score of 21.9 in the dressage. She was handed the lead when dressage leader James Avery withdrew Zazu prior to the jumping phases. McNab added just 5.2 time penalties on the cross country to finish of 27.1, a great preparation for the four star at Luhmuhlen. New Zealander Jonelle Price finished in second with Faerie Dianimo, and they now also head to Luhmuhlen for the four star, with Australian Bill Levett finishing in third with Lassban Diamond Lift.
However, the class was marred by an incident involving Irish event rider Jonty Evans, who fell from Cooley Rorkes Drift at fence 19B, the second element of Water Complex. The pair had been lying in second place following the show jumping. Evans was transferred to Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown for further evaluation before being taken to Beaumont Hospital for further treatment where he is in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit and his condition is being monitored and treated. Cooley Rorkes Drift was uninjured in the fall.
The Connolly’s Red Mills CCI2* for Under 25 riders was won by British rider Tom Jackson on Court
Casper on a score of 25.7 incurring no penalties in show jumping and cross country and he also took 3rd place with Newmarket Prospect. It was a British one, two, three as Sam Ecroyd finished in second with Wodan III.
In the Land Rover CCI1* the honours were taken by Matthew Wright on The Corn Crake, a new ride for the Brit. The pair moved up from fifth after the dressage to take the win, adding no penalties in the jumping phases, to finish on 28.9. Tom McEwen took second with Braveheart B and John Paul Sheffield in third with Woodlander Wesuvio.
The Cooley Farm CCIYH1* 6 & 7 year-old horses was won by Laura Collett and Calmaro who kept the same score of 21.8 after dressage incurring no penalties in the cross country and show jumping phases. It was another second place for Tom McEwen riding Dreamaway with Sian Hawkes and Lady Baton Rouge taking third.
Ireland’s Katie Riley and Versace Biscuit took top honours in the Kubota CCIJ1*. The pair led from the get-go of competition and maintained winning spot when producing a clear round of show jumping, completing the class on their original dressage score of 25.2. The Berney Brothers CCI1* for Ponies was won by Charlotte Teehan for Ireland on Knockenpower Minnie with a score of 29.3. Charlotte went into the final cross country phase today in 3rd position having lain in 4th spot after dressage on their first day.
At the conclusion of the Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair, Managing Director Roger Casey commented; “Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair goes from strength to strength every year and this year is no exception. Tattersalls is now a recognised international sporting destination and our importance to the equine industry here has been further emphasised by the fact we were responsible for the biggest single movement ever of competition horses across the Irish Sea earlier this week.”
The successful recipient of the 2018 George Mernagh Memorial Fund Bursary was announced. Event Director Jean Mitchell MBE and Tattersalls Ireland Managing Director, Roger Casey presented winner, Angela Lyons with her €5,000 bursary. Angela competes as a Grade 1V Para Equestrian Rider, and her ambition is to represent Ireland at the Paralympics at Tokyo.The award of the 2018 George Mernagh Memorial Bursary will be put towards training, travel and competition expenses to gain more International experience at 3 Star level.
Images Courtesy of Lorraine O Sullivan