Christa Dillion reports ..
The Southern Irish eventing season got underway on the 31st of March at Clyda, County Cork. Fantastic weather, super ground and typically well presented courses helped to make the day a great success for organizer Fiona O’Meara and her team.
Winner of the EI 115 Open was Alison Holden, aboard twelve year old O My Balladeer. This consistent combination finished their 2018 season with a third place in the EI 120 National Championships, and they started the new season in fine style. A particularly good dressage test and nothing to add but a few time faults, saw them cruise to victory by some thirteen marks. Louise Bloomer was second riding Hollybrook High in the Sky, With Sarah Dooley in third aboard Rubix Cube.
The EI 115 was won by Irish Olympic rider Camilla Speirs, aboard the Louise Parkhill owned Lux Z gelding, Lukas. Camilla has produced the horse carefully, and the aim for 2019 is Tattersalls International in June. Second place went to Megan Telford-Kelly aboard Mr Chocolate, with Holly Boal in third aboard Bonmahon Flash.
The EI 110 Open was won by Fernhill stable rider Fraser Duffy, riding Superjumbo. In second was WEG team rider Cathal Daniels, aboard the Contendro gelding Harieko DHI. In third was Dominic Furnell, riding Knockahunna French Twist.
The EI110 section A was won by Camilla Speirs, riding the Darko Nite gelding BT Martins Masterpiece. They finished on their dressage score of 28.3. Camilla also finished sixth aboard SSH Playboy. Both horses are owned by Camilla’s mother Bridget, and both are being aimed at the six and seven year old class at Tattersalls. Sofie Walsh finished in second place riding Herobrine, with Daragh Byrne in third abound the Yeats sired mare, Yeats Royale.
The EI 110 section B was won by Nicola Ennis, riding Sarco To Perfection. Patrick Byrne took second place aboard Castle Arkan, with northern raider Ella Boyle in third with WKD Cooley. In fourth was Camilla Speirs with Omard Hawaii lady, who was full of praise for the diminutive chestnut mare by Beach Ball-“Dare I say it, she’s the most like Jiff (Portersize Just A Jiff) of any horse I have had. She’s just so clever, and a real jumper.”
The EI 110 Junior section was won by Molly O’Neill, riding Clearistown Flavia. The EI 110 Pony section was claimed by Susan Shanahan with a ten point margin, aboard the skewbald mare Little Indian Feather. The amateur entries were small on the day, but the EI 100 Amateur was won by James Green, riding Mr Tequila Dancer. The Amateur EI 100 was won by Lorraine Kennedy, riding the experienced Major Furisto. The son of Garrison Royal is no stranger to the winners enclosure, having once recorded seven wins on the bounce under Fraser Duffy. The EI 100 Pony class was won by Lucie Glynn riding Mulcair Lad, and the EI 100 Junior class was won by Keelin McCarthy with the popular pony, Millridge Cara.
Former Grand Prix dressage rider Amanda Goldsbury had a very good start to the season, with a one-two in the EI 100 Section A. First place went to Right on Q, a daughter of Castlecomer Q. This lovely six year old is hugely consistent, and proving to be both careful and brave. Amanda’s second placed horse Castle Bridge Boy finished just 0.5 of a mark behind his stablemate. Both horses will move up a grade in the near future. Fraser Duffy finished third, with Larco Van Het Lindehof. Camilla Speirs completed a brilliant day for herself and her team with fourth place in this class, riding the five year old Juste Capitaine.
The EI 100 section B was claimed by Alex Power, riding Lord Seekonig. Aidan Keogh took second with Kilcoltrim Swift, and Cathal Daniels picked up third spot with the Camiro De Haar Z gelding, Cappog Tony. The EI 90 Amateur class was won by Fiona Coughlan riding Kenley Diamond.
The EI 90 section was won by the in-form Amanda Goldsbury, with the full thoroughbred Murph’s Legend. Deputizing for the injured Michael McNally, Amanda cruised to victory with a 27.5 dressage and a clean jumping sheet. A relative newcomer to the sport, Amanda has taken to eventing like a duck to water-“My dad evented up to 3* level in New Zealand, but it took Michael (McNally) nine years to convince me to give it a go!”
The final pony class of the day-the EI 90 Pony-was won by Lucy Ross, riding Littlefield Clover. The EI 80 was won by Janet Burke, riding Gooseberry Hill Lotto. The claimed victory by just 0.3 of a mark, one of the closest margins of the day.