Christa Dillon reports ..
The Northern Ireland eventing circuit is well underway, and Saturday 6th April saw decent entries across all classes at Tyrella. This was the second of four scheduled events for 2019 at this venue, and all credit must go to Dora Beacom and her team for their huge and prolonged efforts.
The long trip north was a successful one for Irish WEG team medalist Sam Watson, who claimed both first and second place in the EI120. Thirteen year old Imperial Sky was the runaway victor, finishing on his dressage score of 26.9. Sam was full of praise for the horse, who he has produced from a five year old and is aiming for Luhmuhlen this year-
“He has improved a lot-I feel that he really has matured as a result of going to Luhmuhlen last season. Whilst I have had bigger successes than the win on Saturday, I think it was the most polished three phases together that I have achieved at an event with any horse.”
Sam’s second place was achieved aboard the exciting dun gelding, Tullabeg Flamenco. The David Bogossian owned ten year old added just a few time faults to finish on 35.4. Sam commented that the horse is an absolute joy to compete, and has huge potential. He will be aimed at Chatsworth for the ERM class, and then Luhmuhlen.
The very popular 5* stalwart Sportsfield Othello took third place for Joseph Murphy, who also claimed fourth spot aboard Fernhill Frankie and sixth place with the mare, H L Mrs Imp. Jonathan Steele finished fifth in this class, riding the Renkum Off-Centre sired stallion, Centre Stage.
The EI 115 Open was won by the consistent pair of O My Balladeer and rider Alison Holden, who also enjoyed victory the weekend previous at Clyda. A 28 dressage and a scattering of time faults saw them pick up the winners rosette by a three mark margin. Leila Barker finished in second place riding Ardeo Illusion, with Alicia Wilkinson coming third aboard Gazelle Dwerse Hagen.
The EI 115 was won by Steven Smith, riding Hi Happy Harry. A superb dressage mark of 25.9 was marred only by one rolled pole, and they held on to win by less than one point. Daniel Brown finished in second place riding the bay mare Fleur De Lis, a horse he has produced carefully for the last couple of seasons. This was a step up for the horse, who made nothing of the challenge to finish on her dressage score of 30.7. Daniel thinks highly of this mare –
“She was fantastic, and gave me a super spin cross country. Where we go next depends on how we finish at the upcoming Ballindenisk International event, but the plan is to get her qualified for Le Lion D’angers. Otherwise, I will just keep moving her forward, and see where it takes us.” Daniel and his brother Noah are regulars on both the Northern and Southern circuits, and Daniel is quick to thank their parents, owners, supporters and sponsors for their much appreciated support. WEG team medalist Sarah Ennis finished in third place in this class, riding Shanbo Sky Fall. Sam Watson completed his excellent day with a fifth placing here, riding Ballybolger Talisman. Sam remarked that this horse has been slow to produce, and not the most straightforward. This season, he feels the horse is more settled and is excited by the horse’s capabilities when it comes to the cross country phase in particular. He will be aimed at the CIC 3* at the upcoming Ballindenisk International event.”
The EI 110 Open was won by Jonathan Steele, riding Bluestone Ice. In second place was Orlagh Halliday, riding the Shannondale Sarco gelding, Elsarco. Hollie Smith finished in third place, riding Trevor Smith’s gelding, Anvil Lodge Pinocchio.
The EI 110 section A was won by the in form Ella Boyle, riding WKD Cooley. Their final score of 24.9 gave them a three point margin over second placed Ian Cassells, who was riding Woodendfarm Jack O D. Adam Haugh came third riding the Van Gogh sired gelding, Van Thee Man.
The EI 110 section B was won by Orla Cassidy, riding Slaneyside Aldatus Flight. Steven Smith took second place, aboard Miss Matana, and the Cooley Farms stable jockey Katie O’Sullivan picked up third with J’Taime Cooley.
It was a big day for Noah Brown, who claimed the EI 110 top spot riding Euro Jackpot. This horse has enjoyed a wonderful career with Noah’s aforementioned brother Daniel, including a Young Rider team place and a phenomenal performance in the CIC 3* at Tattersalls International in 2018. Noah has taken up the reins, and the future looks bright for this pair. Sam Carey took second place aboard the grey roan mare, Blessington Kamikaze. Caitie Slater finished in third aboard the dun stallion, Grand Marnier.
The EI 110 Pony section was won by the experienced Kerry Magill, riding Lisnahall Miss Toffee. The EI 110 Amateur class went to Simone Brown, who was riding Global Merlot.
The EI 100 classes were well supported, and the first of these was the Amateur division. Alexa Grudgings took the win, riding the ten year old Gatsby-sired gelding, Kudos.
The EI 100 Pony class was won by Sophie McNicholas, riding Star of Hollymount. They finished on their dressage score of 29.
The EI 100 Junior competition was won by Tola Thompson, aboard Crackerjack VIII. The Catherston-bred gelding finished the day on a score of 28.5, six points clear of his nearest rival.
The EI 100 entries were divided, with section A being claimed by Melanie Wrynn riding Lightening Master. Section B went to Suzanne Hagen, with the Cobra-sired gelding, Tax Break.
The EI 90 Amateur section was won by Sarah Logan, riding As If By Magic. Just 0.3 of a mark separated first and second place.
Amanda Goldsbury continued her run of excellent form, taking first and third place in the EI 90. A stunning final mark of 19.3 riding the mare, Bridie, saw the red rosette heading back to County Meath.
The final class of the day was the EI 90 Pony division, which was won by Poppy Moore, riding Crecora Angel.
Photo with thanks to John Gibson, Sporting Images NI.