Sarah Carless reports …
New Zealander Tim Price came out on top in the Horse Sport Ireland CCI*** feature class at Ballindenisk Horse Trials.
Riding Pats Jester, a nine year old owned by Kate Maitland competing for the first time at a long format three star, Price led the competition from start to finish. The pair scored 46.3 in the dressage holding a narrow lead over two British riders – Ben Hobday (Kaapachino – 46.4) and Tom McEwen (Joyride – 46.4).
The weather in Ballindenisk meant riders had to tackle tough conditions on the cross country, and only two riders – Hobday and Irish rider Elizabeth Power, completed inside the time. Price added eight time faults to his dressage score to finish the second day on a score of 54.3 just ahead of Power who moved up to second after lying seventh after dressage.
The ground conditions also led to a challenging show jumping phase with just two clear jumping rounds, with New Zealander Jesse Campbell and Amsterdam 21 being the only pair to keep the poles up and make the time, pushing them to finish third in the final standings. Going into the show jumping Price didn’t have any breathing room over Power, although she lowered two rails with Mind Me. This eased the pressure and although Price and Pats Jester lowered one rail this still gave them victory.
It was a home win in the CIC*** for Sam Watson and Ardagh Highlight. New Zealander Blyth Tait had been in the lead following the dressage with Dassett Courage on a score of 43.0. But Watson put himself in contention with a score of 47.3 to lie in sixth.
Again in the show jumping there were very few clear rounds. Tait dropped one rail whilst Ludwig Svennerstal dropped four with Bally Quantos after lying in third after dressage, whilst his second mount El Kazir dropped one rail. Captain Geoff Curran and dropped three rails with Bishops Quarter pushing them down the order. This promoted Jonelle Price into the lead with Faerie Dianamo and Watson into second.
And it was Watson who came out on top after the cross country with a clear round inside the time – the only pairing to do so, whilst Price added 12.4 time faults to finish in fourth. Britain’s Izzy Taylor rose up the order to finish in second with Frog Rock, whilst dressage leader Tait finished in third.
British riders dominated the Eventing Ireland CCI** with Fiona Breach topping the class on Creevagh Silver De Haar, and compatriots also finishing second, third and fourth.
Breach led from the start with the nine year old gelding finishing on her dressage score of 45.6. Laura Collett also finished on her dressage score with London 52 (48.4) ahead of Sam Ecroyd and Tullaher Sunrise in third. The British domination saw Izzy Taylor finish fourth with DHI Jet Set.
Another British rider win the CIC** with the honours going to Olivia Wilmot and Zebedee de Foja. Tom McEwen finished second with CHF Cooliser with Austalian Ben Leahy in third with Feloupe.
The Bucas CCI* also provided another home winner for Ireland, with Cathal Daniels taking victory with OLS King Aragon, ahead of Izzy Taylor on Newmarket Glider and Ireland’s Emily McQuade and Bright Side.
Young rider Ecroyd had a successful weekend and came out on top in the CIC* with Christoff ahead of Daniels and LEB Lias Jewel and Irish rider Ella Boyle in third with Candy 737. The CIC* for Ponies was an Irish affair with Isabelle Comerford topping the class with Colour Me Fancy ahead of Katie McKee and Fair Lad and Zara Burke Ott and Allie Fountain Breeze.
The Michael Leonard CNC* Five and Six Year Old Championships was another Irish clean sweep with Tracey Walshe coming out on top with RLE Penhills Cougar ahead of Maria Byrne and BGS Willpower and Camilla Speirs and Lukas.
Photographs courtesy of Radka Preisler