KILRONAN Riding Club staged its popular summer show last Sunday at the Kilronan Equestrian Centre between Swords and Dublin Airport where landowner and club chair, Helena Dawson, had been spotted harrowing the Derby field at 5.30am in the days leading up to the fixture.

“Helena really does go above and beyond for our Derby Day every year,” stated Kilronan’s grading officer Louise Somers who is a member of both the national and executive committees of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs. “She pours her heart into the show and we cannot thank her enough.”

Horse First continued its welcome sponsorship of the Derby classes where clear rounds were in abundance in the 70cms division, forcing judge Laura Connell to work out those closest to the optimum time to find a winner, but there was only one in total between the three higher classes.

Ashbrook chair Mags Brannigan didn’t manage to go clear in the 80cms class but, with four penalties in 3m 26.34secs, she claimed the honours with the Connemara gelding Robe Wonder on whom she shares the ride with clubmate Helen Clarke and will be doing so at next weekend’s AIRC Festival.

The 12-year-old grey by OMS Aragon was bred by Gabriel Murphy out of the Glencarrig Prince mare, Badger Hill Cracker. This was a popular victory as Brannigan is a great supporter of all activities in the North East Region of the AIRC.

The ever busy partnership of Chris Carter and the well-known Irish Draught gelding Cloonan Hector finished second of the 15 starters with four faults in 3m 30.48secs ahead of Rathangan’s Derry Walker riding his 20-year-old skewbald gelding Attila (four faults in a very speedy 2m 59.43).

That last-named combination represented the West Leinster Region’s Rathangan Club whose chair, Abbie Walker, Derry’s daughter, won the 16-runner 90cms class with her stand-out clear round on If Ever A Rogue. Walker and the 15-year-old bay gelding will be competing in pure dressage and the RC100 Open performance hunter class at the Festival.

With four faults apiece, the host club’s Claire Solon placed second with her seven-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Harlequin Du Clover ahead of Drynam’s Aisling Wilson on board her 14-year-old ISH mare Lady Pixie Jones.

There were just three starters, and two finishers, in the 1m class which was won by Mo Chara’s Brian Dunne riding his traditionally-bred ISH gelding Quarrycrest River Dancer, a 16-year-old bay by Riverdance Clover who holds three show jumping engagements at RC 100 level at the Festival.

Macetown’s Eden Gannon won the match for honours in the 60cms class with her ISH mare Diamond Ricardo, an 18-year-old Ricardo Z bay who jumped clear on Sunday and is entered in all three disciplines at the Mullingar Equestrian Centre next weekend.

Cheval’s sole success at the show came in the 70cms Derby where Linda Manning recorded a clear round closest to the optimum time on her 18-year-old piebald gelding A Patchy Dream (3m 17.49secs).

Calliaghstown’s Gay Parkinson was second in 3m 11.82secs on board the ISH mare Rathmore Pearl, a five-year-old dun daughter of Mountain Pearl, and Kilrainy’s Hazel Leahy was third with her 16-year-old skewbald gelding Frostys Toystory (3m 21.36secs).


The organising committee welcomed the Malahide-based HEC (Honest Elevator Company) on board as title sponsor of the dressage section of the show where the judges were Lindsey Ilona Brady and Christine Keane.

The former’s winners were the above-mentioned Eden Gannon and Ricardo Diamond (76.30%) for Macetown (RC P1), Caroline Farrelly and her 16-year-old piebald gelding Mineview Major Tom (69.72) for Drynam (RC P2) and Angela McCann with her ISH gelding Bray Summer Breeze (70.74), a 15-year-old chesnut mare by Harlequin du Carel, for Brooke Lodge.

Boyneside secretary Sarah Richardson was the first to top Keane’s scores with her nine-year-old grey mare Cloondarone Silver (69.28%) in the Walk/Trot test. Killegar secretary Jill Southern (75.68) and fellow member Aisling Kennedy (75) both rode the 15-year-old ISH mare Ardmount Rio, a daughter of Vriend, to finish first and second in the RC P3.

Drynam recorded another two dressage wins through Sophie Marks and her home-bred Irish Draught mare Lilys Lucky Penny (71.88%), a four-year-old chesnut by Scrapman, in the RC P2 Open and Julie Griffith and her 15-year-old piebald ISH mare Blueberry Hill (69.79), by Rineen Clover, in the two-runner RC E. Twinfort’s Tabitha Millar Hagerty recorded an uncontested victory in the RC M on the former CCI4*-L eventer, Westeria Lane (70.64), an 18-year-old gelding by Rantis Diamond.

With sponsorship from Equestrian Portable Showers, the dressage judges were asked to select the best turned-out combination in their classes. Ilona Brady chose Drynam’s Naoise Traynor who finished fourth in the RC P2 on board her 18-year-old grey mare Alcyon while Keane picked the well-known pairing of Castle Hill’s Sarah Cassidy and her 23-year-old bay cob Woodland Badger who placed third in the RC P3.

At the end of a warm, bright day, Louise Somers commented: “The sun was beaming throughout and we seem to have had a lot of happy riders.”