THE international horse trials season at Ballindenisk concluded last Sunday when, in contrast to the first event in late April, seven of the eight classes at this third and final fixture were won by Irish riders, four of whom were recording their first international success.
Apart from one wet morning, weather conditions were ideal and riders were extremely complimentary about the going on the cross-country tracks which were designed by four separate individuals.
“Why give all the money and kudos to one person when you can spread it around?” queried co-host, event president and one-star track designer Peter Fell.
“This way, people can learn on the job which will help them when they want to move up a level.”
The other designers were Fell’s sister-in-law Helen West (four-star), who is chief executive officer of British Eventing, and the Irish duo of Dereck Hamilton (three-star) and Ray Doyle (two-star). Irish judges on the ground juries – Marie Hennessy, John Lyttle, Yvonne Monahan and Faith Ponsonby – were joined by Austria’s Judith Eisnecker and Finland’s Seppo Laine who was a member of the ground jury at Badminton in May.
“I thought it was a really good event and most riders seemed happy,” stated Fell. “It was great having the financial support from Horse Sport Ireland for the Michael Leonard championship which was run as a one-star-Intro for the first time.
“And there was a great result here too with Louise Bloomer winning her first international in some time while the second horse (the Sian Coleman-partnered Diamond Mistress) is out of Shes My Master who won this class in 2014 (then an EI110 when ridden by Michael Ryan).
“That’s it as far as eventing is concerned for the season,” continued Fell, “but we are hosting a leg of the HSI autumn development series on Sunday, October 9th while the Pony Club autumn show jumping league, which proved very popular last season, gets underway on Sunday, October 23rd and is due to run until Sunday, November 27th. We’ll finish off for the year the following Sunday with the United point-to-point.”