SOME special awards were presented at last weekend’s Slieve Bloom Stud national dressage championships at Barnadown where the Midland & Western Region’s Simone Hession, who was recently elected to the board of Dressage Ireland, was once again the recipient of the Irish Draught trophy.

A multiple winner of the award as rider, Hession claimed it for the second time on board the home-bred Beezies Double Diamond who finished seventh in the Inter 1 championship. The 16-year-old grey gelding, who has over 320 DI points, amassed 109 Show Jumping Ireland points before being campaigned solely as a dressage horse. The Gentle Diamond grey is out of the Pride Of Toames mare Princess Of Woodlands.

Callowfeenish Silver, who is ridden for owner Julie Finnegan by the Leinster Region’s Nicki Russell, won the award for leading Connemara at the championships. This bay mare by Kippure Alkatraz finished eighth overall in the Category 2 Novice championship and was sixth in her five-year-old class. She is out of the Dunloughan Scot mare Callowfeenish Homer.

Leading thoroughbred

Treo Eile, the not-for-profit organisation which aims to increase the re-training of racehorses for equestrian disciplines once their track careers have concluded, presented prizes to the connections of the leading thoroughbreds in the Preliminary and Novice championships.

The first of these was won by the South East Region’s Claire Farrell, who finished second in the Leinster Dressage Category 1 Preliminary championship on board the French-bred Renneti who only began competing under DI rules at the start of July.

This 13-year-old gelding by Irish Wells won eight races on the track, seven of them when in the care of leading National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins. Over hurdles, his biggest win came at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival in 2017 when he landed a Grade 2 contest under Ruby Walsh while, in September that year, the late Pat Smullen guided Renneti to victory in the Group 3 Loughbrown Stakes at Naas.

The Treo Eile Novice award was presented to another Category 1 rider, Myriam Bunter of the Leinster Region who finished second on the combined table with Star Of Rubykan. This nine-year-old Arakan gelding failed to worry the judge in three runs in bumpers in 2017 when trained by Eoin Griffin.

In both the Preliminary and Novice Category 1 championships, the winner was the Leinster Region’s Aimee Oliver and her Dutch Warmblood gelding Love The Difference, a dark bay six-year-old by Johnson out of the Valeron mare Difference.