THE Mattie O’Connor-sponsored Trailblazer section at last weekend’s Wild Atlantic Dressage Festival attracted a big entry of young riders who were in awe of their peers competing in the FEI pony and Junior classes, while they also relished the opportunity of seeing some of the country’s best dressage exponents in action.
Co Wexford’s Oscar O’Connor won the Catherine Nee Memorial FEI Pony Championship on his mother Susan’s 12-year-old Westphalian gelding Top Hero 2 (69.81). The more locally-based Cillian Curran claimed the Grace Kelly FEI Junior title with his mother Carmel’s 10-year-old Hanoverian mare, Dancing Espri (67.44).
Other championship winners at the festival were Ellen Lonergan on Cadens (Surlis’s SuperValu Advanced), Mary Cox and Sancerre (Connaught Screeding Medium Category 2), Sinead McGrath and Killard Precision (Redhills Stud Medium Category 3), Elaine Murphy and QT An Tainiste (Easy Foot Farrier Elementary Category 3), Katie Jones and Rockhill Casey (Professional Driver Training Novice Category 1), Tracy Murphy and Kennedy (Connolly’s Red Mills Novice Category 2), Ciara Nee and Keelan Cashel (Dressage Ireland Preliminary Category 1) and Hannah Gordon with Harvey Specter (Midlands & Western Region Preliminary Category 2).
Tracy Murphy won a second title with Kennedy but had to share the honours in the Lawrence Engineering Elementary Category 2 Championship with Killian Gaffney riding Coretto.