THERE were two good stories surrounding the winners of the APCOA performance Irish Draught classes which opened proceedings in Ring 2 at the Dublin Horse Show last Wednesday week.
Before judges Matthew Ainsworth (ride) and Jack Cochrane, the four- and five-year-old class was landed by Ratheoin Jack In A Box who, thankfully, was not injured in a traffic incident on the Monday, while the class for six-year-olds and upwards was won by Drynam Hero whose 100-year-old joint-owner/breeder Bob Hare was present to see the grey succeed.
Partnered by his other joint-owner/breeder Laura Snow, the six-year-old Gortfree Hero stallion Drynam Hero ‘won’ both the flat work and conformation phases on his way to a total of 290 points. Ciara Dennigan finished second on Frank and Paula Cullen’s Ballymac Holly Mae (281), a six-year-old mare by the working hunter champion Gortfree Lakeside Lad, while Hannah Gordon placed third on Liam Lynskey’s DS Ballagh Bouncer (275) who was fifth in his older heavyweight working hunter class on Sunday.
That 10-year-old Moylough Bouncer stallion won the ride phase but did have a fence down jumping as did all but two horses including Clonbanan Gortfree (270) who finished fifth under Trevor Palmer.
Drynam Hero, who qualified at Tullylish and has enjoyed considerable success on the Irish Draught circuit this season, is out of the Rockrimmon Silver Diamond mare Cushnahans Mist on whom Snow was placed twice at Dublin. The 14-year-old grey is back in foal to Gortfree Hero.
“I will probably take Bradley to the Traditional Irish Horse show in Mullingar and then to Lambertstown before he’s finished for the season. He has yet to cover any mares but I’ll look into that next year,” said Snow.
Declan O’Neill, who is a lot younger than Bob Hare, was fortunate that he and Ratheoin Jack In A Box emerged unscathed from the aforementioned crash on Monday as his box was written off in the incident.
The Co Tyrone exhibitor, who is a shipping and purchasing manager for a furniture wholesaler, purchased his 2018 Hillviewfarm Superstar gelding at Goresbridge last year. He broke the grey himself before sending him to Gwen Scott for a few weeks during which time he was hunted with the Tynan & Armagh Hunt.
“I took him back home in January I think and I ride him myself during the week with Gwen taking over in competitions at the weekends. I’ve had Draughts before but this was my first time to do any performance classes with them. Gwen had a very good show with plenty of other placings and I was working hard in the background along with Eileen Jones-Hardy, who had an entry in the lightweight cob class, and Wallis Birch.”
Ratheoin Jack In A Box, who was bred in Co Leitrim by Seamus Rogers out of the Classic Vision mare Rosharry Princess, qualified first time out for Dublin at Forth Mountain. He is now on a short break after which he will be advertised for sale.
Although the Scott-partnered four-year-old had a fence down last Wednesday week, he won with 287 points as he had a better conformation score than the Cappa Amadeus gelding Patrickswell Sherry (284) who, ridden by Correna Bowe for her father J.J., recorded one of only two clears inside the time.
Alice Griffin finished third on Bowe’s Huntingfield Sunny C gelding Hunting Sun (276) who, too, left all the poles intact but narrowly failed to beat the clock.