LIFE has changed for many people since the Dublin Horse Show was last held in 2019 but particularly so among the close-knit community of the pony showing world for the McDonnells from Portaferry.

In Ring 1 on Sunday, there was a super result for the family when Max partnered his mother Mary’s Knocklucas Chloe to victory in the Southside Contract and Carpet Cleaners show hunter championship.

The Co Down combination first landed the 153cms class where the very busy Jesscia Murphy stood second with Tristan Murphy’s Runnon Fancy That who is just a five-year-old. This brown British-bred mare is by Leander.

Going forward to the championship from the 158cms class was the winner, Melissa O’Connor Murphy’s Darcy de Chanteloube, and the second-placed Randalstown Lord Sugar who, earlier in the week, had claimed the small hunter title under Eva Lowry who owns the six-year-old chesnut gelding in partnership with Sam McAteer.

Darcy de Chatelouble finished third in that older small hunter class to Randalstown Lord Sugar under the ever-busy Jessica Murphy who, on Sunday, partnered the French-bred gelding, a 10-year-old by Rotspons Prince MFS, to victory in the intermediate side-saddle class ahead of Sarah Brashaw riding Sara Boyd’s 20-year-old Obelix gelding, Out Of The Phoenix.

Back to the show hunter pony division where an excellent season continued in the 133cms class for Charlotte Goor on her mother Fiona’s British-bred gelding Underhill Bobcat, a six-year-old bay by Riverford Love Song. The Co Wicklow combination have been successfully developing their partnership over the summer months.

Helena O’Doherty went through to the championship in second place here on the 11-year-old Skahanagh Skylark mare Clooneen Sile.

Taller ponies

However, the judges in arriving at their decision went for the taller ponies with Max McDonnell striking for the boys when called forward into the champion’s slot ahead of Jessica Murphy and Darcy de Chatelouble.

Bred in Co Tipperary by Patrick Kennedy the 17-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Knocklucas Chloe is by Kings Master.