WHILE husband Michael was busy competing in Blenheim, Patricia Ryan flew the family flag to win the open EI110 division from the front at Clyda.
Riding the experienced The Caped Crusader, Ryan opened with a clear lead on the flat and, despite notching up a few time penalties, completed comfortably in front of Alison Holden with Lates Eddie, as well as the speedy Dominic Furnell aboard Horlepip. All four completed.
With 24 runners going to post, the restricted sector was far more competitive and time was again the challenge. In the end, just four riders beat the clock, with Fraser Duffy and You Two Hotshot moving from an opening second spot to take the spoils.
This was the first win for the six-year-old son of Warrenstown You Too who, owned jointly by Carol Gee and Deirdre Lanigan and bred by Vahe Bogossian, has been knocking on the door all season.
Chasing all the way and just two marks adrift, Sarah Wardell rode the improving thoroughbred Whydar to fill second, from Duffy again who shared the same completion score with Liscarrow Fernhill.
Five riders encountered difficulties in the country, most notably dressage leaders Dominic Furnell and Dukes Endeavour, who picked up 20 penalties at the influential rail to drop to skinny complex at the sixth.
EI 100 classes
The leaderboard was quickly turned on its head in the EI 100, when the top four after dressage all added penalties in the country. Their demotion left the top spot there for the taking, and it was Patrick Whelan, racking up his second victory of the day, who took the advantage.
This time around, Whelan rode Julie Radden’s much admired thoroughbred six-year-old Galileo Dance, who first caught the eye in the Stepping Stones series last year. A winner at Frankfort recently, and placed fourth (EI 90) at the National Championships the previous week, the stallion has returned to the higher level, and looks an exciting prospect for the future.
“I sourced him from Joseph O’Brien with whom he had lightly raced,” explained Radden. “The idea had originally been to geld him, but he was so quiet and easy and such a good type, we decided to keep him entire. I always felt that if he was to stand as a stallion then he had to go and do something to prove himself, so having covered a few mares this spring, we will stand him properly next year.
“He has a fabulous temperament, and I think he is probably the only thoroughbred stallion in Ireland eventing,” she added. A son of Galileo, his win was his second at the level, and completing on his opening sore he shared the same mark as runner up Bridget MacAuley aboard her Hillcrest winner Zena Rising, leaving Rebecca Dunlea (Nelgara Lucy Locket) in third.
The Patrick Whelan/Julie Radden partnership landed another top placing when the jointly owned Rocky Pontoon landed the pillar-to-post honours in the EI 90.
Standing just 148cms, the six-year-old Connemara by Hazel Rock Silver Fox added nothing further to his dressage score to lead Alyssa O’Neill DS Candesant by four marks. Also finishing on her opening score was Lindsay Graham who completed in third and fourth with Annaharvey Chilli Pepper and Drumcrave Ruby. Seven ran.