THERE are few eventing venues as unique as Tyrella and, when the weather at the Corbett family’s seaside estate is as good as it was last Saturday, it is truly spectacular.

The Northern Region of Eventing Ireland commenced their 2022 season with the first of four Lightsource BP Tyrella one-days and were rewarded with an excellent entry. The Aaron McCusker-built show jumping tracks were up to height and influential while there weren’t too many jumping problems over the Adam Stevenson-designed cross-country tracks with Clare Abbott describing the EI115 (Open) track as the best in years being “more flowing and horse friendly”.

“There were a couple of new combination fences which were very good, especially one in front of Tyrella house and the second last which was a double of birch hedges while the water posed a really good question. There was a much-improved warm-up area for the cross-country which had a better variety of fences.”

Abbott shines

Abbott recorded an all-the way victory in that EI115 (Open) with Lisa and Barbara Rosbotham’s home-bred Jewelent (19.6) who was having his first start since finishing 14th, and best of the Irish, at last September’s European championships in Switzerland. Ian Cassells completed on his dressage score to finish second with the previous weekend’s Blackstairs (1) winner, Master Point (20.7).

Competing on Jewelent in the CCI4*-S at Thoresby Park this weekend, after which it’s on to Badminton (May 4th to 8th, the Hillsborough rider commented: “I had forgotten how hard you have to work to get a horse fit for Badminton but he was only in second gear on Saturday and still came home well within the time,” said Abbott of the 10-year-old Valent gelding who is out of the thoroughbred Bellaney Jewel, a seven-time winner by Roselier.

From nearby Kilkeel, Adam Haugh recorded a double and, in both instances, he completed on his dressage score.

In the 19-strong EI115, judged by Vanda Stewart, Haugh took the honours on his own Carsonstown Cruise (28.9) when left in front as Molly Evans picked up 1.2 show jumping time penalties with Wellan Graffiti (29.4) and Clare Abbott had a pole own on DHI No Fear (32.6). Ian Cassells recorded the only other double clear inside the town to finish fourth with Lisanley (36.4).

This was a first success at this level for Carsonstown Cruise who was bred at Tyrella by the late Sally Corbett. The eight-year-old, who is by the Holstein stallion Casdorff, is out of Tyrella Cruise (by Ringfort Cruise).

While Ella Boyle remains out of action, Haugh has the ride on her mother Mandy’s Denali (23.8) who led throughout in the EI110 (Open) and was the only one of the 14 starters to complete on the score she was awarded by Lucinda Webb Graham. Steven Smith, recent recipient of the leading rider award in the region for 2021, finished second with the leading owner-bred horse, Handsome Starr (30) who had a fence down show jumping.

Denali, a nine-year-old Hanoverian mare by Dubarry, was bringing up a hat-trick on Saturday having concluded 2021 with wins under Boyle in the CCI1*-Intro at Ballindenisk last September, just days after landing an EI110 at Knockany. The plan for the mare is to do some three-star events this season while Carsonstown Cruise will continue to compete at three-star level before moving up to four-star towards the end of the campaign.