BETWEEN those representing Ireland abroad or lining-out for their local Branch in Pony Club events, it’s not surprising that there were small fields in the underage classes at Punchestown last Sunday.

Just five started in the EI110 (J) where the leader after dressage, and her clear show jumping round, Ellen Douglas, withdrew Downshire Rock (30.8) before the final phase. This left Eliza Kavanagh in pole position with Jane Hancock’s 15-year-old Kings Master mare Whitetree Sky and they went on to record their second success at this level on their flatwork mark (32).

Georgina Pettit led throughout the six-runner EI110 (P) on her mother Marguerite’s Connemara gelding Ballyerk Black Beauty, an 11-year-old grey by Joyes Cuckoo. However, she was fortunate not to have added more then 8.8 cross-country time penalties to her good dressage score of 29 as Eva O’Neill jumped a double clear inside the time to finish second with another Connemara, Woody Sammy (40).

Jess Widger and her mother Laura’s six-year-old Spirit House mare Grantstown Spirit had the perfect warm-up for the Junior/Young Rider event horse class at next week’s Dublin Horse Show when landing the EI100 (J) on their winning dressage score. The next six in the 15-strong class were also double clear inside the time.

Ahead of the Connemara Pony Show in Clifden, it was good to see that the first six in the 12-runner EI100 (P) on Saturday were all Connemaras, headed by the six-year-old All Smoke gelding Fortane Silver Fox who was ridden for her father Clive by Kate Corrigan. The successful combination were having their third start at this level.

On their third start under EI rules, Oisin McDonagh led from start to finish in the EI90 (P) on board the Ralph Conroy-owned and bred Milchem My Lady, the five-year-old Contra A mare he partnered into fourth place in the pony section of the Western Region starter stakes final in April.