CAITIE Slater’s excellent season with Richard Ames’ young horses got even better last Saturday at Rosanna where she won the Orchid Homes EI100 on the traditionally bred Irish Sport Horse Belline Imperial Diamond with whom she won an EI90 for four-year-olds at Grove last October.
As those ahead of her after dressage fell by the wayside, Slater completed on her flat work mark with Belline Imperial Diamond (24.3 penalties) as did Casey Webb, who finished second on her Hazeldene winner, Nelgara Lucy Locket (24.5), a seven-year-old Diamond Discovery mare. Two seconds over the time across the country, Alex Donohoe placed third with the six-year-old Blueprint gelding Modelcounty Blue Moon (24.6).
While others are competing at Millstreet this weekend, Slater is at Belline Equestrian in Piltown, putting the finishing touches on the four horses she is taking to the first of the Young Eventhorse Series qualifiers at Forth Mountain on Tuesday.
These comprise two four-year-olds and two horses for the young riders’ qualifier including Belline Imperial Diamond. Saturday’s successful five-year-old was bred in Co Monaghan by Amelia Comiskey, who stands his sire Imperial Hights, out of the Lester Lad mare Diamond Breaker
“All three of my horses went well but I was absolutely thrilled with the win!” said Slater. “Rosanna is definitely one of my favourite events. I love the cross-country here which I think is always a real confidence-builder for horses.
“I’ve been working at Belline for just over two years and am really enjoying my time here. I get to ride some really nice horses and they are great people to work for. When I worked in England, I hardly ever got home but, as it’s now just a two-hour drive up the motorway, I go home every couple of months or so.”
There was a breakout from the Western Region for some of Ralph Conroy’s horses, ponies and stable jockeys who competed through the Sealac eventing starter series in the spring and their journey over from Tynagh paid off with a double.
Here, we are going to concentrate on the Trinity Motors EI90 winner Milchem Echo who completed on his winning dressage score under Jason Doerflinger. The rider also finished fifth on Cohiba by Picobello Z (29.8), who was having his second outing under Eventing Ireland rules, and the once-previously-tried CSF Palace who placed ninth on 33 penalties.
The five-year-old Milchem Echo was bred in Co Galway by Patrick Dillon. A bay by the British thoroughbred Musical Pursuit, he is out of the Nautilus mare Clondavin who had five other foals by the same sire while her 2022 foal was a colt by another British thoroughbred in Algometer. The dressage phase in this 22-runner class was assessed by Mark Ruddock who also judged five other classes on the day.