JUST like the five- and six-year-old final, the seven and eight-year-old Irish Breeders’ Classic result was a mirror image of that at the Dublin Horse Show three weeks’ ago. Junior rider Rhys Williams and PARC Stables Playboy JT Z added the win at the Wexford venue to the top prize they had secured in Ballsbridge.
Sponsored by the Fitzpatrick family, in memory of a great supporter of Irish show jumping Leslie Fitzpatrick, the class offered a €10,000 prize fund.
The 30 starters who qualified for the final were reduced to just 10 for the second round. Of these, five managed to produce a double clear, while the other five had just one fence down apiece.
Seventeen-year-old Rhys produced the fastest round of the jump-off aboard the Belgian-bred seven-year-old, who is by Presley out of Prada JT Z (Plot Blue), stopping the clock at 35.66.
Ger O’Neill came closest to catching the winner with Castlefield Breeding Farm’s eight-year-old Mr Castlefield (Heartbeaker x Faust Z) when they broke the finish beams in 36.02 for the runner-up spot.
Dermott Lennon and Bronte Stables’ eight-year-old All Pleasure Hero Z (Aganix du Seigneur x For Pleasure) took third in 36.06. All Pleasure Hero Z was bred by Hpbnl Horse Invest LTD.
Fourth place went to Abbie Sweetnam riding Pinaki Van Den Dael (I am Moerhoeve’s Star x Eros Platiere), owned by Killavallig Farm Ltd Sweetnam, in 37.50.
Jason Higgins guided his own and Meabh Bolger’s gelding Heritage MBF (Eldorado Van De Zeshoek x Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve) to fifth while Donald Loughan’s Cissi (Cristallo I x Collini), ridden by Emily Turkington, completed the line-up in sixth.