AS ever in competition, there are those delighted with the result and others bitterly disappointed and such was the case in the Open class at last weekend’s Irish Pony Club/Connolly’s Red Mills eventing championships at Tattersalls Ireland.

The United’s Alana-Rose Steele went into the final round of the league with a one-point advantage over her nearest rival but, following a very successful season which saw her finish second in the Members’ combined training at the Dublin Horse Show, her mount MBF Lord Lancer Bobbie, had an off-day on Saturday. Steele withdrew the six-year-old Fly Away Ali gelding after a disappointing dressage phase and two fences down show jumping.

All but two of the nine starters picked up penalties over the coloured poles and, on day two, only four competitors came home without jumping penalties and, of these, just one, Emma Dunne of Laois, managed to do so within the time allowed.

In the lower half of the field after dressage, West Waterford’s Sarah Kirk improved her position when having only one show jump down and, with the addition of just 1.6 time penalties on the final leg, ran out the winner of the Open championship with the Irish Sport Horse gelding Emperors Legion.

“It was brilliant to win,” said the 18-year-old who, in addition to receiving the Rose Bowl trophy as winner on the day, divided the league honours with Wexford’s Rebekah Rochowiak. “I love the Pony Club and it’s just a pity more riders my age don’t stay on – there’s a lot more fun than Eventing Ireland and you can develop a great team spirit. I’m not too sure what we will do with the horse now as I’m just starting my Leaving Certificate year and will have to study!

“That was only my third time to jump a 1.10m track and while I found it tough in places, and a real championship course, my horse was just brilliant. I’m coached in dressage by Marie Hennessy and had some show jumping training before the Championships with Ian Hannon.

“My family isn’t at all horsey so it’s great that they support me. My mother was away but my dad (Joe, the registered owner of the nine-year-old Emperor Augustus gelding) came with me for the weekend. I couldn’t believe the result and it was a day I’ll never forget.”

The IPC chairman, Michael Essame, who had a busy afternoon presenting prizes, handed over the IHTS trophy for the winner of the Intermediate teams championship to the Tipperary Toppers quartet of Kate Walsh (Beechtree Watchful), Emily Fox (Tievenadarragh Gem), Ruby Ffrench Davis (Gamespirit Japica) and Eva McMahon (Shawfield Oscar).

Intermediate champion

Representing the Araglen Branch, Abigail Kenneally was the recipient of the Richard Kehoe trophy as winner of the Intermediate individual championship on The Wooly Bully, while the league title went to Killinick’s Isabelle Barry (Kildromin Mentor).

There was a second league success for the Killinick Branch when Lilymai Berry, winner of the Intro Intermediate championship on Skylanna Scatman, divided the honours on 40 points apiece with Shillelagh’s Jane Fitzgerland who won Saturday’s dressage phase on Broomfield Banner. You can read more about Berry’s success in page 16.

The Wexford Wonder Bolts squad of Isla Seebach (Sahara Breeze), Emma Hickey (Ardeo Batman), Cora Finn (Shakespeares Romeo Montague) and Molly Hennessy Murphy (My Late Find) claimed the Tommy Brennan trophy as winners of the Junior teams championship while Waterford’s Conor Cusack, who will be taking part in the jockey skills course at the end of the month, was presented with the Billy Julian memorial trophy for his win in the Junior individual championship on Annandale Royal Mint.

Under 12s

An excellent day for the Tipperary Branch started when their Talents squad was presented with the Broomfield cup as winners of the Under 12s team championships. The quartet comprised Ellie O’Donnell (Condor) and Siun Coleman (Moonacuragh Rolo) together with two members from last year’s successful line-up, 11-year-old cousins Sarah (Savanose Bobby) and Evie (Ballymurray Star) Kennedy.

This was an excellent end to the summer for Evie, who, a week previously, won the working hunter starter stakes at the Dublin Horse Show on Maihem First Edition.

The Under 12s’ individual championship winner, and runaway victor of the league, was North Kilkenny’s Mia Perry who amassed 63 points with Mulvey’s Marble.

More detailed results on the Championships, dressage phases and leagues can be found in pages 98-101.