IT was full steam ahead for younger riders as they travelled to Millstreet last week to compete in the very popular annual Owners Pony and Young Riders Charity Show at Green Glens.
Once again the Duggan family and their team pulled out all the stops with the event running like clockwork. Running for the last 33 years, this event, run by a hard working committee of Thomas Duggan, Trish Dodd, Tim O’Connor and Michael and Ciara Holland, has raised almost €400,000 for charities, mainly supporting children and animals.
The show has been hosted at Millstreet for the last 19 years by kind donation of the Duggan family and it could not take place without the generous support of all its sponsors.
The annual parade of retiring pony riders, moving from ponies to horses, received a great send-off.
The three-day show opened last Friday with over 2,500 entries with 550 stabled on site and another 220 equines coming through the gates each day. While numbers were slightly down on previous years, it was encouraging to see new faces including a large contingent from Co Wexford.
This could not happen without the input of Pony Owners stalwarts Michael and Ciara Holland. With six arenas in action every day, the show could not take place without the contribution from a small army of judges, course designers and arena support staff. The committee are grateful for the long-standing support of so many sponsors and contributors, including MW Hire who have been involved with Pony Owners for nearly 25 years.
Rain fails to dampen spirits
The incessant rainfall on Friday did its best to disrupt proceedings and a few competitions were diverted to other arenas to ensure the best available going conditions. Many came in out of the rain to cheer on the parent/child combinations that came forward for the U12 Novelty Relay in the Indoor Arena on Friday evening where Tommy Maloney and Rosslayne RobRoy came out on top.
Meanwhile, there was plenty of competitive jumping from combinations to reach Sunday’s finals where the championships took centre stage and, as expected, they were hard fought.
A prolific winner in the pony arena, Senan Reape added to his record when he was the fastest of the three double clears in the 128cm 1m Grand Prix. Riding Valor, he lodged the fastest time of 24.45. Juliette McIntosh opted for a more careful approach and it paid off with Twin Cam as they crossed the line in 26.86 for second. Robyn McOwan and Little Miss Big Time also kept the poles in place in 29.60 for third. The fastest of the four-faulters in the four-way jump-off were Kate Lynch and Coppenagh Hakuna Matata, in 27.44 for eventual fourth.
Only double clear
In the 138cm Grand Prix, Martha Hughes Bravo and Mayfly Black Pennell led the victory lap when they delivered the only double clear in 25.84. Fractions behind were James Brennan and MHS Alaska, carrying four faults in 26.28, ahead of Robin Carey and Bay Times, also on four faults in a slower time of 26.93.
In the 148cm Grand Prix, the standard was high with five double clears being delivered in the 17-way jump-off. Claiming victory on this occasion was James Flaherty with Cloonturk Admiral in 32.30. Less than a second behind was Amy Reape with Massaqua T, while in third were Ciara Fives and Hilltop Oliver in 35.66.
Big win for Sheehan
Alex Sheehan and Tyrrellspass Ruby delivered the fastest clear in the Under 10 Grand final, clocking 39.28. Emily O’Brien and Mini Me also remained within the 40-second mark, in 39.67, ahead of Georgia Kennedy and Annagh Connie in 41.15.
In the ribbons of late, Brendan Murphy added to his record as he took the win in the Young Riders’ 1.20m Grand Prix. Riding Sandra Duffy’s Ja Belle Stability, he delivered a clear in 33.20. Not content with the win, he also took second with Tess Drouin-Reed’s Toll Crazy Jump, clear in 33.41. Third place belonged to Michael Lillis and Portglorian Cruise, when they crossed the line clear in 34.60.
The Young Rider 1.30m Grand Prix, saw five riders progress to the jump-off and from those, just two maintained clean sheets against the clock. Back in the winners’ enclosure was Brendan Murphy as he delivered the faster of those clears in 28.24 aboard Chiricco 2. Second place was occupied by Killian Ryan and Marlow ELJ, who clocked 31.47, ahead of Emer Kavanagh and MHS Tamara, who was fastest of the four-faulters in 30.01.
Robyn Moran delivered the winning clear in 24.97 with European Cruise to take the Young Rider 1.20m Farewell Stakes. In the pony arena, Robin Carey and KFS Budweiser claimed victory, when the faster of the two double clears in 28.46.