IRELAND’s Carla Williamson was probably complaining as she returned to boarding school on Monday evening but she could have had no complaints about life over the previous eight days as she followed up her win in the working hunter pony championship at the Dublin Horse Show with victory in The Equine Warehouse CCIP2*-S at last week’s Millstreet International Horse Trials.

At Dublin, the 13-year-old landed the workers’ title on her father Norman’s 133cms class winner Oh Dakota Justice, a 12-year-old Connemara gelding with a fully documented pedigree, while here she recorded the only double clear within the time on her mother Janet’s Galco, an eight-year-old chesnut gelding who, sadly, has no recorded breeding.

On 32.2 penalties, Williamson and Galco were lying fifth of 15 after dressage behind Britain’s Charlotte Cooke on the Connemara gelding Liscannon Tulira (28.2), Ireland’s Matthew Love with Cloughreagh Charlie (30.4), Britain’s Florence Ashmore riding Chadenn d’Aven (31.4) and Josh Williamson, her brother, on Rockon Pedro (32.1).

Of that leading quartet, only Cooke and Ashmore were clear over the coloured poles but, as Ashmore had picked up 1.2 time penalties, Carla was lying second going out on the final phase. Clear within the time, she could do nothing to improve her own position but then found herself top of the leaderboard as Cooke dropped to third with the addition of 6.4 time penalties on the final leg.

Galco was first spotted being advertised on Done Deal by the Williamsons’ coach Amanda Goldsbury who, due to Covid restrictions at the time, was the first to event the gelding in the spring of last year with Carla taking over at the end of May. While the combination never actually won until last weekend, they’ve rarely been out of the placings.

Galco too competed in the workers at Dublin, in the 153cms class, where he knocked the planks during an otherwise excellent round. “After they jumped, they did the conformation phase and I think it really helped Carla with the trot-up at Millstreet,” said Janet. “Actually, it was a good experience for them both.

“This was a very raw pony when we first got him and Amanda has been a very big part of his transformation. Even though she has moved from Meath to Wicklow, she is still Josh and Carla’s coach. Carla was thrilled with her win and we were so proud of her. She not only beat our own, including her brother, but all the British as well.

“She is not too happy being back at school but she is a weekly boarder and can get home at weekends to ride her ponies. And, of course, there’s the Horse of The Year Show to look forward to as she has qualified Oh Dakota Justice for the 133cms workers championship and Comberton Coda, who had an off-day at Dublin, for the 143cms division.”