BALMORAL Show, which runs from Wednesday to Saturday, May 10th to 13th, has published the qualifying dates and venues for its ‘Star of the Future’ performance horse championships which, sponsored by Gibson Equine Haylege, will take place in the Main Arena at Balmoral Park on Friday, May 12th.

While awaiting confirmation of a Horse Sport Ireland breeding grant, the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s Vickie White informed the Irish Horse World that the qualifying procedure would be the same as last year with one as yet to be named individual judging at all five venues. A second person will judge the finals of the two championships. This season, these are for five-year-olds only and for six and seven-year-olds.

The dates and venues are as follows:- Saturday, March 4th at The Meadows; Sunday, March 19th at Hazeldene Farm; Wednesday, March 22nd at Wexford Equestrian; Saturday, April 1st at Gransha Equestrian; and Monday, April 10th at Lusk Equestrian. Further details will be available in the prize schedule which is due to be published on the Balmoral Show website from Friday, February 10th.

Last season’s champion five-year-old, Carol Gee’s Irish Sport Horse Fernhill Count On Me, went on to win his Burghley qualifier at the Tattersalls Ireland July Show. The Chacoa gelding was fifth in his only start in an EI100 competition, amassed 32 Show Jumping Ireland points and saw out the year by winning the HSI dressage autumn development series for his age group having earlier won two legs of the eventing series.

Open last season to eight-year-olds, the second championship was won by Jane Allen Collins’s 2016 ISH mare Lougherne Kingfisher, a home-bred daughter of Colestus who, over two seasons, has picked up 94 SJI points, all under Hannah Blakely