WHILE their mother Sarah has been putting in some practice over coloured poles ahead of the Treo Eile Pro-Celebrity Show Jumping Challenge, Phonsie and Eliza Wardell have been rehearsing since the start of November for their roles in The Sound Of Music.

Sarah mainly travels from their Dunlavin home to CoilÓg to jump her thoroughbred gelding Whydah on whom she won the Pro-Celebrity Challenge last year as a member of the Seabiscuits team along with Katie Walsh, Cliodhna Brennan and Lucy McCarthy. For their part, Phonsie and Eliza make their way each weekend to the National Concert Hall in Dublin where the musical opens on Tuesday, December 27th and runs until Tuesday, January 3rd with a matinee performance most afternoons.

Nine-year-old Eliza just rides at home but many in the horse world will know Phonsie (13) who is a member of the Kildare Branch of the Irish Pony Club. With his Connemara mare Ballybrit Kate, who he has produced since she was three, Phonsie was a winner during the IPC/Connolly’s Red Mills eventing league after which, on their only start under Eventing Ireland rules, they finished second, on their dressage score, in an EI90 (P) at Tattersalls.

Also an actor, Tighe Wardell (16) no longer rides having broken his leg badly in a fall. He has however a new pursuit in sailing and in August the Blessington Sailing Club member competed in the GP14 world championships in Skerries.