TO no great surprise, it didn’t take Kate Derwin long to make her mark in the point-to-point world as, on her sixth ride, the former European Junior show jumping champion partnered her first winner last Sunday at Lingstown.
Success came in the concluding six-year-old and upwards maiden for novice riders on the Double Eclipse gelding Ballycurrane Boy who hit the front before the second last fence and then went away to score by 16 lengths.
The six-year-old ran in the colours of his then trainer Eugene O’Sullivan but had actually been purchased by Kate and in future will be in the care of Johnny Cummins.
That Moyglass, Fethard trainer also has charge of Maybe Its Time who Kate has ridden five times this season, the pair finishing third last time out in a maiden at Turtulla.
Like this seven-year-old Jeremy mare, when Ballycurrane Boy runs next time Kate will be wearing the white with red spots of her grandmother, and staunchest supporter, Ann Derwin, whose colours were worn to victory in the past by Kate’s father Francis and uncle Jim.
Ann and Francis were both on hand to welcome the 20-year-old back to the number one spot on Sunday as was her show jumping brother Francis Jnr who was seeing his sister race-ride for the first time and could only do so as he has been out of action due to a broken collarbone.
Loving new role
When Kate had her first ride in a bumper at Listowel in September, she was then working for Joseph O’Brien but is now based at Edward O’Grady’s Killeens yard near Thurles where she has been giving some show jumping advice to Edward’s daughter Rosie Mae who had a brilliant 2021 Eventing Ireland season on Wilderwood Storm.
“I love working with Edward,” said Kate. “He has been very good to me and I’ve learnt so much in the six or so weeks I’ve been here. I ride work for others in the afternoons and run daily to get even fitter.
“This is a tough game to get going in, it’s hard to get noticed and get rides so I bought the two horses so that I could have a ride every weekend. Racing is a permanent change from show jumping and I’m absolutely loving it.”