THIS week’s connection between the point-to-point world and other equestrian disciplines is centred on Co Down show jumper Michael Cave whose Colin Bowe-trained Castleward won the Tattersalls National Hunt five-year-old geldings’ maiden at Dromahane on Sunday.
Partnered by the five-time The Irish Field champion point-to-point rider Barry O’Neill, as he was when third on his only previous start at Ballyvodock in late January, the Notnowcato bay won at an auspicious time as Michael’s colours are those of his late grandfather, Herbert McDowell, whose Caughoo won the Grand National at Aintree in 1947.
A big horse who needed a bit of time, Castleward was broken and ridden away at Cave’s Ballyalton House in Newtownards and it was only in August last year that he joined Colin who Michael first met when the Co Wexford trainer was dealing in sport horses at Goresbridge.
“He jumped particularly well on Sunday but, while we got him going at home, all the credit goes to Colin and Barry,” said Cave who serves on numerous Show Jumping Ireland committees, is chairman of the Ulster competitions committee and represents the region on the national competitions committee.
Although he hasn’t competed himself yet this year, Cave is due to do so at the Ulster Region Grand Prix Tour show in Connell Hill today and hopes to be among those jumping in the international classes at Balmoral next month.