ANOTHER hotly contested division every year, the six-year-old Dublin Horse Show qualifier at Barnadown offered 12 qualifying places for the August showcase and 102 horses were brought forward to battle it out over three rounds of Tom Holden’s 1.30m track.
Nine combinations managed to produce a triple clear round to secure their place in Dublin. First place went to Richard Kirby’s BP Rocket Man (Stakkato Gold x Quidam Junior), bred by GGBS Intl and ridden by Kevin Gallagher. They posted a jump-off time of 35.96 for the win.
Molly Hughes Bravo rode HHS Mercedes (Can Ya Makan x Couletto) for her parents, Bravo Hughes Ltd, to the runner-up place in 36.13, ahead of Eddie Moloney and his own Twain Flight (Luidam x Mark Twain) who finished third in 36.38. Niamh McEvoy guided the Kevin Babington-bred BP Goodfellas (Stakkato Gold x O.B.O.S Quality), owned by GBBS Intl into fourth place. The gelding won the five-year-old world championship at Lanaken last year under Ger O’Neill.
McEvoy also took fifth place aboard her other mount, Sarah Tredennick’s BP Tiny Dancer (Plot Blue x Concorde), the third horse of the class to be bred at Ballypatrick Stables where she is based. Abbie Sweetnam, riding Jeremy Sweetnam’s Dutch-bred Magic Girl (Malibu TN x Padinus), completed the top six.
A further three horses laid down triple clear rounds, but were slightly slower. Despite this, they still earned the main goal of the day which was a place at the RDS. They were Brian McConville’s BWE Vain Hero (Ugadi Hero Z x Darco), ridden by Shane O’Reilly, Darragh Ryan with his own As You Want Z (Atomic D’Ick x Calvaro), and Jason Higgins and his own stallion MBF Maxwill (Do Spiritivo x Damiro).
Robert Splaine with Coolcorron Lone Ranger (Tyson x Jokers C) had the fastest four faults for 10th place to pick up a ticket. The final two qualifying places went to Alan O’Regan with Emma Horgan’s Slanelough Seaview (Cristo x Ulysses M2S) and Gemma Phelan with ESI Nixon (Dakar VDL x Simba).