ADVERSE weather conditions didn’t hamper the determination of the young riders at the Connaught Region Horse Championship as they dominated proceedings. The league, which incorporated the HSI Autumn Development Series, was hosted by the Kerins family at Tubberbride Stables.
Young rider Evan Burke and Ballynagran Brilliant Girl took the win in the 80cm Championship, clear in 34.57 seconds. His closest rival was Alannah Perrin on LKS Bianca, clear in 35.12. In the 90s Championship, Dermot McAlaney saw off the challenge of Paraic Kelly to take the win aboard his own Hud Hastings, clocking 31.21.
Victory in the 1m Championship went to Clodagh Lee and Erne Cruising Breeze when they came home fastest of the clears in 25.93. Paraic Kelly was back in the ribbons, taking second aboard Loughnatousa Cisco, clear in 27.35.
Leading the victory lap in the 1.10m Championship was Derek Shaw and VMS Dallance Cruise, clear in 24.76. Orla Dixon’s clear in 25.01 saw her take second place, ahead of Clodagh Lee and Erne Cruising Breeze, clear in 25.25.
A total of 44 horses lined out for the 1.20 Championship, but it was Stephen Bolas and Diamond Del Bosco who took the honours, clear in 24.36. Little stood between the next placing as Gary Dooley’s Briarhill Cruis Rua lodged a clear in 24.99 for second. Opting for the longer lines paid off for Cian Harrison and Florida Springs as he lodged a clear in 26secs for third place.
Gary Dooley went one better in the 1.30m as he lodged the winning round with Declan Dooley’s CSF Olympic Jewel, clear in 28.94. Young rider Nadine Carey put in a gallant attempt with Sacre Bleu and kept all the poles in place in 30.05 for second. Accounting for third place was Richard Kerins and Ovidius Van De Kooldries, clear in 31.20.
Sunday saw the Connaught Region host the first leg of the HSI Autumn Development Series. The four-year-old section was divided between 13 clears on the day, but two were selected for the coveted breeders’ prize. Mary Walsh stepped up as the proud breeder of Ceide Candy Heart, a gelding by Garryduff Jar of Hearts, owned by Jane Gibbons and ridden by her son Stephen Gibbons. Patsys Favourite, another gelding, this time by Sligo Candy Boy and bred by Tommy Murray, was also a chosen one with Tadhg Mulligan in the saddle.
The five/six-year-old class was well supported and, in the end, Cora Sharkey took the win aboard Gabriel Slattery Snr’s six-year-old Captain Candy Man when they came home clear in 26.93.
The seven/eight-year-old class provided a nail-biting finish, but a calculated round by Shane Goggins and Niall Mullins’ seven-year-old old MSH Global Warming saw them lodge the winning clear in 25.15. Goggins just edged out Richard Kernis and Marius CK as they came home in 25.55.
The final class of the day was the Tubberbride Stables-sponsored 1.35m Grand Prix saw 13 combinations battle it out. Taking the win was Johanna Sixt of Duffy Sport Horses when she partnered the Cathal McMunn and Jonathan Reape-owned Incredible to a clear in 32.47. There was very little between the next placing as Matthew Conlon and Ping Ball clocked 32.6.