THE penultimate round of the RDS pony and young rider qualifiers saw riders travel to Cavan last weekend in a bid to book a place to the five-star show.

In the 128cm division, 53 contested the class, and six delivered triple clears rounds. Taking victory was Munster rider Charlie Flynn when he galloped home aboard Im a Starboy in a time of 29.62. Georgia De Bromhead remained within the 30-second mark with Back in a Flash, crossing the line in 29.89. A clear from Helen Walsh and Knockash Lady Bird in 32.13 saw them claim third place, ahead of Ulster rider Medb Kinney and the eight-year-old Chocolat II, clear in 33.56. Fellow Ulster rider Arielle Allen and Runaway Dolly opted for the more careful approach and delivered a clear in 38.22. Last of the triple clears and accounted for sixth place was Alayna Hawkins and the eight-year-old Ballynacregga Red in a time of 41.20.

The 138cm decider also proved very competitive with 42 riders looking to book their place. Of those original starters, seven secured a place in the third round. Only one triple clear was delivered and that was courtesy of Leinster rider Claudia Carroll and Tynagh Sunshine, in 39.42. David Egan proved that he could beat the time with Rebel Gealach when clocking 37.86, but it came at a price as he had one on the ground and slotted into second. Isolde Jane Tivy also had one on the ground, but in a slower time of 38.85 for third place, ahead of Cian McMunn and ET Hop De Naelle, stopping the clock in 41secs. Last of the four-faulters in the third round was Senan Reape and Churchfield Tulla Bluebell in 47.95 for fifth place. Completing the top six were India Heffron and Double Trouble Boy with 12 faults in 43.24.

The 148cm qualifier had the biggest entries with 74 combinations going to post. This division was decided over two rounds with six combinations delivering double clears. Leading the victory lap was Aine Shorthall and Clinton Class (40.50). She was chased home by Zoe Keys (41.47) aboard Victory Day II. Lily Tunney and Fireman was less than a second behind with Fireman (42.30), as was Eoin Brennan and GCS Daisy Lux to share third place. Resident rider Jamie Clarke and my Gypsy Rose were only fractions of a second behind (42.67), ahead of Jenny Dunlop and Cwmello Champagne Charlie (44.28).

Win for Lynch

In the 148cm six- and seven-year-olds, 65 combinations battled it out for their place. Taking the win after delivering the only triple clear was Munster rider Kate Lynch and Lahorna You Two (31.34). This six-year-old was bred by Noel Seymour and is by Warrenstown You 2 and out of the Harlequin Du Carel-sired Lahorna Harry. Fellow Munster rider Kian Dore took the runner-up spot with the seven-year-old Wineport Q Junior, when he had one down in the third round in 33.34. Katie Nallon also had a pole down in the third round with Hans Own (6yo) (42.69), ahead of Camryn Clarke and Rooska Bruno who had a technical elimination. Lauren Murphy opted to withdraw from the third round, but her second-round time of 43.49 saw her take fifth place. Also choosing to withdraw from the third round and taking sixth place on a second round clear in 44.23 was Ben Walsh with Roadside Coronation (7yo).

Victory in the 138cm six- and seven-year-olds belonged to Mia de Bromhead and Labanasigh Lexie who was riding Matthew O’Dwyer’s Labanasigh Lexie. Taking the runner-up spot was Juliette McIntosh and the six-year-old Drumlin Rocky, ahead of Ryan Horgan and the seven-year-old Take Off Van Prinseveld.

Winner of the 128cm six- and seven-year-olds was Liam Concannon who was riding Denise Keegan’s six-year-old Creevagh Pringles. Second place was went to Cathal McKeon-Devaney and Gail McKeon’s Teelings Lavender Lady, ahead of Charlie Flynn and Pineview Bobby Boy (6yo).

Mia de Bromhead (M) and Labanasigh Lexie (7yo), winners of 138 6/7yo RDS Qualifier at Cavan Equestrian \ Laurence Dunne


On Sunday, young riders took to the arena in a bid to secure their place. In the 1.35/1.40m, there was a tie for first place as both Katie Nallon (Javas True Colours) and Emily Moloney (Temple Alice) incurred a single time fault in the third round. Both riders delivered double clears in what was a six-way jump-off in a time of 41.77. Eve Donnelly wasted no time with Crystal Tom and clocked 42.19, but with one on the ground she had to be content with third. Trudie Hermione McCoosh (YR) faulted twice with the eight-year-old TMSH Lady Majella (39.79) for eventual fourth. Also carrying eight faults were Seamus Hennessy and King Louis AE in 40.40 for fifth. Things didn’t go according to plan for Lucy Shanahan in the second round, but booking her place in the jump-off meant she took sixth place.

Huge entry

The 1.25/1.30m saw the biggest entry with 105 combinations going to post and from those, 10 booked their place in the final round. Leading this victory lap was Robyn Moran and Coolminga Inspector Royal, delivering a triple clear in a time of 36.07. Ciara Fives and Future Storm was Moran’s closest rival, stopping the clock with nothing to add in 37.48 for second place. Eoin Brennan and Ninparo also kept all the poles in place, albeit in a slower time of 37.52 for third. Sean Dooley answered all the questions with Indie Girl in 38.51 fourth place. Chloe Hughes Kennedy proved out of luck when she had one on the ground with Imandouw in 36.95 for fifth place, ahead of Stephen Gibbons and Clooncalagy Beauty, who also had one on the ground in 39.03.

Mullingar’s Rose Dolan took the win in the 1.10/1.15m when she partnered the six-year-old Cornets Princess to a triple clear in 41.82. Nicola Gallagher took the longer lines with Paddy’s Diamond Ambassador and also maintained a clean sheet in 43.50 for second place. A clear from Orlaith Ryan and Mardec Trend in 43.77 ensured her third place, ahead of Wexford’s Michelle Lana Hughes and Captain Jackson, clear in 46.28. Stephen Gibbons was fastest of the four-faulters in the second round with the six-year-old Mayfield Will To Live in 39.22 for fifth place. Also carrying four faults was Brian Egan and CHF Miss Stetter in 42.45 for sixth place.

Alanna Fagan is certainly proving to be one to watch in this year’s RDS qualifiers. She took the win in the Children on Horses when she partnered Ballycarrick Lass to victory. The combination was fastest of the four-faulters in the second round in a time of 38.91.

Isobel Hourigan and ESI Carvalho took the runner-up spot when they also had four faults in 39.82. Slotting into third place was Isabelle Duffy and Dohickie, four faults in 40.12, ahead of Claudia Carroll and Kabran De Reve Z, who also had four faults but in a time of 40.68. Conor Brennan and MHS Jersey Girl were last of the four-faulters in the second round in a time of 41.41 for fifth place. Conrad Sweeney was denied his place in the second round when he incurred a single time fault with Charissma, but he did slot into sixth place.