THE battle for points in the TRM/Showjumpers Club Spring Tour intensified last Saturday when the two top riders on the leaderboard battled it out for valuable points at Tubberbride RC in Sligo.
In the end, it was Robyn Moran and Coolminga Inspector Royal who took the win, while Emma McEntee and Mirdads Zamzaaam had to settle for the runner-up spot. This is the third win for the combination of Moran and Coolminga Inspector Royal, having won the opening round at Broadmeadows and later in Killossery. Moran also recorded a win in the round at Wexford aboard Faline.
Owned and bred by James McMahon, the 11-year-old is by Tinaranas Inspector out of Coolminga Cavalier, by Garrison Royal. As a young horse, he was campaigned by Geraldine McMahon, competing in the four-year-olds in Dublin Horse Show in 2014.
Moran took over the horse three years later and clocked up a series of results, which included qualifying for the Young riders in Dublin in 2017, where they picked up a third place. The following year they graduated to Spring Tour and regional Grand Prix level.
Delighted with the win, Moran said: “I knew I just had to go for it as there was fast combinations to follow. I was delighted at how he jumped and I am delighted for his owner James McMahon. We also have a three-year-old half-brother, who we are really excited about.”
Regarding the show, she added: “The surface jumped really well and the Kerins family always do a great job in running shows.”
It was an all-female top four in the class which saw a total of 34 combinations take on the Charles Hanley-designed course. Hanley’s track included a triple at 4a (double of vertices and oxer) and a triple towards the end, consisting of a vertical, one stride to an oxer and out with a vertical. The last fence of the course, a pink vertical, stood at 1.35m and demanded careful riding.
First to go, Katie Conlon set the bar high when she delivered a clear with Ping Ball and a further 10 joined her in the jump-off. In the jump-off, time was to be made up from the start in the turn backs in particular from fences one to four. After the tall pink vertical, a tight turn to the combination was required before negotiating the last line.
Emma McEntee took a series of tight lines with Mirdads Zamzaam and opted to take the longer route back to the pink vertical. She stopped the clock in 44.42 to take the lead. Owned by Sheikh Samir Mirdad, the 11-year-old mare is by Mermus R and is out of the Cruising-sired Playgirl.
Fourth to go against the clock, Robyn Moran knew what she needed to do to take the lead. She meant business from the start as she took a number of tight turn backs and a risky line to the pink vertical saw her stop the clock in a time of 42.04, to take the lead from McEntee.
Jessica Lee and Captain Marko also kept the pressure on and a clear in 45.91 seconds proved good enough for third place. Owned by John Lee and bred by Gabriel Slattery, the 11-year-old gelding is by Captain Clover out of White Kannan. This horse is no stranger to this level having been crowned the Freestyle Farms Connacht Grand Prix league winner last year under the command of Jessica’s brother, Raphael Lee.
Katie Conlon and Ping Ball also answered all the questions, albeit in a slower time of 46.09 for eventual fourth. Owned by Marble Arch Equine, the 13-year-old gelding was bred by Noletta Smyth by Beach Ball out of the Western Problem-sired Laura’s Dream. He is a full-brother to Power Ball, who jumped internationally with China’s Yunyun Wang and last year with Jamie Priestley (AUS).
It was a worthwhile journey for Longford’s Robert Harrison, who delivered a clear with Landlystes Rubina in 49.64 seconds for fifth place. Owned by Robert’s father David, the 13-year-old Danish-bred mare is by Heartbeat out of the Quantum-sired Niquinta.
Sixth place belonged to Michael Roche who kept all the poles in place aboard TJM Freestyler, in 50.16. Bred by TJM Equestrian in Kildare, the eight-year-old gelding is by Diamant de Semilly out of the Indoctro-sired Sumas Sound of Music.
Clean sweep for Moran
It was a good day for Limerick rider Robyn Moran as she also led the victory lap in the 1.20m. Riding European Cruise, she clocked the winning time of 27.12 seconds. Orla Dixon took second place with her own Prada Royale when she broke the beams in 28.05.
Dixon was chased home by Aoife McCabe and Love to be Cruising, who kept all the poles in place in 28.58. Taking fourth place was Angela Kosko and Happyness R in 30.89, ahead of Sven Hadley, who was riding Adrian Hewson’s Calanthe Slot, clear in 31.57. Completing the top-six line-up was Stephen Bolas and Diamond Del Bosco, clear in 32.23.
Victory in the 1.10m also belonged to Moran as she delivered the winning round with European Cruise in a time of 28.98, while Dixon and Prada Royal once again took the runner-up spot (31.49).
Taking third place were Sean Gormally and Kilcloghan Guy in 32.58, ahead of Richard Kerins and Drumconnick Ferra in 33.39. Slotting into fifth place were Pataire Crawford and Jackstar, ahead of Tara Brandon and Z Time.