CLAREHALL Kannanball, ridden by Brendan Murphy, took the top-spot in the prestigious Horse Sport Ireland five- and six-year-old mares’ development series at Cavan Equestrian last Sunday.

Owned by Michael Slattery, the five-year-old was bred by Enda Mulkere and is by Kannan out of Ballymurphy Veronica (by Master Imp).

Speaking after the class, Brendan Murphy said: “I’ve been riding her since June of this year before that she was ridden by Dan Geaney and he did a good job producing her as a four-year-old.”

Temperament and ability

“As a result, she is very rideable with a good temperament. She has plenty of ability and wants to please you. She was the highest-placed five-year-old in the Breeders’ Classic final in Barnadown earlier this year, and this was only her third show back.

“She is talented, consistent and careful. I think she has a bright future ahead of her. She is still quite green, we will probably do a few more of the development series with her until the end of the year. After that we will give her a break until she comes in as a six-year-old and we’ll do the usual age classes with her,” he said.

Worth €3,000, the class attracted a start list of 31 talented young mares to compete over the Stuart Clarke-designed 1.20m track.

Just 19 combinations kept a clean sheet in round one to progress to the timed decider. Of the 19, an even dozen left all the fences intact in round two, with two, Francis Connors (Carrigshawn Vendi Royal) and Kelly Taggart (Castleforbes Gwendoline), collecting a single time fault each.

Murphy proved fastest when stopping the clock at 38.82 for the win. The David Prentice-owned and bred six-year-old My Clementine (by O.B.O.S Quality 004, out of Qualisca De Vansichant by Kashmir Van Schuttershof) took the runner-up spot after they broke the finish beams in 39.09.

Another six-year-old by OBOS Quality, Aisling McGreal’s Rincoola Macushla slotted into third in 41.27. Out of a mare by Touchdown named Rincoola Holly Berry, she was bred by the late Harold McGahern.

Young rider Keith Moloney guided Mikey Pender’s Belgian-bred five-year-old Serena VD Berghoeve into fourth place in 41.54, while Mark Cleary and Lisa O’Farrell’s six-year-old Royal News (Royal Concorde - Last News) finished fifth.

John Naughton’s home-bred Farrelly’s Ginger Ale (Womanizer - Farrellys Brandy), ridden by Derek McConnell, completed the line-up in sixth.