THE first round of the RDS amateur qualifiers took place at Kernan’s Equestrian Centre last Saturday with 145 combinations hoping to take one of the eight places on offer. From the original starters, eight delivered triple clears.
Taking the first ticket was Carlow rider Leonie Dunne (A) and Cavalino 26, when they crossed the line in a time of 32.39 seconds.
This combination will not be fazed by the pressure having competed in Dublin Horse Show in 2022 and the RDS National Championships in 2021. The combination was in form going into the qualifier having finished third in the Ingrid Kane Memorial Amateur Show last month. Cavalino 26 is a 15-year-old German-bred gelding by Converter out of the Fridolin Oho-sired Fur Sie.
No stranger to the RDS, Lorraine MacGuinness (A) opted for the safer route with Horseware Kinmar Night, and it paid off as she came home in a time of 36.42 for second place.
Kilkenny rider Marie Hartley (AA) and Nikita Van Het Heidenhof will be returning to the RDS as they were fractions behind MacGuinness, clocking 36.86 for third place.
A familiar face in the RDS, Sheikh Samir Mirdad booked his place with Mirdads Soooraaat Alrahmaaan, clear in 38.06 for eventual fourth.
Fifth place belonged to Jacqueline Murphy and DHF Xanadu when she came home less than a second slower in a time of 38.94 seconds.
Also opting for the safer route and booking his RDS place after clocking 39.35 was Wesley Byrne (AA) and the seven-year-old KFS Lux De Reve.
Michael Floody (AA) will be making his return to the RDS when he delivered a clear with Indella, in a time of 40.87.
A seasoned RDS competitor, Gemma Drennan took the last remaining ticket of the day with her own Cool Finesse when she clocked 45.64.