KATIE McKee and her Irish Sport Horse gelding Summit moved up a place from round one to win Section A of the Pre Novice dressage class at Saturday’s second leg of the 2023 Baileys Horse Feeds flexi-eventing series at The Meadows.

The large entry was decimated by the number of withdrawals due to the weather conditions and just seven combinations stood their ground here. Judge Martina McKinley awarded McKee and Summit (aka Murray) a winning mark of 73% while Caitlin Brown finished second on the home-bred Monkey Business (71.3), a 14-year-old gelding by Masurenfuerst.

Summit, who was placed three times last season at EI100 level in the hands of David O’Connor, is a 10-year-old gelding by Je T’Aime Flamenco. He is the second of two foals registered on CapallOir out of June Burgess’s Nadar mare Olive Oyle II on whom his breeder competed at CCI1* level in Ireland, Britain and The Netherlands. McKee and Summit recorded a double clear on Saturday over Aaron McCusker’s 1m track in the show jumping arena.

Third here on Goldengrove Silhouette (68.3%), the busy Bethany Smith topped the leaderboard in the Lucinda Webb-Graham-judged Section B with Ice King (75.3) ahead of Anita Doherty riding Naomi Buchanan’s seven-year-old Major Gold mare Goldiva (74).

Ice King, an 18-year-old gelding by HHS BR Charlton, has become well-known among members of the Iveagh Branch of The Pony Club through his exploits with Sarah Clarke and Rebecca Rafferty. In the past, he has qualified for the Pony Club combined training class at the Dublin Show and for The Pony Club show jumping championships in England.

The marks were quite tight in the seven-runner Novice dressage qualifier where Vanda Stewart’s winning combination was Tom Rowlatt McCormick and the ISH mare R Ballerina (67%). Successful the previous weekend, Denis Currie and his 18-year-old Shannondale Sarco St Ghyvan gelding Arodstown Aramis had to settle for second on 66.5.

Towards the end of the 2022 Eventing Ireland season, Rowlatt McCormick took over the ride on R Ballerina from his brother Ben although the 2015 Centre Stage mare had started the campaign under her breeder, Jonny Steele. The bay, who recorded a double clear over Saturday’s 1.10m show jumping track, is out of the Renkum Lancelot mare Renkum Blathainn.

Suzanne Hagan partnered half of the four starters in the Stewart-judged Intermediate where she comfortably took the win with her well-related OBOS Take One (75.5%), the 11-year-old OBOS Quality 004 gelding on whom she has been placed at CCI3*-L level.

Tom Rowlatt McCormick riding Ballerina, winners of the Novice Dressage at the Baileys Horse Feeds flexi-eventing series at The Meadows \ Tori O'Connor