IT was a great pity that just four horses contested the final of the Treo Eile thoroughbred league at the Milchem Equestrian Centre on Easter Monday as Amanda Goldsbury, who judged the dressage phase, comes from a family very much involved in racing in her native New Zealand.

Sunday’s winning rider didn’t travel from as far away as Goldsbury to the Tynagh venue, but Evita Thomsen, who recorded a comfortable success on Dot Love’s Black Field (169.5 marks), is not from Co Westmeath, as her accent may suggest, but from just outside Copenhagen in Denmark.

“I came over for transition year but decided to stay in Ireland to do my Leaving Cert,” said the 16-year-old, who is a pupil at Wilson’s Hospital School. “My grandmother was best friends with Dot, while my mother and Dot’s daughter Melanie are great friends as well. I used to come here every year to attend the Westmeath Pony Club camp.

“Back home, I did show jumping and a bit of cross-country training, but no eventing competitions; since I came here, I have also started riding out racehorses for Ciaran Murphy. The plan is to do a few EI90 classes with Black Field and see how he goes. He is very keen to jump, you just point him and go. He was a bit hot-headed in the beginning, but now knows what he is doing.”


Black Field is a six-year-old brown gelding by Califet out of the Amilynx mare Nightlynx, a non-winning half-sister to the ill-fated Overbury gelding Publican, whose five wins included a listed bumper at Navan, and to the dam of Clondaw Warrior whose 12 wins – recorded in Ireland, Britain and the USA – included the 2016 running of the Guinness Galway Handicap Hurdle (Grade A). In its further removes, this is the family of the great Night Nurse.

Black Field, who picked up four jumping penalties on Monday, ran four times over hurdles without ever worrying the judge. He finished 11th of 14 on his last start, which was in a two-mile maiden hurdle at Kilbeggan in May last year. The Patricia Newman-owned and ridden Cry Of The Dreamer, who finished second with the only clear jumping round (161 marks), last ran in a point-to-point maiden at Tattersalls in October 2021. In his three starts in bumpers and six between the flags, the now 10-year-old Campaign Swing gelding was ridden by Newman.

Established as a not-for-profit organisation in 2020, Treo Eile aims to assist owners with rehoming and retraining racehorses once their careers on the track have concluded. Their three goals are to connect racehorse owners with retrainers or new owners, to support ex-racehorses with a thoroughbred event programme and to promote the versatility of the ex-racehorse. See also Pony Club news on page 94.