BANDON’s Patricia Ryan marked her return to competition with a win on Carol and Tom Henry’s The Game Changer in the Horse Sport Ireland Development Series AE105 for six-year-olds at Ballindenisk last Sunday.

With Chris Ryan judging the under saddle phase for scope, gallop, type and attitude in the large sand arena, and Philip Copithorne assessing horses for pace and conformation in-hand, the traditionally bred gelding won on a converted penalty score of 4.8 having also jumped clear over a mixture of show jumps and cross-country fences. The track included a water splash outside the arena.

Ryan had completed the dressage and show jumping phases on The Game Changer in the EI100 at Frankfort Stud (1) in late March when a fall in the EI110 brought an end to her day and season. The ride on The Game Changer then mainly transferred to the rider’s husband Michael who won an EI100 on the bay at Crecora (1) in early April.

By the thoroughbred stallion Nazar, The Game Changer was bred in Co Carlow by Alan Hatton out of the Errigal Flight mare Ballyfennan Sally who, in turn, was out of a thoroughbred mare by Kambalda.

Nicola Ennis travelled down from Co Meath with two horses, finishing second on her own thoroughbred gelding Dawn Arrival (achesnut gelding by Dawn Approach) and third with Laura and Frank Glynn’s home-bred, and traditionally bred, Mr Big Cat mare, Killossery Kitten.

Both horses completed on a total of 5.3 with Dawn Arrival getting the nod as he had a marginally better in-hand score. Ryan placed fourth with the Henrys’ Chinook Eclipse gelding Rock Eclipse (5.8).

All but one of the eight starters in that six-year-old class jumped clear, the odd-one out being My Bold Decision who was ridden by Michael Ryan.

However, the rider was later able to share bragging rights with Patricia following his comfortable win in the AE100 for five-year-olds on the Henrys’ traditionally-bred JVK Eclipse (3.5) while, for good measure, he finished third on the same owners’ Via Victory (6.5).

Both bay geldings are sons of the deceased thoroughbred sire Chinook Eclipse, the winner having been bred in Co Limerick by John Keane and Valerie Lyons out of Kilcassey Lady. That 1993 Clover Hill mare was dam previously of the OBOS Quality 004 siblings OBOS Colombus (CCI3*-L), OBOS Nidge (CCI2*-L) and OBOS Raphael (CCI3*) among others.

JVK Eclipse had four outings in EI100 (J) classes this year under Jack Foley with a best-placed finish of third at Kilguilkey (3).

Ryan’s mounts were split on Sunday by the Laura Kelly-owned, -ridden and -bred Pointilliste mare HL High Point (5.5). Here, five of the 13 starters erred in the jumping phase with a pole down for four faults proving costly for the Rodney O’Donnell-owned and ridden Numero Cruise gelding Dungar Hillcrest Cruise who finished sixth on 7.5.

Roncoroni dominates

Co Kilkenny’s Nicky Roncoroni totally dominated the AE90 for four-year-olds, winning on the amazing penalty score of one with her own traditionally bred Rock Island, finishing second on her own Imperial Hights gelding Rockalong (4) and placing third with Anna Calder’s Arkan gelding, Leamore After Hours (4.5).

The winner, a gelded son of the thoroughbred stallion Island Commander, was bred in Co Wicklow by Michael Byrne out of the Coolcorron Cool Diamond mare, Coolcorran Gypsey. The chesnut, who was awarded full marks in all the ridden phases and lost just one mark in both in-hand phases, comes from the family of Killossery Kruisita, Killossery Katriona, etc.

There were 20 starters in this class of whom 12 jumped clear although one of those had a lot of time penalties. Here, too, a pole down proved costly for Laura Birley on Richard Ames’s Watermill Swatch gelding Belline Gucci as she finished eighth on 6.5.

Open classes over the three tracks were run in conjunction with the development series and the winners of these were Heidi Hamilton and her 13-year-old Luidam gelding Dam Easy (AE105), Nicky Roncoroni on Michelle Duerst’s five-year-old LB Crumble mare Ida II (AE100) and Nicola McKeon with the five-year-old 148cms gelding Duke Of Elden (AE90).

While event organiser, Peter Fell, would have appreciated a larger entry, he was pleased that the day went well with all the action completed before dark. Tomorrow, large numbers of Irish Pony Club members, the majority representing Branches in Area 5, will descend on the Co Cork venue for the third of four legs of the Duhallow Branch’s hugely popular Jumps Ahead league while on Sunday next, November 21st, the Fell family will be hosting the fourth round of the HSI Autumn Development Series in dressage.

The final of the Jumps Ahead league, sponsored by O’Brien’s Saddlery, is scheduled for Sunday, November 28th and then it’s out of the arena and on to the grass for the United Hunt point-to-point on Saturday, December 4th.