IRELAND’s Clare Abbott headed off to the Burghley young event horse championships on a high following her win in the Cahervillahow CCI3*-S at last week’s inaugural Lisgarvan House International on Jewelent who was making his seasonal debut.

The grey Irish Sport Horse gelding, who hadn’t competed since being withdrawn injured at Badminton in May last year, led the 40-runner field from the outset. He had a pole down show jumping but was faultless across the country to complete on a total of 30 penalties.

In a clean sweep of the top nine places for Irish riders, Lexi Kilfeather placed second on Lord Of The Morning (32.6), who picked up a small number of time penalties on both jumping phases, while Robbie Kearns finished third with RCA Royal Summer (32.9) having finished a second over the time across the country.

There was an automatic elimination for one combination for 20 show jumping penalties, two eliminations on the final phase for rider falls and one retirement. While a lot of time penalties were incurred on the cross-country course, the fences caused very few problems.

Abbott was full of praise for the event and, of course, her horse. “Lisgarvan was fantastic. They really put on a class event with outstanding cross-country courses. The three and four-star were both pretty decent and rode very well. An event of this calibre is just what we need in our Irish calendar – thank you to the Lisgarvan team for setting such a high standard.

“Jewelent made a wonderful comeback! I don’t think I’ve looked forward to competing a horse so much and he went as well as I remembered. He is the ultimate professional and popped around the 3* like a schooling round. He’s been ready to run since June but the weather, cancelled events, me getting injured etc. meant he had to wait until now to get started.”

Olympic aim

Abbott continued: “He last competed at Badminton in May 2022 where he picked up a fracture in his foot and needed time off to get better. His owners, Barbara and Lisa (Rosbotham), looked after him at home throughout his time getting better and Rachel Thompson, their rider, did all of his flat work to have him ready to come back to me.

“So, I have them to thank for their superb care and now I get to compete the most wonderful horse again.

"He is going to Ballindenisk next and hopefully then Boekelo. His aim is Paris so we’ve to get the qualification box ticked.”

Now 11, Jewelent is by the Rosbothams’ own stallion Valent and was bred by their father Woods out of the Roselier mare Bellaney Jewel who won twice over hurdles and five times over fences. She is dam of two winners on the racecourse and of four other Valent produce. These include Cooley Rosalent who was one of four horses Oliver Townend had entered for the CCI5*-L at Burghley this week but was the one he withdrew as he could only ride three.

“Mr Mighty (led after dressage in the CCI4*-S) did the test we know he is capable of – finally I got the warm-up right – and he went superbly. We had a steady run cross-country as our next stop is the CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-olds at Blenheim. We’ll let the hand brake off gradually as he gains more mileage at four-star level. He’s going to be a horse to challenge the top guys in time which is very exciting for us and the McKays who co-own him.”