THERE were some notable performances last Saturday at Marlton Stud where the Eastern Region of Dressage Ireland staged its second show of the year.

Let’s start at Preliminary level with the remarkable score of 82.50% achieved by Isla Coad on board her mother Carol’s Frosthill Jackaroo in the 11-runner BD19 which was judged by Vandra Stewart (List 2). Fellow Category 1 riders, Laura Deak and Mary Fenelon Bourke finished second and third respectively on board Ballybolger Anchorman (70.21) and Enniskerry Trendy (68.75).

A member of the Wicklow Branch of the Irish Pony Club, Isla has had a busy and varied few weeks on board Frosthill Jackaroo as she and the 18-year-old skewbald gelding competed in the 90cms unaffiliated event at Monart and in Northern Ireland Festival working hunter qualifiers.

Having attained a second qualifying score at Marlton on Sunday, Coad and Frosthill Jackaroo will be heading up to Castle Irvine, Necarne, for DI’s National Winter finals over the weekend of April 1st and 2nd and to Cavan for the NIF later in the month.

Coad was also the top-placed Category 1 rider in the Novice DI21 where she scored 68.97% with Klein Roderijs Gold Fee, the 2015 dun Veenstra’s Grapjas mare who, ridden by Jess Grogan for Laura Hagger, represented Ireland at last year’s European Pony Championships.

The pony has since been purchased by Marlton’s Josephine Delahoyde who, in a desire to help bring on the next group of young Irish dressage internationals, has offered the ride to Coad. Unfortunately, they haven’t been together long enough to qualify for the Winter Finals but the goal is to keep building as a partnership throughout this year with the aim of being selected for the 2024 European Pony Championships.

This 12-runner class was judged by Jean Halpenny (List 4) who reserved her top score for Kate Dwyer and Ri Ra an Tanaiste (73.45%) who was having his first start at this level. Dwyer and her mother Maureen’s Irish Sport Horse gelding also recorded a comfortable victory on 72.69 in the second Novice class, the Stewart-judged BD39 in which there were seven starters.

Ri Ra an Tanaiste, who is a six-year-old bay gelding by the Westfalian stallion Revolution, was bred in Co Galway by List 1 judge Vida Tansey out of Angelina M2S. That Don Laurie I mare is dam also of the Quaterback mare QT An Tanaiste (CCI2*-S) and her full-brother Qeannaire An Tanaiste who, on a score of 72.03%, was partnered by Dwyer to win Saturday’s Medium DI65 which was judged by Bernie Webb (List 3A).

Dwyer, who was making her seasonal debut on Saturday, had to settle for the runner-up spot with Qeannaire An Tanaiste (62.58%) in the Stewart-judged, four-runner BD69. Here, the winner was Bethany Mackey riding the Dutch Warmblood mare Kalahari (63.64), an eight-year-old daughter of Ferguson.

Victory for Speirs

Olympic event rider Camilla Speirs withdrew the unregistered BT Angelo from the Medium DI65 but partnered the 10-year-old ISH gelding by Indoctro to victory in the first of the Advanced Medium classes (the Webb-judged FEI Junior team test) where they scored 66.67%.

There were six starters in that class but only three in the Stewart-judged DI90 won by Grainne Murphy on her PRE gelding Hogareño SB (62.65), a 10-year-old bay by Hogareño Alboran.

Susan Black recorded an Elementary double with Catherine Rezin’s 14-year-old bay gelding Dubarry Bay. The combination narrowly topped the Webb-judged DI52 on 68.47% and, with an increased margin, landed the Stewart-judged BD59 on 67.34.

Category 1 rider Niamh Kavanagh, 13-year-old daughter of Dressage Ireland chair Marguerite Kavanagh, saw off eight rivals to win the Halpenny-judged Preliminary DI6 on her mother’s ISH gelding Clonmethans Kingstar (68.85%). Although 13 years of age, Clonmethans Kingstar only started competing under DI rules this season having been campaigned by his previous owner, Carmel Seaver, in Riding Club activities and on the showing circuit. The bay is by Kings Master out of the I’m A Star mare Yasman.