LEINSTER Dressage held its second show of the year last Sunday at Greenogue Equestrian where there was one warm-up arena indoors while the competitive action all took place outside.

Thankfully, while it was cold and windy in the morning, the threatened rain didn’t arrive until late in the day. However, due to weather-related issues in riders’ own localities, there were a number of withdrawals at all levels throughout the day.

Six judges were engaged for Sunday’s show with Jane Peberdy (British Dressage List 1) being backed up by the home contingent of Michael Moore (List 2), Derval Diamond (List 3), Connie Noone (List 4), Lucinda Webb-Graham (List 4) and Ruth Daunt (List 5). Peberdy kindly allowed some trainee judges sit in the car with her as she assessed much of the higher-graded action.

Intense family rivalry unfolded at Preliminary level between Co Wicklow-based husband and wife Floyd and Rebecca Mills with Category 2 rider Floyd coming out the better twice on his Oldenburg mare Mille Fleurs.

In the Ruth Daunt-judged 20-runner DI6, Floyd and the Millennium six-year-old topped the overall leaderboard on 71.35% ahead of Category 1 rider Rebecca and her Anglo European Studbook-registered San Tiaga (71.15), a nine-year-old daughter of San Liberty.

Lucinda Webb-Graham judged the 13-strong BD19 where Floyd and Mille Fleurs scored 79.58% while Rebecca and San Tiaga scored 70.63. This time however the couple were split by Wicklow Pony Club member Isla Coad riding her mother Carol’s part Welsh gelding Frosthill Jackaroo (77.92), an 18-year-old skewbald gelding by Twyford Jorrocks.

Webb-Graham also judged the Novice DI21 where Coad and Frosthill Jackaroo again had to settle for second (71.21%), here behind Myriam Bunter and her former racehorse, Star Of Rubykan (74.14). Bunter and her 10-year-old Arakan gelding doubled up when achieving Connie Noone’s top score of 66.92 in the BD39. The runner-up slot here was filled by Claire Farrell and another former track performer Renneti (66.73), the 14-year-old French-bred gelding by Irish Wells who in March 2017 was racing over hurdles at Cheltenham.

Among other riders to record a double on the day was Co Kildare’s Tara Hayes who did so at Medium level with her mother Fiona’s Irish Sport Horse mare Sandora BS. By the Westfalian stallion Spielberg, this seven-year-old bay, who was bred by the rider’s father Will out of the unraced Zagreb mare Silver Grouse, also has a Cheltenham connection as she comes from the family of the Festival champion bumper winners Wither Or Which and Alexander Banquet.

In the Jane Peberdy-judged DI65, where there were five starters, Hayes and Sandora BS achieved a score of 69.22% while in the nine-strong BD69 they topped Derval Diamond’s leaderboard on 74.09. Second place in this latter class went to the unregistered pairing of Ian Cassells on Shanbo Super Flex (73.94), one of six horses the locally-based event rider competed at Greenogue ahead of tomorrow’s start of the Eventing Ireland season at Frankfort Stud.

“It was a bit of an undertaking to fit in Ian’s six horses who were entered to do 11 tests,” said show organiser Petra Larkin who has recently taken over from Clare Fitzsimons as Leinster Region chair. “However, I have to say he has a great support team behind him and he got through all the tests very smoothly. Actually, the whole day ran smoothly!”

Lydia Dawson and Clonswords Alf, winners of the Advanced Medium classes at the Leinster Dressage Show, Greenogue Equestrian Centre \ Louise O'Brien Photography

Dawson triumphs

Cloghran’s Lydia Dawson won both Advanced Medium classes with her former eventer Clonswords Alf, a 14-year-old chesnut gelding by the Irish Draught stallion Clonswords Mr Jones. Michael Moore awarded them his top score of 68.48% in the six-strong FEI Junior team test, where Ceara Banner finished second on the Dutch Warmblood gelding Washington (67.42). Due to the withdrawal of their sole rivals, Dawson and Clonswords Alf recorded an uncontested victory on 65.26 in the Peberdy-judged BD98.

It was a similar story for Emily Kate Robinson and her Dutch Warmblood gelding Edvaard. The Waterford rider and her 14-year-old bay son of Christ saw off three rivals to narrowly win the Peberdy-judged Prix St George on 60.15% before they too posted an uncontested success in the Intermediate I where the British judge had them on 65.59.

Riding the 18-year-old Westfalian gelding Enrico, Clonaslee’s Sophia Doheny won the two-runner Intermediate II where Peberdy awarded her a score of 67.50% while her mother Louise achieved a mark of 62.65 with Angel D. The younger Doheny was the only rider entered in the FEI Junior individual test where her test on the seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Batiqar obviously pleased Peberdy as she scored 73.09 on board the son of Obelisk.

The highest score of the day went to Lilly Larkin and Blokland's Hoeve's Amor at the Leinster Dressage Show at Greenogue Equestrian Centre \ Louise O'Brien Photography

The visiting judge reserved her highest score of the day for Dunmore East’s Lilly Larkin and Blokland’s Hoeve’s Amor, a combination who represented Ireland at last year’s European pony championships in Strzegom, Poland.

Against a sole opponent in both classes, 15-year-old Larkin and her father Bryan’s 18-year-old Dutch-bred chesnut gelding scored 73.14% in the Peberdy-judged FEI Pony team test while Derval Diamond had the Co Wexford combination on 74.86 for their performance in the individual test.