FOR the first time in many years, Dressage Ireland competition returned to CoilÓg Equestrian Centre last Sunday when large numbers attended the Leinster Region show at the Byrne family’s Co Kildare venue.
While Leinster Horse and Pony Rescue were selling raffle tickets, cards and calendars, there were a couple of trade stands as well including the new Irish equestrian brand Equieire. Company owner Emma Keogh and Lynn Cadogan of Double L Equestrian judged the show’s best turned-out competition and their winner was Evin Foley and the eight-year-old Corland gelding Whiterock Highland.
Foley was presented with a sack of Keyflow Sensi Care by Finn O’Sullivan who was an extremely generous sponsor throughout the day providing sacks of feed to registered winners in all categories across the grades. “It was a great show and the stands and sponsorship added to the occasion,” said Leinster Region chair, Clare Fitzsimons.
Chris Byrne also provided an upbeat comment on the show. “It was marvellous to have Leinster Dressage back and I was thrilled to see such a huge crowd. I have to say Lorna O’Hare put her heart and soul into organising the show and the atmosphere was fantastic. Because of the short day, we had four arenas going and with the co-operation of all the riders, we started and finished on time.
“I moved between arenas to watch various classes but I was stunned to see someone riding side-saddle (Helen Cooke with her eight-year-old Emperor Augustus gelding Lackaghbeg Augustus Star)! And I wasn’t the only one as there were large crowds around the arena including some neighbours of ours who just popped in to see what was going on.”
The line-up of judges for the day comprised Lisa O’Brien, Ivor Harper, Clare Fitzsimons, Liam Maloney, Dermot Cannon and Lynne Cassidy.
Two riders recorded doubles starting with Hawthorn Farm’s James O’Haire who was the Category 2 winner at Preliminary level. He won the BD17A (71.03%) and the BD19 (72.5) on the Irish Sport Horse gelding Dalestown Castlebar HFS, an eight-year-old by Clover Beach with whom he finished sixth in the CCI3*-L at Ballindenisk in April.
Another Category 2 rider, Wendy Seymour, mirrored that feat at Elementary level, claiming the DI52 on 69.86 and the BD57 on 68.21 with her ISH mare Carrick Diamond Lilly, an 11-year-old grey by Carrick Diamond Lad.
DI chair, Marguerite Kavanagh, notched up a treble which commenced when she won the Category 3 Preliminary BD17A unopposed on her new ride, Pretty Unique (70.52), a five-year-old ISH gelding by Celtic Hero BZ.
Also unopposed, she then won the Prix St George on her 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Fidette (69.56) while she saw off her sole challenger to claim the Advanced on board Fursten (65.29), her nine-year-old home-bred ISH gelding by Furstenball.
The South Munster Region also ran a show on Sunday at the O’Sullivan family’s Skevanish Equestrian Centre where the judges were Joan Ahern and Angela Lyons.
The highest score in the Preliminary DI6 was recorded by Caroline Marwood on the skewbald gelding Carbery Acambaro (71.80%), a four-year-old by the German-bred thoroughbred Acambaro. In the DI6, Marwood had to settle for second (69.62) behind Emma Dair riding her 10-year-old bay gelding Mac Coul de Sauviat (69.81).
Vanessa O’Sullivan recorded a runaway success in the Novice DI23 with her seven-year-old Dutch-bred gelding Jolly Good Fellow RSH (73.71) with Anna Dangerfield on Coedfryn Cavalier and Kelsie Montague on Finbar both scoring 68.10 to top the leaderboard in the DI26.
O’Sullivan went on to record a double with Jolly Good Fellow RSH (70.96%) in the Elementary class, while Astrid Blom and the 11-year-old Polish Warmblood gelding Grelson ZK scored 65 to win the two-runner Medium.