YOUNG riders were to the fore of the international victories at Balmoral show and in Thursday’s feature £4,000 Connolly’s Red Mills International Spectacular 1.45m, it was Emma McEntee who came out on top.

Just six of the starting 24 combinations were clear in the first round to go through to the jump-off. Riding the John Hoyne-owned nine-year-old mare TFM Blue (Cheers Cassini), McEntee was one of just four double clears in a time of 49 seconds to land the top prize of £1,320.

Britain’s James Smith, who is based with Irishman Richard Howley at his Yorkshire yard, was almost two seconds behind in 50.84 with Remy Ellis’ grey gelding Good Friend. Jenny Rankin opted for the safer options with the Conor Swail-owned Lajgaardens Cannavaro and it paid off as she delivered a clear in 52.02 to place third.

Last of the double clears was Deirdre Reilly and her own 12-year-old stallion Kafka VD Heffinck; they broke the beams in a time of 57.03 for fourth place. Going early in the draw, Greg Broderick proved out of luck when he had one on the ground with Aconzina PS in 52.94 which saw him finish in fifth place. Richard Howley booked his place in the jump-off with Hollypark Pacino, but opted not to contest the second round, finishing sixth.

One for Britain

The only non-Irish international win of the week came from Britain’s James Smith who landed Thursday morning’s 1.35m Rydale International Speed Challenge Table C, which saw four seconds added for a knockdown.

Smith rode Lee Smith’s Simply Splendid to victory by the narrowest of margins in 59.99 seconds, just faster than Annabel Shields who slotted into second for Britain in a time of 60.08.

Galway’s Daniel McAlinden was best of the Irish in third place aboard Luisa Horto Osorio’s AHG Whiterock Doctor Cruise, a nine-year-old gelding by Indoctro out of Miss Whiterock Cruise (Cruising), who was bred by Anne Gannon Clancy.

Ballypatrick Stables’ resident rider Kevin Gallagher slotted into fourth place with Alberto Hawa’s Arcadia LVS Z after posting 62.35, ahead of Britain’s Louise Saywell with Sharp Image in fifth place and Emma McEntee in sixth with Harold Lusk’s Boss Quality (OBOS Quality x Clover Fields).