CATHAL Daniels and EMS Adelaide won the 12th round of the TRM/Showjumpers Club Spring Tour Grand Prix which took place at Barnadown, Co Wexford, last Sunday.

This is the second Spring Tour victory for the pair having taken the top-spot in Tipperary at the beginning of March.

Owned by Daisy Duggan, EMS Adelaide is 10-year-old mare by Mermus R out of Sante Cruise, by Loch Cruise, who Duggan bought at the Elite Sale in Mullingar Equestrian from breeder Willie McElhinney as a three-year-old.

Speaking after the win, a delighted Duggan told The Irish Field: “She’s an amazing mare. She’s been on holidays for the last few weeks since Cavan, because we moved yards. We just took her to Ballinasloe for a light school the night before the show and then she goes out and wins.

“She feels good and is happy in herself, I kind of knew on the day that she’d do well. She had put on three holes on the girth after being in the field for 10 days, but she is naturally so careful and watchful of her surroundings that she wasn’t going to touch a pole.

“Cathal did say she was holding her breath a bit in the warm-up and I said ‘I’m not a bit surprised with her girth going up three holes’…

“She’s very easy to ride, a child can ride her. She’s sharp but not in a spooky, tricky way, moreover she’s watchful. She doesn’t waste any time and, for a big horse she is quite quick to turn.

“She’s so consistent, she really does try her heart out. Cathal is great with her. He is just getting to know her; he’s only ridden her about six times now.

“She is for sale, but in the meantime we will keep tipping away with her. She will do the 1.40m National Grand Prix classes and we will try to qualify for Dublin also.”

Increased height

Course designer John Doyle set his track at the increased height of 1.40m for the strong starting field of 50 combinations.

Of these, some 16 kept a clean sheet in round one to progress to the timed decider. A further 13 had a single fence down for four faults, while nine had two on the ground for eight, and five retired on course.

Ausra Clarke and the Dutch-bred Janco V were pathfinders, and set the pace with a second clear round in a time of 37.93 which would be good enough for eventual fourth place in the final line-up.

Derek McConnell was second in aboard Sorcha Hennessy’s ever-consistent eight-year-old gelding Inlaws Manolo (Corland x Lord Z). The pair produced a foot-perfect round and shaved almost two seconds off the leading time in 36.20 which would ultimately see them finish as runners-up.

Shane Moloney riding Julie Raftice’s seven-year-old gelding RFL Comet (Carambole x Heartbreaker) also managed a clear round, but understandably for an inexperienced youngster, took a more scenic route stopping the clock in 46.59.

Sven Hadley and Jim O’Neill’s eight-year-old Plot Blue gelding Castlefield Blue had an uncharacteristic retirement as the fourth pair in.

Cathal Daniels and EMS Adelaide, winners of the TRM Showjumpers Club Spring Tour Grand Prix, supported by MSK Equestrian Sand, at Barnadown with TRM's Elaine Hatton (right) and owner Daisy Duggan (left) \ Laurence Dunne

Effortless clear

Daniels was next. He guided EMS Adelaide to a seemingly effortless clear round, crossing the finish line in a very fast 35.76 to secure the victory and the league points on offer.

Winners in Cavan just one month earlier, Nicole Kershaw and Clovalent (Valent x Cruising) had no such luck here; two fences on the ground saw them out of the running.

Clem McMahon and Alberto Hawa Ascencio’s scopey eight-year-old Ballypatrick Tangelo (Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve x Vechta) then provided a second round clear in 38.07 in what was their first show back for the 2023 season.

Lt. James Whyte then became the first of what became a quartet of four-faulters when he had a single fence down aboard Derrycush (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Aldato).

Jim Donohoe and Culdearg Clover Lad (Gelvin Clover x Touchdown) soon joined them, as did Sven Hadley and his second mount, the Dutch-bred Fabuleu VD Watertoren, and Cathal Daniels with his own gelding Cappog Tomy (Camiro De Haar Z x Creevagh Ferro).

McMahon and Alistair McIvor’s seven-year-old Mr Basil (Plot Blue x Hermes De Reve) then got things back on track with a clear in 46.50 for sixth place.

Sven Hadley and Alex Verloy’s Diamant De Semilly Phenomene Bleu VDM collected four faults as the 13th pair to go.

Next in, the winner at Warrington Equestrian on St Patrick’s Day, Aimee Barry and Garryndruig Limoncello were disappointed when they also had one down.

Clem McMahon made it three from three when he rode Derry Kingston’s Anthea Clover Trend (Future Trend x Clover Clon VII) to a clear round, this one coming in a time of 37.81 which would put them into third place.

Last to go, Damien Griffin and the Dutch-bred Imora had two fences down for eight faults.

The penultimate round of the Spring League takes place tomorrow (Sunday, April 9th) at Mullingar Equestrian, with the final round at Coilóg on April 16th.

Gillian Bond and Vicomte DH Z, winners of the 1.20m at Barnadown at the TRM\ Showjumpers Club Spring Tour \ Laurence Dunne