ALL roads led to Cork and the Rebel County for the third leg of the Equijump Pony and COH/Junior Spring Tour on Saturday. Jennifer and Alan Molan hosted yet another bumper day of entries, in a week where over 1,000 pony entries jumped across Munster. It was a fresh, cold Saturday, where occasional downpours made the addition of an extra coffee shop at Arena 1 a welcome sight for many a cold pair of hands.

Action kicked off at a lively 8am for the 128 U10 class in Arena 2, where Gueorgui Gueorguiev’s technical but flowing courses proved both educational and challenging for riders and trainers alike, and riders appreciated the frequent arena maintenance, where footing was perfect.

Ben Hawkins and Whistletown Blue Belle took the win in a tightly contested class, where the top three were covered by less than a second. Second place went to Dylan Cregan and SNS Melody, a six-year-old, and third went to Josh Fitzgerald and The Silver Horse.

The COH 1.10/1.20m started at a more leisurely 9am, where Robbie Sheehan and Ahare Olympic Flemmencio flew around, continuing their recent run of good form after a second-place finish in the Cavan equivalent. Natasha Foley and Cillbhrid Excel finished second and Henry Sinnott and Lassban Safirah rounded out the podium in third place.

The largest class of the day was the 148 1.10m one-star, where just shy of 80 competitors battled for the win in a competition that saw the lead change numerous times and, once again, the honours were decided by decimal points. Chloe Fenton and Slieverushen Oscar came out on top, with Alex Sheehan and Ballynoe Lurgan Diamond hot on their heels in second and Caoimhe Treacy close behind in third.

In Arena 2, the 128 90cm one-star went the way of Isibeal Conway Kelly and Ashwey El Britaniko, with Colm Widger and Creevelea Fire Fox in second and Conor Mason with Shining Star rounding out the top three.

Two-star classes

The 128 1m two-star class saw an up to height track jump surprisingly well, with 23 of the 33 starters making it through to the jump off, where Lucia Keane and Desirless D’Argan took the honours, with Harvey Oscar Foley second with Back In A Flash. Edward Walsh Jnr picked up third with Creggaun Holly.

The cream came to the top in the 148 1.20m two-star competition, as the winners of the first two legs came out on top, this time Ruben Foley and the always competitive Valma DE Fougnard, who won the opening leg in Cavan, coming out ahead of Connie McFadden and Infinity, who were the winners in Ard Chuain. Mia de Bromhead and Shamrock Du Gite rounded off the podium in third.

Clear rounds proved hard to come by with the 148 1.30m viewing class producing only one, as Sam Widger followed up on recent good form in Ard Chuain to take the win. Claudia Carroll and Attyrory Warrior were the fastest four faults, giving them second place, with Charlie Wheldon and Ballinamurra Josh finishing third, also on four.

The 138 1m one-star class saw Sam Widger taking another win, this time on Creevelea Larrybo. Second place went to Knockagaron Fear Bui Falcon ridden by Mark Mellett, with Lucy McCarthy and 50 Shades picking up third.

The final class of the day was the 138 1.10m two-star class, where there were 18 combinations through to a jump-off that claimed many a pole.

Jasmine Halford and Beechmount Pippa took the honours, with Harry O’Callaghan and ET Hop De Naelle in second, while Lucia Keane with Alto de Fougnard were third.

With the Equijump pop up shop on hand for last minute retail therapy, livestream coverage, ‘champagne’ podium presentations and wonderful reels on social media, pony jumping is in a vibrant place. Thanks to the Molans for hosting another great day of competition.