IT was a worthwhile journey from Galway to Wexford for Sven Hadley, as he landed the win in the SJI Autumn Grand Prix Series last Saturday aboard Uidam. Hadley had proved very consistent throughout the year, claiming the TRM Show jumpers Club tour title with Phenomene Bleu VDM and finishing fourth overall in the Gain Alltech National Grand Prix in the summer, but this was his first win in the Autumn Series.
Speaking after the win, Hadley said: “Delighted to win here, this was the mare’s first National Grand Prix victory, having been very consistent at regional and national. I bought her from Linda Slattery about four years ago. This is her first show for her in the last three months.”
Regarding the jump-off, he added: “Geoff Curran was first to go in the seven-way jump-off and he is always a good man to watch. I really just copied what he did and, lucky for me, I ended up faster on the day.
“The plan now is to take in a few days in Cavan and also go to Sentower, before finishing with the Cavan December Show.”
Sponsored by Sweeney Walsh Co Insurance and Roche Quantity Surveyor, the €6,000 feature class saw 27 go to post over the John Doyle-designed course. From the original starters, just four double clears were delivered in what was a seven-way jump-off.
First to go against the clock, Comdt. Geoff Curran and Tempo Manor set off at a calculated pace. A good turn back to the penultimate set them up for the last oxer and a clear in 33.79 saw them take the lead. Bred by Noel Wright, the 11-year-old gelding is by Sligo Candy Boy and is out of the Lux Z-sired dam, Roxy Lux. This is the second good result for this pairing, having claimed third place in the 1.60m CSI3* in HOYS last month, when he was the slowest of three double clears of the class. The pairing was part of the winning Nations Cup team in Bratislava and prior to this was fifth in the Grand Prix in Maubeuge CSI3* and third in the 1.50m in Kronenberg CSIO3*-NC EEF RQ.
Hadley knew what he needed to do as he took it on with Uidam and, following a similar path to Curran, he proved faster across the ground and came home clear in 33.67 to take the win and, in the process, demoted Curran into second place. Bred by Padraig Howley, the 15-year-old mare is by Luidam and out of the Cavalier Royale-sired dam, Miss Mac Car. This combination has proved consistent at home and abroad. In July, they claimed two runner-up placings in the 1.30m Chard CSI2*, while on home soil they finished fifth in the 1.40m National Grand Prix in Kernan Equestrian; they also took the win in the TRM Show jumpers Spring Tour in Kernan Equestrian.
Francis Connors and Carrigshawn Vendi Royal also answered all the questions, but in a slower time of 36.68, which proved good enough for third place. Owned by Francis, Jenny and Kate Connors, the eight-year-old mare was bred by John Warner and is by Dondoctro Ryal K and is out of Carrigshawn Vendi. This eight-year-old is already showing great scope, finishing second in the Plusvital 1.55m/1.60m Grand Prix in the Irish Breeders Classic in September.
Last of the double clears in 37.83 and taking fourth place was Elliott Reeves and Goreshill Ruby. Owned and bred by Anne Bannon, the 10-year-old gelding is by Flexible and out of the Hermes De Reve-sired dam, Goreshill Pearl.
Edward Doyle Jnr and Quick Bill were out of luck when incurring four faults at the first fence in 37.65, which would later see him taking fifth place. Bred by Edward Doyle senior, the 10-year-old gelding is by Flexabill out of the Quick Star-sired dam, Nalmund De La Tourette. The combination were unlucky when they delivered a double clear in the round at Hollypark, but finished outside the top six. They also took sixth place in the round in Mullingar in September and finished fourth in the 1.45m North Star Grand Prix at the Irish Breeders Classic.
Tadhg Beecher and Loughnatousa Olaf were out of luck when they finished on 12 faults and their time of 37.74 saw them fill sixth place. This eight-year-old gelding by Cruising Harry has proved to be a consistent mount for Beecher in the Connolly’s Red Mills Munster Grand Prix.
Paul Beecher and Glamstone retired in the second round, but his first-round performance saw him finish in seventh place. Owned by Paul’s wife, Seryna Van Kuelen, the 12-year-old gelding was bred by W Nijzing and is by Berlin and out of the Sydney-sired dam, Zinedine.
Waterford’s Paddy O’Donnell had much to be happy about, as he took the win in the Paddy O’Donnell-sponsored 1.30m class. Riding the James Nash-owned and bred Quality Command, he clinched victory when he delivered a double clear in 33.12. This 11-year-old is by O.B.O.S. Quality 004 and is out of Errigal Command.
Sven Hadley also featured in this line-up, claiming the runner-up spot with Sumas Taloubet, when he was mere fractions of a second behind in a time of 33.15.
A clear from Holly Miller aboard Liam Kearney’s six-year-old Killycloghan Knight Time in 34.45 saw her take third, ahead of junior rider Ellen Power riding the Dermot Walsh-owned Petrhus Z, who was also clear in 37.19. Slotting into fifth was Luke Drea on his own eight-year-old Avoca Esprit, clear in 37.23, while in sixth was Mark Cleary aboard the Michael Hayden-owned Primo Aliboo Blue ABF, clear in 37.36.
Winner of the Paddy O’Donnell 1.20m class was Orla Queally and Nour Alain, when she was fastest of 13 double clears in a time of 31.48. Sven Hadley took another second place finish, when he partnered Sumas Taloubet to a clear in 32.24. Ellen Power and Petrhus Z slotted into third, when they came home in a time of 32.99, while in fourth place was Paul Beecher, who was riding the Mellissa Buttimer-owned six-year-old MJ Dufresne. Emma O’Dwyer and the six-year-old Dougie Drea slotted into fifth place, when they stopped the clock in 33.98, while in sixth was Holly Miller and Killycloghan Knight Time, in 34.58.
Leading the victory lap in the MK Sporthorses 1.10m class was Helen Gould and Coolatin Little George, when clear in 30.95. Gould was chased home by Conor James Teeling and Fantasia HSH, when they came home with nothing to add in 32.74. Amateur rider Hannah McNiven (AA) and Hey You took third when clear in 32.93, ahead of Emma O’Dwyer and SVS Symphony, clear in 33.53. Amateur rider Gary Flynn (AA) and Argento Cruise slotted into fifth, when they came home with nothing to add in 33.64. Completing the top six was Dylan Savage and Glenbeigh Carbon, clear in 35.05.