THE 1.40m Speed Cavan County Council sponsored class on Saturday saw Niamh McEvoy and Jonathan Smyth take the first four placings between them in this very competitive class.
McEvoy, who is no stranger to pressure, clinched victory when she partnered DHF Lift Off to a clear in 58.83.
Owned by GBBS Int LTD and bred by Stephen Keane, DHF Lift Off is a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Harlequin Du Carel and out of the Mr Clover-sired dam, Missy K. This combination has got plenty of practice at this level, as they spent the start of the year competing in Spain at Vejer de la Frontera CSI4*. Under Kevin Gallagher’s command, the mare also took the runner-up spot in the Premier Series in Balmoral in July. McEvoy took over the ride in September this year.
National Grand Prix Champion Jonathan Smyth put in a gallant attempt as he filled the next two placings. The Co Tyrone rider delivered his best result with Crystal Graf, coming home in a time of 63.32. Owned by Ann Doherty, Crystal Graf is by Lux Z and out of the Graf Magna-sired dam, Lady Graf. This pairing had an impressive season with many good results at National Grand Prix level.
He also answered all the questions with the eight-year-old Mulvin Cliodam, coming home in 66.03 for third. Owned and bred by Richard J W Smyth, the eight-year-old mare is by Luidam (KWPN) and out of the HHS BR Charlton (ISH)-sired dam Charlton Clio (ISH). This mare has only recently stepped up to this level and in May they claimed third place in the 1.35m Grand Prix at Castle Irvine.
Not to be outdone, McEvoy slotted into fourth place with My Diamant Pd Z, when she left all the poles in place in a time of 66.47. Owned by GBBS Int, the 11-year-old is by Mylord Carthago and out of Diamamda Willebeke Z.
McEvoy was chased home by Brendan Murphy and the seven-year-old Shirsheen Calensky, who came home with nothing to add in 66.65. Owned by Linda Murphy and bred by Patrick Murphy, the gelding is by Cornet Obolensky and is out of the Regal Sting-sired dam, Candy Copper.
A familiar face in the winner’s enclosure in Cavan, John Floody took sixth place with Claire Craig’s HTS Carnanbreagha, crossing the line clear in 71.78. Owned by Clare Craig and bred by Brian Kiernan, the 10-year-old gelding is by Sir Shutterfly and is out of the Aldatus Z-sired gelding Ballybunion Aldatus. Last month, the combination claimed the runner-up spot in the 1.35m at the October show.
A total of 68 combinations went to post in the Jim Derwin Bloodstock-sponsored 1.35m Jump-Off class and, taking this win was Ballina native, Katie Nallon. The junior rider partnered the Sandra Duffy-owned Ecklands Helado to a very fast clear in a time of 33.90. Bred by Eckland Sport Horses, the 11-year-old is by Cobra and is out of the HHS BR Charlton-sired dam Annaghmore Charisma. Nallon has been riding the mare for almost a year and has progressed through the levels, qualifying for the Dublin Horse Show in the 1.25m - 1.30m young rider section. Last month, the pairing took the win in the 1.30m Speed Championship at the Northern Indoor Championships.
This class was dominated by junior and young riders, as they accounted for seven of the top 10 places.
Nallon’s closest rival was young rider Champion Robyn Moran aboard Cushlas Fryday, when she galloped home in 34.16. Owned by Vera Griffin and bred by John Peter Finlay, Cushlas Fryday is a nine-year-old gelding by Hector Van D’Abdijhoeve and out of the Apache D’Adriers-sired dam, Une Ardente De Vie (SF).
Lt James Whyte was back in the ribbons, claiming third with Carrigoran, when they came home with nothing to add in a time of 35.23. This 17-year-old is by Chippison and is out of Coille Mor Villa.
A clear from junior rider Bríd Ryan and Ne Touche Pas Van De Rostal in a time of 35.67 saw them taking fourth. Owned by Eugene Ryan and bred by Paul Peeters, the 10-year-old Belgian-bred mare is by Falco and is out of Resi Lux.
Junior rider Isabel O’Brien and Javas Gucci were a split second behind, stopping the clock with nothing to add in 35.76. Owned by Catherine Walsh and bred by Judy Murphy, the 11-year-old gelding is by Luidam.
Emily Moloney was back in the winnings as she took sixth place with Capitol Cruis in a time of 36.52.