IT was another busy weekend for pony riders, as they travelled to Ard Chuain in Sligo for the second round of RDS qualifiers. The volume of entries was high in each division over the course of two days and, as a result, classes started at the crack of dawn.

In the 128cm class, 69 went to post and, from those, eight triple clears were delivered over the 11-way jump-off. Claiming this victory was Munster rider, D.J. Kent and the eight-year-old, Castlefield Messi, when they clocked the winning time of 29.28. Fellow Munster rider, Lucia Keane was hot on the winner’s heels, coming home in a time of 29.49 aboard Bossinova. It was a worthwhile trip for Leinster rider, Blathnaid Murphy, as she took third place with the very experienced Kiltomer Ruby, coming home in a time of 30.48. Fellow Leinster rider Ellie Sheane and Newhaven Cooley shared fourth place with Munster rider Josh Fitzgerald and Miss Lexi, when they both stopped the clock in a time of 30.84. Munster rider Lily Lennon and Penchwintan Glynle followed closely behind in a time of 32.90, ahead of Ben O’Connor, who will be making his debut at the Dublin Horse Show with Lisboy Black Magic, stopping the clock in a time of 32.90.

DJ Kent and Castlefield Messi won the 128cm Pony qualifier at Ard Chuain and received their prize from Walter Reape \ Lorraine Cribbin

128cm six/seven-olds

Taking the win in the 128cm age class was Ulster rider Nuala Arbuckle and the six-year-old Serge, when they were awarded 89 points by judges. The runner-up spot was claimed by Leinster rider, Ruby Kelly and the seven-year-old Trasnagh Sandstorm, when they finished on a score of 87. Claiming the last of the tickets on the day was Munster rider Isobell Keating and the six-year-old Sheeaun Lady Misty on a score of 84.1.


Winner of the 138cm decider was Connaught rider Cathal McKeon-Devaney, when he partnered Ruby Brown to a double clear in 38.42. Little separated the next placing, as fellow Connaught rider Ronan Gilvarry and Quantum Midnight Gypsy came home with nothing to add in a time of 39.05. Munster rider Millie Jeffers and Blackwood Killamaster also maintained a clean sheet, but in a slower time of 39.21 for third place. Slotting into fourth place was Leinster rider Jasmine Halford and Beechmount Pippa, clear in 40.43, ahead of Katelyn Horgan from Munster on her mount, Take Off Van Prinseveld, clear in 41.45. Connaught partnership Ella Rush and the eight-year-old, Shadow Dash secured sixth place when fastest of the four-faulters in the second round, in a time of 36.83, while Leinster rider Ava O’Neill also had one on the ground with Flashdance Billy in a time of 41.90 for seventh place.

138cm six/seven-year-olds

The win in the 138cm six/seven year-olds class was shared by Munster rider Jack Dore (Hashtag Alias, 7yo) and Leinster rider Blathnaid Murphy (Orchid’s Serata) when the judges awarded them both a score of 87.5. Third place was claimed by Leinster rider Jack Hannigan and the seven-year-old Acrehill Rosie, when they finished on a score of 85.5.

Blathniad Murphy and Orchids Serata, winners of the 138cm Six- and Seven-year-old class receiving their prize from Michael Condon at Ard Chuain \ Chloe Goggins


In total, 62 combinations lined out in a bid to take their place at the Dublin Horse Show and, after some nail-biting competition, it was Leinster rider Emily O’Brien and Sweet Renees Girl that secured the win, when they were the fastest of just three triple clears in a time of 35.52. Munster rider Cameron Kellya and RDJW Merclov put in a foot-perfect performance in a time of 40.32 for second place. A past winner in the RDS, Leinster rider Ruben Foley took third place with Coppenagh Gatsby, when they were fastest of the four-faulters in the third round in a time of 35.73. Connaught rider Cian McMunn and Dulk Du Thym finished on eight faults in the third round in a time of 34.67 for fourth place. Munster rider Robert Russell opted not to contest the third round and he finished as the fastest clear of the second round with Flavia in a time of 36.59 for fifth place. Fellow Munster rider Kristin O’Sullivan also kept the poles in place over two rounds with Alonsa in a time of 37.28 for sixth place. Leinster rider, Lauren Adams delivered a double clear with Slieve Bloom Bella Rose in a time of 38.05 for seventh place.

Nuala Arbuckle and Serge on their way to winning the 128cm Six- and Seven-year-old qualifier at Ard Chuain \ Lorraine Cribbin

148cm six/seven-year olds

The 148cm six/seven-year olds attracted the largest entry with 88 combinations battling it out. Leading the victory lap was Leinster rider Clara Lynam on the six-year-old, Clonbrock Against All Odds, when she was fastest of just four triple clears in a time of 35.47. Ulster rider Johan Fitzpatrick Burns took the runner-up spot on the seven-year-old Kinamara Dun Boy, when they stopped the clock just a fraction of a second behind in 35.50. Little divided the next placing as Connaught rider, Mark Neilan and the six-year-old Grantstown Hannah Banana crossed the line in a time of 35.72. No stranger to the pressure of the RDS, Connaught rider Conrad Sweeney and the seven-year-old Barravalley Magnum delivered the last triple clear in a time of 39.04. Another well-experienced rider, Senan Reape slotted into fifth place with the seven-year-old JSB Tik Tok, when they had one down in the final round in a time of 33.39. Completing the top six was Leinster rider Nicole Reynolds and the seven-year-old Jimmys Moon, coming home with four faults in a time of 33.58.

Note: This report was written based on provision results on SJI Live. All places to the RDS will be verified by Showjumping Ireland.