ROCK Warrior won the seven-year-old DAFM Studbook Series at Barnadown last Sunday. By Casalla La Silla, out of Cassi, by the Swedish stallion Castor, he was bred by the owner Barbara O’Reilly Hyland, and ridden by her son Max.

Last year, the duo finished second in the Horse Sport Ireland six-year-old final in Tattersalls in July, and represented Ireland at the young horse world championships in Lanaken, Belgium.

The 24 combinations, which had qualified for the final on Saturday lined out for the 1.35m final on Sunday afternoon. Of these, just nine managed to produce a first round clear to progress to the jump-off.

First to go against the clock was Meabh Bolger and Jason Higgins’ Dutch-bred mare MBF Be Blue (Chacco Blue x Highvalley). They posted another clear round in a time of 41.63, which would be good enough for fifth place.

Joanne Blair was second aboard Richard Bourns’ Dynamic Touched Numo Z, a Belgian-bred mare by Dallas VDL, out of Grand Touched Numo, by Untouched. They were unlucky to have a fall in the second round, and therefore were eliminated.

Third to go Harry Wood and GBBS Int Ltd’s Pembrook Corbetts Lane (Kannan x Guidam), bred by Kilmashogue Stud, provided a foot-perfect clear in a good time of 41.08, which would leave them in the runner-up spot.


Next in was Shane O’Reilly riding Brian McConville’s home-bred BWE Special Rose (I’m Special De Muze x Camilo De Haar Z). They too left all the fences intact, stopping the clock at 41.18 for third place.

Shane Dalton and Ennisnag Stud’s Dutch-bred stallion Mendoza VDL (Harley VDL x Cardento) joined the list of double clears, theirs coming in 41.56 for fourth place.

Leah Stack and Greg Broderick’s Next Question (VDL Orestus x Damiro), bred by Tracey and Margaret Gallagher, then posted an uncharacteristic eight faults to see them out of the running.

Jack Ryan riding his mother Marguerite’s Mondavi (Tyson x Warrenstown you 2) had a single fence down for four faults. They placed seventh as the fastest four-faulters.

The penultimate pair in, Katie Power and her family’s Starfield Brighteye (Luidam x Vivaldo van Het Costersveld), were clear in 42.45, which kept them just inside the top-six.

Last to go was O’Reilly Hyland. An immaculate clear round in a 40.24 saw them head proceedings and earn the lion’s share of the €3,400 prize fund.

A total of nine combinations, from the 24 starters, recorded double clear rounds over the 1.20m two-phase track in the DAFM Studbook Series for six-year-olds, and divided the prize pot of €2,500.

In the five-year-old equivalent, 10 combinations were fault-free over the two-phases of the 1.10m track to divide the prize money. A further four missed out on a place when they collected a single time fault.