Monte Carlo results not to be taken at face value

LAST weekend’s Monte Carlo Global Champions Tour (GCT) contest caused difficulties across the board and Billy Twomey feels it would be unfair to draw conclusions from the performance of any horse, including his own Tinka’s Serenade.

The Corkman produced one of 12 first-round clears, but retired in the second round having notched up an uncharacteristic 12 faults with the mare. In mitigation, he pointed to the fact many of the best rider/horse combinations also found the course and the “environment” problematic.

“Twelve jumped clear in round one and 18 were brought back for the second round, but a lot of good horses went on to make silly mistakes. They did the second round under lights with lit advertisements and I think horses found it difficult in that environment. In fact, the competition did not even deliver a third round, so I think it was something of nothing,” said Twomey of a contest that was won by Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, the Swede providing the only double clear to take his second win on the stallion Casall La Silla.

Twomey made his comments yesterday as he travelled to Estoril, Portugal, for the next round of the GCT and the Nottinghamshire-based rider says he will assess Serenade in a few minor classes before deciding if Romanov will contest tomorrow’s €285,000 feature.

“I will jump her in couple of small classes and, if she is not full of confidence, I’ll pick Romanov for the GCT. I want to prepare her for Aachen and if that means jumping in a few smaller classes, that is not a problem,” he said.

Joining him in Estoril is Denis Lynch, who was also among the casualties last weekend, putting up 12 faults in round one with All Inclusive NRW before coming to the conclusion there was no point in proceeding.

The Tipperary rider may have a new addition to his string, following the purchase by Thomas Straumann of Lord Luis. The 13-year-old Holstein-bred gelding was previously ridden by Lars Nieberg and Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst.

lINTEREST in this year’s Millstreet Horse Show is even greater than last year, according to Noel C Duggan.

“Entries are flying in and we have three girls on the phones. Also, we were the first to take entries on line and it has proved to be great for both the show and competitors.

“I can guarantee that this year’s show will be spectacular, with huge improvements in the lay-out of the place. Eight sand arenas will be in operation, all drained and refreshed, and we have undertaken landscaping. Along with the competitions that featured last year, we will be announcing new, exciting elements to the schedule soon. All told, there will be €100,000 in prizemoney going into the sport and I am satisfied that the show will be a bigger success than last year.”

Last year’s show was declared “independent” by Mr Duggan and, despite being unaffiliated, proved a big success, attracting huge interest from show jumping fans, who defied the threat of sanction by ShowjumpingIreland.

lFRANCIS CONNORS has is eyes set on one of the three Dublin Horse Show qualifying places on offer in the TRM Premier Series.

The Waterford rider declared his intention after winning the second-tier TRM Grand Prix National League contest at Charleville, Co Cork, last Sunday.

No doubt, he is not alone in his Premier Series aspirations, but he has a lot of work to do to achieve his aim, lying a lowly 13th place with four points. Topping the Premier leaderboard after three rounds is Capt David O’Brien on 18pts, followed by Peter Smyth (12pts) and Eddie Moloney (11pts).

The series dominate the domestic circuit this month, with the final six legs taking place, concluding on July 31 at South County Dublin Show.

Tattersalls (July 23/24) is the cut off point to determine the top three places that will garner entry to Dublin Horse Show, but this weekend will give a fair pointer as to who will occupy those positions. Tomorrow sees the action resume at Omagh, Co Tyrone, with €12,000 on offer in Blessington Show at Coilog, Co Kildare, on Sunday.

The Premier Series moves to Cork on July 10.

Meanwhile, Connors’s win with Dansson in Charleville, coupled with his fourth in West Clare the preceding day, has promoted him to third in the TRM GP League on 34 points, Ahead of him is Peter Smyth (40 points) and Mervyn Clarke, whose West Clare win put him on 45 points.

lIreland’s equestrians have achieved a superb medal haul at the Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece.

Steven Yetman from Donaghadee, Co Down, claimed gold and bronze, while silver medals went to Pamela Collins from Kanturk, Co Cork, Sarah Duffy from Tallaght, Dublin, and Conor MacGearailt, Athy, Co Kildare. Conor also earned a bronze medal.

lTHE lucrative TRM Premier Series Grand Prix may be the centrepiece of Cork Show on Sunday week, but for Carbery Pony Club the focus will be on their four showing classes, in addition to micro, mini, midi and maxi contests in show jumping.

Expect big interest, too, in their planned dog show. Enquiries: 087/3103011

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