In essence, she focussed on the maturity shown by Horseware Stellor Rebound, who she said took to the cross-country with surprising gusto, while also producing a clear in the show jumping for a completion score of 52.4 penalties.
She lost out by three penalties to Gemma Tattersall on Chico Bella P and even the knowledge that if she had pushed a little harder on the cross-country to reduce her time penalties and perhaps overhaul the leader, did not diminish Ennis’s satisfaction.
“I got just under 12 time faults, but the fastest earned six. A middle section was slippy, tight and twisty and you had to take your time. If I had gone faster I would have won, but I would have had to push him out of his rhythm.
“I’ve had issues with him in the past, but this time he went out like a saint and it was heaven. I was in shock, in that he was so adjustable and I think he has grown up since WEG last year. I’ve no regrets. He will be a medal winner some day.” said Ennis, who lines out in Ballindenisik next month.
For good measure, Ennis also placed 10th with BLM Diamond Delux in a competition with a strong Irish presence that saw Joseph Murphy rise from outside the top 20 after dressage with DHI Top Story to finish fifth, while Camilla Speirs and Portersize Just a Jiff climbed from overnight 14th to complete in sixth, ahead of Murphy in seventh with Sportsfield Othello and Cork’s Patricia Ryan and Dunrath Eclipse in ninth.
At the three-star show in Vilamoura, Portugal, Dermott Lennon won his second grand prix of the month at th e venue with Loughview Lou Lou, outpacing nearest rival, Belgium’s François Brichart on Boosty Chavannais, by just over a second in the jump-off.
A double header in the Connolly Red Mills/HSI Spring Tour saw league leader Liam O’Meara win in Maryville, Carrigaline, Co Cork, while Ellen Hughes and Mullentine Jetstream provide the only double clear at Kernan’s Equestrian Centre, Armagh.
Meanwhile in Wellington, Florida, Cian O’Connor posted four faults in the jump-off with Quidam’s Cherie to finish fifth in the $100,000 Suncast Classic.