Imaginative approach pays off for Ballindenisk

Next month’s Johnson & Perrott Land Rover International Horse Trials in Ballindenisk is gearing up to be one of the best as the Cork venue again attracts the cream of international and national riders.

Last February’s event was exceptional and the Fell family are determined to pull out all the stops to ensure next month’s is as memorable.

The imaginative approach of Peter Fell and his team has netted dividends, and the inclusion of the €50,000 Goresbridge Go For Gold bonus prize this time has whetted riders’ appetite. The prize will be awarded if the winning horse/rider combination of the CIC three-star class goes on to win a CCI three-star at Ballindenisk in 2013.

World No1 William Fox-Pitt and his fellow British Olympic silver medallist Zara Phillips are among competitors from Britain, Australia, the US and New Zealand that will be aiming to open their bonus account. Irish Olympians Joseph Murphy — 14th individually in London — and Michael Ryan, as well as the competitive Sarah Ennis are among the Irish who will want to put themselves in the frame.

“This will be the best event we have ever run. It is part of our plan to make Ballindenisk one of the best venues in Europe,” said Peter Fell yesterday. “While we are working hard to create the best venue, we also have to ensure we build our reputation and be known world-wide as organisers of top-class events. This is something that will not happen overnight, but it is part of our long-term plan.”

Fell said the bonus initiative had captured the imagination.

“Ollie Townend, who won the CCI in February, has said he is going to throw everything at it in the hope of winning the bonus prize.

“Zara will be returning with Lord Lauries to compete in the long-format CCI, having won the CIC last year, while Fox-Pitt also has his eye on the money,” said Fell, adding that “in light of the bad weather, we are reverting to the February track on the higher ground, to ensure perfect going”.

The event runs from Sept 13–16 and, as an appetiser, Castlemartyr Resort will host a charity lunch in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation on Tuesday, Sept 11, followed by The Castlemartyr Challenge, a winner-takes-all €1,000 dressage competition.

The Irish Examiner is media partner to the event, and have a fabulous prize in a free-to-enter competition. See page 8 of today’s Irish Examiner, or www.irishexaminer.com/competitions.

lTrevor Coyle has picked up the ride on Carlina, previously ridden by Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer.

Schwizer and the mare finished 12th in the Olympics and appeared on the Swiss nations cup teams in La Baule, St Gallen and Aachen.

According to the website studforlife.com, Carlina’s owners Pro Horse International are open to offers for the mare and that the move to Belgian-based Derry rider Coyle could be temporary.

lThe rescheduled Ballinhassig Gymkhana takes place next Sunday at West Cork Equine Centre.

The schedule is as per the July SJI bulletin, page 42. There will be Red League contests 128cms, 138cms and 148cms ponies.

lSister act Dale Adams and Polly McNiven dominated the €2,500 Horse Sport Ireland Amateur Championship Final at Whites Cross Charity, held in Millstreet last Sunday.

McNiven set the standard when third to go in a 13-horse jump-off, posting a clear in 37.31 seconds on Kelly’s Magic.

However, it didn’t last for long, as Adams and Ola Lara knocked four seconds off the target, with local rider Ann Patricia Gould and Golden Keigh coming close to the Gorey, Co Wexford siblings.

The O’Brien’s Saddlery Country Clothing Amateur Final saw 12 through to the jump off, with victory for Killeagh, Co Cork, rider Gerard Ian Curtin on his own Jack Storm. Clare’s Yvonne Foley and Valentina’s Tillia finished runners-up, followed by competition organiser Mikaela Hall with Mr Debonair.

There was €1,000 on offer in the Lucky Meadows Equestrian Centre 1.10m Grand Prix, the lion’s share going to West Cork’s Derry Kingston on his own Elected. Helen Gould and Coolatin Little George placed second.

Corrine Hyde, riding De Luxe, tasted victory in the 1.20m Ballymaloe Country Relish contest, having sponsored the class. Mallow’s Storm Oxley placed second with Coolafancy Clu’s Arrowhead.

The four open pony classes went the way of the Joyce family from Killeagh, with Melissa scoring a treble and her brother Daniel bringing off the clean sweep.


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