JIM NEWSAM did not get his wish for a “Down double” yesterday, even if he played his part by winning the CCI three-star at Ballindenisk International Horse Trials in Cork.
The laid-back Newcastle native had travelled south with Magennis aiming to achieving qualification for four-star level and, while his county men failed in their mission at Croke Park, Newsam achieved what he described as the “bonus” of winning.
He heaped praise on the impressive eight-year-old Magennis, saying: “He’s brilliant and tries his heart out. He’s so quick with his legs, anytime we got into a little bit of trouble on the cross-country, he worked it out.”
Newsam went into Saturday’s technical and bold cross-country in second place, but jumped in style to the top of the leaderboard with a clear at a cost of 7.6 time penalties.
While he may have been in poll position of the four remaining riders taking on the show jumping, he had little room for error, as Joseph Murphy and Electric Cruise were just 0.8 penalties adrift and any chance the Down-based Mullingar-native would provide further latitude for Newsam soon became clear in every sense when he left all the fences standing.
However, the leader was equal to the challenge and, while he pushed on in the knowledge that a slow round could cost him dearly in terms of even a single time fault, his gamble paid off and he finished with a clean sheet.
Asked, with such a slim margin, if he was nervous going into the final phase, he joked: “It wasn’t the bravest round I ever did. I rode on a little bit more than I was comfortable with but I was conscious of the clock,” he said
In the CIC three-star, Peter Hannigan maintained the family trend of winning at the Cork venue.
The Tipperary rider’s sister Kate and brother David had previously won at the Fell family event and Peter followed suit on First Mate in a competition that provided a similar score to the CCI three-star.
Hannigan and the 12-year-old gelding conjured up one of only three jumping clears on the cross-country to take poll position going into yesterday’s final phase.
Australian Catherine Burrell and Ballycoog Imp, however, were just 1.8pens adrift and maintained the pressure with a fault-free show jumping.
And, while Hannigan fortunately chose to ignore the commentator – who advised he had two fences in hand – to jump clear and win his first three-star, it was close, as he did so at a cost of a single time fault.
In the CCI two-star, Britain’s Olivia Wilmot made good on her late entry to take the honours with Cool Dancer, while Ireland's Monica Whelan won the CCI one-star with Act On Impulse.
Meanwhile, eventing suffered another fatality yesterday with the death on Saturday of 22-year-old Sebastian Steiner at Montelibretti International Horse Trials in Italy. Steiner, who was representing Austria, was riding Cartago, a 15-year-old gelding, when they fell at fence number 11.
In Barcelona, show jumper Billy Twomey notched up a hat-trick to ensure himself a winning send-off to the World Equestrian Games.
The Corkman’s best result saw him victorious in the grand prix, pocketing €10,000 and the keys to a Seat car. Riding the stallion Je t’Aime Flamenco, he four-faulted in round one, but followed with a second round clear that gave him four seconds to spare over his nearest rival in a competition that was abandoned on Friday night due to heavy rain and recommenced on Saturday night.
Earlier, the 33-year-old won the show’s opening speed class with on Michael Connaghton’s Irish-bred mare Cavinem, repeating the feat with the same horse in Friday’s accumulator.
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