Eventer Sam Watson is targeting a big performance in the four-star show at Burghley, England, at the end of the month, having won the feature three-star class at Camphire, Co Waterford, yesterday.
It was the Carlow rider’s first time at the West Waterford fixture and he said the victory with Horseware Bushman was a timely boost to his confidence, having missed out on Olympic selection.
While Camphire organisers succeeded in their battle to save the international classes, they were forced by rain to cancel the national competitions.
Watson (26) went out in yesterday’s cross-country on the experienced 13-year-old Horseware Bushman in second place to Sarah Ennis on BLM Diamond Delux.
However, while the Carlowman picked up an extra 5.2 time penalties for a completion of 46.7pens, Ennis added 9.2 to finish on 50 and relinquish her grip.
Briton Gemma Tattersall and Arctic Soul placed third on 51.4pens.
Ennis had consolation in winning the two-star class for the third year, taking the CIC with Westwinds Hercules, while also taking the runner-up position on Horseware Malachi, with Bandon-based Michael Ryan and Drumgurrihy Blue finishing third.
England-based Corkman Austin O’Connor had a big margin to spare in winning the two-star CCI. The Mallow native, riding Balham Houdini, added just 3.6 penalties on the cross-country to his dressage score for a total of 49.2 penalties more than over 23pens better than the score posted by runner-up Fraser Duffy on Fernhill Ultimate.
Meanwhile, Mervyn Clarke yesterday recorded his second successive TRM/SJI Premier Series win with Liam Kennedy’s stallion KEC Lightening Strikes.
Clarke recorded the only double clear in yesterday’s South County Dublin Show €12,000 feature, having also won last week at Tattersalls.
Conor Swail, aboard Martha Louise, finished runner-up, while Tholm Keane’s third place on Warrenstown You 2 saw him extend his lead in the series, with two rounds remaining.
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