Having swept all before them - Twomey had claimed the grand prix on Friday, beating new World Cup champion Markus Ehning (For Pleasure); O’Connor was declared the show’s leading international rider, including adding second place in Saturday’s Derby to a string of top-three placings and victory in the speed class and Blaine had won the Grand Prix qualifier, following this with a fourth behind Twomey in the Grand Perix proper - in the run-up to the nations cup, the team of Billy Twomey (Luidam), Robert Splaine (Coolcorron Cool Diamond), Peter Charles (Corrada) and Cian O’Connor (Waterford Crystal) finished fourth in Sunday’s showpiece.
A score of 20 faults saw them 16 adrift of the clinical French, who featured three of the stallions that won the World Championships at Jerez, Spain, last year.
LIEUTENANT Shane Carey, riding Lismakin, leaped to second place in the Kerrygold Grand Prix League on Sunday, following victory in the Riverdance Grand Prix at Sutton, Dublin.
A rain delay failed to dampen Lt Carey’s enthusiasm, the Army riding to victory by more than a second over runner-up Clem McMahon on Hermes de Reve. The result left Lt Carey on a score of 19 in the league, just one point adrift of McMahon.
THE Equestrian Federation of Ireland yesterday cited the non-appointment of a chairman as the reason for the delay in the formation of the implementation group to devise the structures for Horse Sport Ireland.
It was reported that former Department of Agriculture secretary Michael Dowling was to fill the post, with speculation that he would be advised by Dermot Ryan, who was this week appointed acting director general of the Irish Horse Board.
Yesterday, however, EFI spokesman Colin McClelland said no chairman had yet been agreed. “The EFI has met to discuss the proposed implementation group. At this point, the matter of the chair remains to be finalised,” he said.
According to a March 4 press release from the Dept of Sport and Dept of Agriculture, the chairman of the implementation group should be “independent.” There is a belief in some quarters that Mr Dowling does not fill this criterion. In addition, the prospect of Mr Ryan’s involvement has received a lukewarm reception
FOLLOWING the Area International Trial at Claremorris last weekend, the SJAI pony selectors have named the following for the European Championships in Necarne Castle, Fermanagh, in July:
Anthony Condon, Claire Condon, Darragh Kenny, David O’Brien, Eadain McLoughlin, Fiona Beecher, Heather Purcell, Jessica Long, Mark McAuley, Mark Flynn, Martin Duffy, Maura Counihan, Nicola Fitzgibbon, Nicola Wright, Stacey Meegan, Sarah Curran, Vikki Hayes. A short list of seven/eight riders will be selected after Mullingar AIT on May 31.
The Claremorris AIT was won by Mark Flynn on Kilcannon Explosion. He also placed third on Jim’s Flight. Mark McAuley was second on Shalom Outlaw, with Fiona Beecher fourth on Loughnatousa Gold Touch. European bronze medalist in 2001 Anthony Condon was fifth on Mr Polar Bear, the pony that also carried him to victory in the Equestrian World of Maynooth RDS 148cms Grade A qualifier on the day. Anthony also won the Enniskillen College Qualifier on Some Man for One Man, denying his younger sister Claire Condon, riding Bertie Brown.
THE SJAI have announced that Enniskillen Qualifiers will be included in the schedule for Mallow Gymkhana on June 1. Details of the qualifiers, which are for the three pony heights categories, were omitted from the May edition of the SJAI bulletin. The qualifiers are garnering a lot of interest, allowing riders the chance of competing in a final at the European Pony Show Jumping Championships in Necarne Castle, Fermanagh, at the end of July.
Meanwhile, the Rockcliffe Stud 1.20m/1.25m Young Riders League moves to the two-day Kingdom County Show this weekend, in what is the third leg of a 15-round series.
With a prize fund of 3,000 (1,000 in cash and two stallion nominations worth 1,000 each), the league is certain to attract interest. The final will be held at the Cork/Kerry Branch Gymkhana in September. The following are the venues for the remaining qualifiers, in which the second round is against the clock: Mallow (June 1), Newmarket (June 8), Cahir (June 15), Castleconnell (June 22), Charleville (June 29).