Greg Broderick was basking in the sunshine yesterday at Millstreet International Horse Show... and the fame.
It’s understandable: He made his debut in the nations cup at Dublin last week, his performance in the team victory cementing his spot on the squad for next week’s European Championships in Aachen, Germany.
Don’t expect Broderick, however, to be anything but grounded, as he prepares for the championships, where qualification for the Olympics has been superseded by considerations of a medal.
For the Tipperary native, the secret of success is purely about jumping clear rounds with the superlative MHS Going Global, applying that philosophy regardless of the level of competition.
“At five-star level, I suppose you could say my rise has been meteoric,” said the 29-year-old, with Dublin being only his fifth senior nations cup, all coming in the last 12 months, “but I’ve been at it a long time and I’ve ridden a lot of different horses, so I’d like to think I have a lot of experience under my belt.
“My horse is talented I don’t look at it like it’s a five-star show or a nations cup,
“I just look at it like it’s another course of fences. If you start getting hung up on the thoughts of nations cups and five-star competitions, you won’t jump many clear rounds.
“You just have to go in and concentrate on having your horse going in the right way and ride a good round and hope to get the results.
“My horse has been produced very slowly, I’ve had him since he’s five, and we have built up a very solid partnership.
“He’s a blood horse with a lot of energy. You need to channel that in the right way.
“Once you work on that, though, and get him going in the right direction, he’d jump through fire in the ring.”
Broderick doesn’t deny that winning a European medal is expected after the Dublin win, but he feels the confidence is not misplaced.
“We have a really good team going to Aachen. Bertram Allen and Molly Malone are extremely solid, Cian O’Connor’s horse Good Luck jumped fantastically well in Dublin. He’s still a little bit green, greener than my horse, but Cian is such an experienced rider, he proved himself in Dublin, as he always does on the big day. With Cian’s expertise, they can do the business. Darragh Kenny is one of the best riders in the world and Sans Soucis jumped very well in Dublin, as he did in St Gallen and as he did in Paris in the Global Champions Tour. Denis Lynch’s mount All Star is a proven championships horse and has already shown good form in the Aachen ring, so I think our squad is very solid. There’s a very strong camaraderie and it’s a great feeling,” said Broderick, who is aiming to make his mark with Rincarina and Golden Exchange at Millstreet over the weekend.
Yesterday saw the first of the international classes at the Cork fixture and, for the partisan few, there was a certain satisfaction when Kilkenny’s Vincent Byrne denied a double for Britain’s Joe Whitaker.
Byrne and Mr Rockefeller won last year’s Speed Derby at Millstreet and yesterday they had to be at their best in a competitive class that saw 78 starters.
A two-phase, it saw Byrne knock just over a tenth of a second off the target set by Whitaker - nephew of the famed brothers John and Michael Whitaker - aboard Lareeco. Donegal’s Kenneth Graham and Lenamore Donatella were three-hundredths of a second slower for third place.
“There’s no easy classes here, so when it’s that close it could go any way,” said Byrne, who won last year’s National Grand Prix Series with the 11-year-old bay gelding.
“I was fortunate, in that it flowed nicely, but my horse is very competitive and won two classes at a three-star show in Belgium earlier this year.”
In yesterday’s preceding feature grand prix qualifier, Whitaker and Lola V had over two seconds to spare over Alexander Butler, who, with the nine-year-old Hallowberry Cruz, finished runner-up in the contest for the second year running. Damien Griffin and Tabby produced the third fastest of only six clear rounds in the contest.
The Wicklow rider did not present his horse for trot up on Wednesday, meaning Ireland had no discard score going into yesterday’s dressage and show jumping.
Padraig McCarthy was best of the Irish trio, jumping clear after scoring 49.60 penalties in dressage with Simon Porloe to lie 24th the individual rankings.
Cork’s Austin O’Connor added four show jumping faults to his dressage score of 46.20pens on Kilpatrick Knight, while Bandon-based Michael Ryan also accumulated four faults with Dunlough Striker to bring his overnight total to 67.60pens ahead of the deciding cross-country phase.
She scored 69.486% in a competition that had 72 starters.
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