26 May Pony & Young Rider Qualifier at Ennis Co Clare
The second TRI Equestrian sponsored RDS Pony Qualifier took place in Ennis at the Co. Clare Showground where the ponies were privileged to avail of the superb ground conditions in the main arena. Killian Clarke was the appointed Course Designer for the day and whilst only two of the four classes went to three rounds all the quotas were filled and those earning their RDS tickets went home happy.
For those who get excited by statistics the first two classes had family one two’s as Francis Derwin matched his sister Kates previous success when filling his quota as he took first and second places in the 128 qualifier on ‘Buachaill Baire’ 0/0/0 32.81 and ‘Essenar Jinja Ninja’ 0/0/0 34.07. Meanwhile in the 148 class the Sweetnam family were celebrating as Holly took the winners rosette on ‘Temple Spartacus’ 0/0 39.71 ahead of her younger sister Abbie who steered ‘Dynamite Spartacus’ into second place 0/0 42.79. This pair were the only two to produce clear rounds in the second jump off from a field of fifty five starters, only seven jumped the required first round clear and were automatically qualified. The judges opted to go straight to the second jump off and with three withdrawing from that third place went to Olivia Roulston on ‘Ballygawleys Little Ferro’ 0/4 44.28 and fourth to Grace O’Donnell on ‘Orchids Vienna’ 0/Ret.
There was great competition in the 128 ranks where the battle went to the wire with nine combinations going into the second jump off for seven places. Taking third place behind Derwin was local rider Rhys Williams on ‘PARC Lolita’ 0/0/0 36.24 with Ulster region athlete Ellie Rose Cassidy and ‘Little Ceaser’ earning their place at the RDS when taking fourth 0/0/0 37.04. The first pair to jump in the competition had a nerve racking wait to see if they had done enough but picking up fifth place was good enough to see Max Wachman and ‘Little Jack Spratt’ ensure they make their debut appearance at the RDS 0/0/0 41.40. The final two qualifying places went to Sarah O’Donnell on ‘Mister Boots’ 0/0/0 42.35 and Natasha Kerr riding her mother Gillian’s ‘The Nut Cracker’0/0/4 31.81.
The 138 division saw forty three start with fifteen of these going into the first jump off and six of these remaining on a zero score. Once again as these six knew they were qualified two opted to withdraw leaving four to jump for placings. Jason Foley and ‘Bear Me In Mind’ took the title when jumping a third clear round in 36.16 filling Foleys quota, second place went to Lucy Shanahan aboard Susan O’Sheas ‘Creative Dancer’ also clear in a time of 42.23. Anabelle Heffron booked her ticket as she finished third with ‘Double Trouble Boy’ 0/0/4 40.64 with Jodie Flanagan and ‘Caher Silver’ picking up fourth 0/0/8 46.75. Harry Allen ‘Fountain Ranger’ 0/0/w/d and Ellen Walsh on ‘Wing It’ 0/0/w/d shared fifth with Trudie McCoosh taking the final qualifying place on ‘Lily Clover’when producing the fastest four faults in the first jump off.
From a field of sixty six starters in the 148 6/7 class only ten combinations produced faultless first rounds with only three of these remaining on zero they opted to divide, leaving the three fastest four faulters from the first jump off to secure their RDS places. The division was shared between Ellen Murphy on the seven year old ‘Cillmhuire Cello’ 0/0/wd, Holly Sweetnam filling her quota on the six year old ‘Ultimate Spartacus’ 0/0/w/d and Emer Kavanagh on seven year old ‘Crossgales Boy’0/0/w/d. Abby Morton finished in fourth on the six year old ‘Anne May’ 0/4 34.00, fifth went to local athlete Robbie Clancy on seven year old ‘My Castlehill Lass’0/4 38.86 and sixth to Meadhbh Mealiff on the former discovery champion ‘Master Stevie G’ 0/4 40.09.
There is a six week break until the last two qualifiers to give those sitting exams time to study with the action resuming at Mullingar Equestrian on 27th June.