A brilliant closing round on the final day of Badminton Horse Trials in the UK on Sunday gave Ireland’s Austin O’Connor and the Irish-bred gelding ‘Colorado Blue’ an excellent eighth place finish. O’Connor, who finished 13th at the Tokyo Olympic Games with the Salty Syndicate-owned ‘Colorado Blue’, was in 58th place after the opening Dressage phase. A perfect clear inside the time in Saturday’s cross-country, followed by another clear show jumping round with just 0.4 time penalties in the final phase, saw O’Connor climb the leaderboard and finish on a final score of 36.3.
Susie Berry was the next-best Irish finisher in 17th place with ‘John The Bull’ (ISH), while Padraig McCarthy took 33rd position with ‘HHS Noble Call’ and finished 41st with ‘Fallulah’.
It was an impressive showing overall from Irish Sport Horses, who filled three of the top five places. ‘Swallow Springs’ (ISH) took third place on the podium with Oliver Townend (GBR); ‘Vanir Kamira’ (ISH) and Piggy March (GBR) finished fourth; while ‘Ballaghmor Class’ (ISH) finished fifth – again ridden by Oliver Townend. There was also a top 10 finish for ‘Alfies Clover’ (ISH) with Richard Jones (GBR).
Britain’s Laura Collett and ‘London 52’ were named 2022 Badminton Champions. An outstanding performance saw them add just 0.4 time penalties to their Dressage score of 21.0 to claim the title, while Rosalind Canter (GBR) finished as runner-up with ‘Lordships Graffalo’ on 26.0.
The world famous Badminton International Horse Trials got underway last Thursday in South Gloucestershire, with Westmeath’s Joseph Murphy the leading Irish rider with ‘Cesar V’ after the opening day of Dressage. Fresh from an impressive top 10 finish the previous weekend at the five-star Kentucky Horse Trials in the USA, Murphy lay in 17th place at the end of day one on a score of 31.5, with 41 competitors having gone at that stage.
Tipperary’s Padraig McCarthy and ‘Fallulah’ were just one place further back in 18th on 31.7, while Galway’s Cathal Daniels was also inside the top 20 with ‘Barrichello’ on a score of 32.7.
A brilliant Dressage performance on day two of Badminton Horse Trials from Susie Berry and the Irish Sport Horse ‘John The Bull’ put them in 18th place of 83 competitors on a score of 28.8 – less than eight penalties off the lead heading into the weekend.
Joseph Murphy was next best of the Irish with ‘Cesar V’ in 29th place on a score of 31.5, just ahead of Padraig McCarthy and ‘Fallulah’ in 30th on 31.7.
Britain’s Laura Collett and ‘London 52’ held the lead on a remarkable score of 21 penalties. Three Irish Sport Horses were inside the top 10 with ‘Swallow Springs’ (ISH) in equal sixth place with Oliver Townend (GBR) on a score of 25.7, while another Irish Sport Horse, ‘Vanir Kamira’, was on the same score with Piggy March (GBR). ‘Ballaghmor Class’ (ISH) was in equal eighth place, again ridden by Oliver Townend on a score of 25.9.
A strong showing by several Irish Eventing riders in Saturday’s cross-country phase at Badminton, saw big changes on the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final show jumping.
Cork’s Austin O’Connor and ‘Colorado Blue’, owned by the Salty Syndicate, produced a brilliant clear cross-country round inside the time to climb a massive 45 places to 13th overall. O’Connor was the first rider to come home clear inside the time allowed – one of just five riders to do so – to stay on his Dressage score of 35.9.
Clare Abbott and the Irish Sport Horse ‘Jewelent’ also came home without jumping penalties, adding just four time penalties to their Dressage score and lay in 16th place overall on 37.2. Elizabeth Power and ‘Soladoun’ were also among the Irish combinations who made big gains on the standings. A clear round with 6.4 time penalties saw them rise to 20th place on 39.4; while Susie Berry and the Irish Sport Horse ‘John The Bull’ were in 22nd position on 41.6.
It was a fantastic afternoon for Irish Sport Horses, who filled three of the top five places. ‘Swallow Springs’ (ISH) was in second place with Oliver Townend (GBR) on 25.7, while Townend was also in third place with another Irish Sport Horse, ‘Ballaghmor Class’ on 25.9. ‘Vanir Kamira’ (ISH) and Piggy March (GBR) were in fifth place just 5.1 penalties behind British leader Laura Collett with ‘London 52’, who remained on their excellent Dressage score of 21.0.
Top 10 Irish bred horses:
3) Swallow Springs [ISH] – 2008 gelding by Chillout (ISH), out of Kilila (ISH)[TIH] by Cult Hero (TB). Breeder: Maria Keating (Galway); 4) Vanir Kamira (ISH) – 2005 mare by Camiro De Haar Z (ZANG), out of Fair Caledonian (WNTR) by Dixi (TB). Breeder: Kathryn Jackson (Monaghan); 5) Ballaghmor Class (ISH) – 2007 gelding Courage II (HOLST), out of Kilderry Place (ISH). Breeder: Noel Hickey (Limerick); 8) Colorado Blue (SHBGB) – 2009 gelding by Jaguar Mail (SF), out of Rock Me Baby (AES), by Rock King (WNTR). Breeder: Mellon Stud / Kate Jarvey, Limerick; 10) Alfies Clover (ISH) – 2007 gelding by Tajraasi (TB), out of Aoifes Clover (P)(ISH)[TIH] by Clover Hill (ID). Breeder: James Hickey, Co. Waterford.
Full Badminton scores are available at www.badminton-horse.co.uk
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