THE 2022 running of the Horse Sport Ireland Show Jumping Studbook Series got underway on Saturday, April 23 in the Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan.
Boasting a total prize fund of €80,000, this prestigious series will travel the length and breadth of Ireland showcasing the best of Irish-bred horses for the show jumping sphere.
In the Five-Year-Old qualifier, 18 of the horses on the impressive 80 horse starting list were bred in Northern Ireland. Of those, eight made it through to Sunday’s final with a prize fund of €2,500 on offer. ‘Roundthorn Minerva’ bred by Patricia M Connon successfully navigated the track prepared by Aaron McCusker, expertly ridden by Edward Little. ‘Roundthorn Minerva’ is sired by ‘Eldorado Van De Zeshoek’ (BWP) and the dam, ‘Atricia’, is by ‘Padinus’ (KWPN).
The second class in the schedule was the Six-Year-Old qualifier and Northern Ireland breeders were also well represented, with six young horses coming forward on the day. Of these, three combinations were successful in making it into the top 25 for the final. Again there was a shared prize pot of €2,500 for those who put in a faultless performance; on this occasion sharing the prize pot were Charlotte Harding with home-bred gelding ‘RJC Second Bet’ and Michael Roche with the George McCullough-bred ‘Rocky Blue’.
‘RJC Second Bet’, sired by ‘Hoeks Ludo W’ (KWPN) and whose sire of the dam is ‘Loughehoe Guy’ (TB), was bred by Rachelle Harding. ‘Rocky Blue’, a grey gelding by ‘Chacoon Blue’ (MECK) was bred by George McCullough and is out of ‘Ardeche Z’ by ‘Artos Z’ (ZANG).
Completing the trio of Young Horse classes at the Meadows was the Seven-Year-Old Horse Sport Ireland Studbook Series qualifier and, of the 38 starters on the qualifying day, seven Northern Irish-bred horses made it through to the final. Finishing best of the NI-bred horses was the Michael Beattie bred ‘MB Lorenzo R’ ridden by Michael Roche, just outside the placings in seventh place. In eighth place was John McKibben’s chestnut mare ‘Leestone Zaire’, which recorded the fastest four fault round of the competition when guided by Frank Curran.
‘MB Lorenzo R’, bred by Michael Beattie, was sired by ‘Tolan R’ (KWPN), out of a ‘Voltaire’ (HANN) mare, ‘Vienna’. ‘Leestone Zaire’, bred by John McKibbin, was sired by ‘Darco’ (BWP) and out of a ‘Heartbreaker’ (KWPN) dam, ‘Zidane’ (KWPN).
Throughout the other classes on offer at the Meadows Spring Championships, Northern Ireland-bred horses were well represented – those of notable recognition in the 1.40m Gain/Alltech Grand Prix were ‘Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick’ (‘Limmerick’ (HOLST) x ‘Lux Z’ (ZANG)), bred by Dorothea Wilson, ridden by young rider Niamh McEvoy to eighth place; Tom and Linda Magee’s ‘Derryinver Truffle’ (‘Tornesch’ (HOLST) x ‘Cruising’ (ISH)), ridden by Luke Campbell; and Dominic Rice’s ‘Premier Spirit’ (‘Premier Sport’ (ISH) x ‘Hermes de Reve’ (SF)), campaigned by Jonathan Smyth.
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