The third of the Balmoral young event horse qualifiers was held on April 18 at Lisbane Farm, with classes for four and five year old horses born and bred in Ireland.
The standard of young horses presented before the judges was exceptional, with horses bred from some prolific Irish bloodlines representing the Thoroughbred, Connemara and Irish Draught breeds.
Vina Buller was judge for the jumping, which was held in the all weather Derby Arena over a flowing course including banks and ditches. The dressage phase was on grass, which encouraged these young horses to show off their paces in front of judge David Patterson, while the conformation phase was expertly judged by the very experienced Brian Lusk.
Overall, the day will have further enhanced the experience of these youngsters before going to Balmoral.
Some horses in the top five in both classes had previously qualified and so qualification rosettes were awarded further down the line. Winner of the four year old class was Glenkeeran Dance in the Deep, by Crosstown Dancer out of a Deep Run mare. This lovely chestnut is owned by Marion Melvin and was ridden by Claire Abbott. The five year old class was won by Melvyn Gibson’s Randalstown Commando, ridden by Jonny Mulligan. This impressive bay gelding is by Ricardo Z out of a Parco mare.
Four Year Old Result: 1st, Claire Abbott, Glenkeeran Dance in the Deep; 2nd, Rachel McKimmon, Hot Bobo; 3rd, Gwen Scott, Ardquin; 4th, Victoria Clarke, MJI Lady Alceis; 5th, Hannah Ewart, Shannaghmore Cavalier.
Also qualified: Jonny Mulligan, Rockfall; Rachel McKimmon OKE Ruby R; Justine O’Hara, Vales Pacino Royale.
Five Year Old Result: 1st, Jonny Mulligan, Randalstown Commando; 2nd, Catherine Robinson, Carsonstown Alice; 3rd, Gwen Scott, Seven/Eights; 4th, Stacy Watling, Hawk Eye; 5th, Jonny Mulligan, Cecil.
Also qualified: Barry McCormick, Carry Me Home.