Wednesday, May 18, saw the latest of the RDS Horse Qualifiers head northward to the Meadows Equestrian Complex, Lurgan.
Competitors from all over Ireland travelled to The MEC for the chance to bag the coveted qualification for the Royal Dublin Society Dublin Horse Show in July.
In the four year old qualifier, Sean Kavanagh impressed visiting German judges to take the first place ribbons with ‘Castle bridge Cassius’ owned by Rachel Stafford, a grey Stallion by ‘Cardento’. Only half a point behind was Fermanagh’s Catherine Thornton with her own ‘Drumiller Sensation’ by Arko III.
In one of the best displays of young horse jumping, the five year old RDS qualifier was eventually won by Mervyn Clarke Jnr’s Thomascourt BGS by international stallion ‘Je T’aime Flamenco’. Only seven combinations made it through the gruelling three round competition without penalty, on a course designed by Tom Holden.
Waterford’s Gemma Phelan onboard Noel Ryans Bay Gelding ‘Quality Coolcoran’ by OBOS Quality 004 were the eventual winner of the six year old qualifier, having gone to the third round and recording one of only seven triple clear rounds, to secure the win.
However, the day belonged to Clem McMahon, who with his trio of Pacino progeny sealed first, second and third placings in the 7/8-year-old qualifier. Winning the class with Hilton Pacato, the lead changed many times with Hilton Pacifico and Hilton CMS Paparazzi all spending time as head of the field.
Four year old qualifier: 1st, R Stafford’s Castlebridge Cassius (S Kavanagh) [89.50], 2nd, P Kavanagh& C Thornton’s Drumiller Sensation (Catherine Thornton) [89.00), 3rd, N Kenny’s Derrycastle Sensation (Peter Smyth) [88.50], 4th, D Bourns’LVS Captain (D Egan) [82.50], 5th, N Watt’s Tehenga Beach (Emily Turkington) [82.00], 6th, D Mackey’s Moneybroom Alegro Vivace (Peter Smyth)[ 80.50], 7th, G Markham’s Coolmeen Cobra (Olive Clarke) [79.50], 8th, G Scott’s Roscrib Ladybird (Gwen Scott) [79.50], 9th, M Clarke’s MC Caprice [Mervyn Clarke Jnr) [78.50] and 10th, M Bingham’s Cashmans Diamond (Catherine Thornton) [77.50].
Five year old qualifier (three rounds): 1st, M Clarke Jnr’s Thomascourt BGS (Mervyn Clarke Jnr) [0/0/0 35.36], 2nd, E Moloney’s MHS Quinton (Eddie Moloney) [0/0/0 37.58], 3rd, E Hogg’s Intuitive (James Hogg) [0/0/0 38.47], 4th, Kennedy Bros Sporthorses’ Premier Balou Royale (Christian Coyle) [0/0/0 39.30], 5th, M Dunning’s Luxtapose (Joyce Veld) [0/0/0 40.17], 6th, GBBS Ltd & Ennisnag Stud’s ESI Star Struck (Darragh Ryan) [0/0/0 42.18], 7th, Team 27’s Z Seven Canya Dance (Michael Pender) [0/0/0 44.69], 8th, FT Showjumper’s FTS Billy Stirling (Nicola Fitzgibbon) [0/0/4 37.69], 9th, Kennedy Bros’ KBS High Quality (Christian Coyle) [0/0/4 37.92] and 10th, H Durkin’s Galway Girl (Sean Kavanagh) [0/0/4 38.71]
Six year old qualifier (three rounds): 1st, N Ryan’s Quality Coolcoran (Gemma Phelan) [0/0/0 33.42], 2nd, M Pender’s Curraclover Flight (Michael Pender) [0/0/0 34.30], 3rd, G Forbes’ Castleforbes Angelina (Nicola Fitzgibbon) [0/0/0 34.47], 4th, T O’Brien’s Miss Darco (Thomas O’Brien) [0/0/0 35.02], 5th, H Sheridan’s Russel Style (Liam O’Meera) [0/0/0 35.58], 6th, McLaughlin Bros’ Jack Diamond (Edward Little) [0/0/0 36.07], 7th, N Smyth & R Craig’s Mulvin Lui (Jonathan Smyth) [0/0/0 36.20], 8th, B Duff’s BEC Lorenzo (Brian Duff) [0/0/0 37.46], 9th, D & S McFadden’s Florencina R (Catherine Thornton) and 10th, F Kelly’s Achonry Carie (Richard Kerins) [0/0/4 31.09].
Seven/eight year old qualifier [handicap]: 1st Hilton Farm’s Hilton Pacato (Clem McMahon) [0/0 38.86], 2nd Hilton Farm’s Hilton Pacifico (Clem McMahon) [0/0 39.14], 3rd Hilton Farm’s Hilton CMS Paparazzi (Clem McMahon) [0/0 40.38], 4th G Forbes’ Castleforbes Vladimir (Michael Duffy) [0/0 40.72], 5th G Forbes’ Castleforbes Violette (Michael Duffy) [0/0 41.30], 6th K Gallagher, D Walsh and M Melle’s Iceman De Muze (Stacey Babes) [0/0 42.82], 7th M Murphy’s McKinley (Mark Murphy) [0/0 42.91], 8th D Gaw’s Ardnacashel Coovella (Philip Gaw) [ 0/0 43.17], 9th E Doyle Jnr’s Billy Anchor (Edward Doyle) [0/0 43.18] and 10th J O’Neill’s Castlefield Gucci (Phillip Carrey) [0/0 46.00].