Writes Brian Hennessy
The fifth round of the Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour at Killossery Lodge Stud, Swords Co Dublin, produced another thrilling encounter, with Co Armagh’s Conor McEneaney coming out on top with Peter McEneaney’s Moonlite Cavalier.
Speaking afterwards, Conor McEneaney who is just eighteen years old, said,
“I am really delighted, this is my first Grand Prix win, I tried to do enough to put some pressure on Daniel who was last to jump. Moonlite Cavalier is a black stallion by Cavalier Royale out of a mare called Unbelieveable and he is just an eight year old. I have had him for a few years now and he has been going really well for me, I did some of the young rider classes with him over the past few years and he has now jumped four clear rounds in a row in the Spring Tour”.
When asked what his plans are for the remainder of the league he said, “I will go to Portmore next and then to Cavan, I probably won’t go to the round in Waterford at Balinamona, it’s a bit far for me, but I will have to follow Daniel (Coyle) wherever he goes. I would really like to thank all the league sponsors and today's sponsors at Killossey, K&K Produce and also my trainer Johnny O Connell who has been a great help to me.
From the thirty-two starters, thirteen clears went into the jump-off to battle for the €2,500 on offer from K&K Produce, with the top three on the Spring Tour league table all safely through to round two.
Mayo young rider Cormac Hanley held the early lead after an excellent clear with Captain Caruso (Captain Clover x Caruso) and their time of 41.85 seconds would eventually see them finish in sixth. James Hogg then went into pole position with Interpreter (Crusing x Diamond Rock), stopping the clock clear in exactly 39 seconds, a time good enough to take third place at the end. Galway’s Thomas O Brien was the league leader heading into the Killossery leg, however he picked up 4 faults against the clock with Amaretto in a fast time of 37.64 and would have to settle for seventh on this occasion.
Daniel Coyle was double handed in the jump off and posted a steady clear (40.81) with Isobelle Argentina (Argentinus x Master Imp), taking fourth place, safe in the knowledge that he would still have a chance to go quicker later on with Uptown Girl.
Derek McConnell and the ever consistent Oak Park Clover produced another clear (41.53) to take fifth before Dubliner Zoe McElligott set the competition alight, with a brilliant clear round riding the Tara Clover gelding Knockatee Lad, a time of 38.58 putting them into the lead.
Conor McEneaney then went even quicker with Moonlite Cavalier knocking over a second off the target time, however Daniel Coyle was still left to jump with the queen of speed Uptown Girl.
Coyle looked set for what would have been his third win in the Spring Tour this season, well up on the clock as he approached the last fence before the pole dropped handing victory to Conor McEneaney and leaving Zoe McElligott as runner up.
Daniel Coyle’s time of 35.68 seconds was comfortably the fastest of the four faulters leaving Uptown Girl in seventh place at Killossery.
Conor McEneany now moves to the top of the league table on 29 points with Daniel Coyle in second on 26 and Thomas O Brien close behind in third on 24 points.
This could all change next weekend however, as the HSI/ Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour will host a triple bill of action over the next eight days.
First up riders will travel to Portmore Equestrian Centre on Saturday for the sixth round of the series, before the action heads west to Claremorris Equestrian Centre on Sunday. Round eight of the series will see Balinamona Equestrian Centre just outside Waterford City, hosting its first ever Spring Tour Grand Prix on St Patricks Day next Monday.
The Horse Sport Ireland/Connollys RED MILLS Spring Tour, is also supported by the Show Jumpers Club, ShowjumpingIreland, Castlefield Sport Horses, Thermatex, Platinum by Harry Dabbs, Darragh Equestrian Solutions, and Jumpinaction.net.
RESULT - HSI/ Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour – Killossery Lodge – Sponsored by K&K Produce
1st Conor McEneaney/Moonlite Cavalier 0/0 37.53,
2nd Zoe McElligott/Knockatee Lad 0/0 38.58
3rd James Hogg/Interpreter 0/0 39.00
4th Daniel Coyle/Isobelle Argentina 0/0 40.81
5th Derek McConnell/Oak Park Clover 0/0 41.53
6th Cormac Hanley/Captain Caruso 0/0 41.85
7th Daniel Coyle/Uptown Girl 0/4 35.68
8th Thomas O Brien/Amaretto 0/4 37.64
9th Vickie Anderson/Zack 0/4 42.56
10th Sophie Dalm/Vaillant S 0/4 44.84
13 into jump -off
Best Turned Out – Captain Caruso –Cormac Hanley
Leading Young Rider – Conor McEneaney
Top 7/8 year old Moonlite Cavalier