A hectic day of action in the H.S.I/Connolly’s RED MILLS Spring Tour, that saw two rounds run simultaneously north and south of the border, ended with Galway’s Thomas O Brien moving to the top of the league table following victory at Maryville in Cork, while Peter Smyth grabbed the winners prize at Kernan Equestrian Centre in Co Armagh.
With two Spring Tour wins already this year at Kildare International and Ballinamona, Thomas O’ Brien began the weekend two points behind league leader Daniel Coyle and a brilliant jump-off win aboard Hector Van D'Abdijhoeve (Cabrio Van De Heffinck x Utrillo Van De Heffinck) at Maryville, moved O’Brien to the top of the table.
Afterwards Thomas O Brien spoke about the Raymond Keane owned grey stallion Hector Van D'Abdijhoeve who looks a real prospect for the future,
“I am delighted with the horse, he is just a seven year old and this is his first time jumping at this level. I think allot of him, he was second in the six year old championship at the RDS last year and he was placed in a few rounds of the Irish Sport Horse Studbook Series also”.
“It is nice to be on top of the table, I will head to Barnadown next week, but I am not sure yet which horses I will take, it is still very early in the season and I need to keep horses fresh for the year ahead”.
From the 31 starters, 10 made it into the jump-off over Peter Gillespie’s course and at the finish the top three places in the Maryville Equestrian Centre sponsored competition were extremely tight, with less than three tenths of a second separating them.
Thomas O Brien’s winning clear in 32.49 seconds was just seven hundredths of a second quicker than runner up Alan O Regan from Co Cork, who produced an excellent round with the nine year old Electric Feel (Harlequin Du Carel x Crusing, Former European pony gold medallist Kellie Allen took third place with Cara Touche (Touchdown x Flagmount Diamond), stopping the clock clear in 32.78 seconds.
Kilkenny’s Vincent Byrne was also clear in the jump off with the Heartbreaker stallion Hannibal V Overis Z to take fourth place, while Co Clare’s Tom Foley recorded the fastest time of the clock round with Paddy Fly (29.37) but one fence down saw them take fifth, ahead of Liam O Meara and Mr Coolcaum in sixth.
Peter Smyth And Victoria Rose Win Kernan Equestrian Centre Round of the H.S.I/Connolly’s RED MILLS Spring Tour
Meanwhile north of the border, just as the prize giving was taking place at Maryville, the jump-off was getting underway at Kernan Equestrian Centre in Co Armagh with former National Grand Prix and Speed champion Peter Smyth grabbing a hard fought victory with Victoria Rose.
Glencarron Nursing Home sponsored the competition, with 10 of the 38 starters making it through to the second round. Peter Smyth and the eleven year old mare Victoria Rose (Limmerick x Edmund Burke) are already multiple grand prix winners and they showed their class with a double clear round over Tom Holden’s course to take victory in 30.03 seconds, just ahead of Alexander Butler and Vimminka (Nabab de Reve x Topas) who were just a fraction slower (30.16) to take second place.
Reigning Spring Tour champion Daniel Coyle held the league lead heading into the weekends action and as news filtered through to the northern venue that Tomas O Brien had won at Maryville, Coyle knew he needed a good result to maintain his push for a third Spring Tour title. A clear round in 31.10 seconds with Linzi Johnstons Uptown Girl, saw Daniel Coyle take third place at Kernan Equestrian Centre and he also had the satisfaction of finishing ahead of older brother Jordan Coyle, who also produced an excellent performance to finish fourth with VDL Cassius ((Ard VDL Douglas x Lord Noble).
Alexander Butler grabbed another slice of the €2,500 prize fund on offer when taking fifth place with Monastery Stud More Pleasure (Stolzonberg x For Pleasure), while young rider Emily Turkington completed the top six with Willem ((Corland x Corofino), their time of 32.18 seconds was just one hundredth of a second behind fifth placed Alexander Butler.
The Horse Sport Ireland/Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour, which is also supported by the Show Jumpers Club, ShowjumpingIreland, Castlefield Sport Horses, Thermatex, Platinum by Harry Dabbs, Darragh Equestrian Solutions, and Jumpinaction.net, now moves to Barnadown Stud in Co Wexford for the twelfth round of the series on Sunday (April 6th), with Thomas O Brien now holding a one point advantage at the top of the table over second placed Daniel Coyle while Conor McEneaney remains in third on 37 points.
HSI/ Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour - Top Five following rounds 10 and 11 at Maryville and Kernan Equestrian Centre
Thomas O'Brien 52 Points
Daniel Coyle 51
Conor Mc Eneaney 37
Liam O'Meara 29
James Hogg 27
Result - H.S.I/Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour – Maryville Equestrian Centre Co Cork - Sunday 30/03/2014 - Sponsored by Maryville Equestrian Centre
1st Thomas O Brien/Hector Van D'Abdijhoeve 0/0 32.49
2nd Alan O Regan/Electric Feel 0/0 32.56
3rd Kellie Allen/Cara Touche 0/0 32.78
4th Vincent Byrne/Hannibal V Overis Z 0/0 34.99
5th Tom Foley/Paddy Fly 0/4 29.37
6th Liam O Meara/Mr Coolcaum 0/4 33.24
7th Maura Counihan/Killerisk Minnie 0/4 41.22
8th Noelle Barry/Ballyduffbeg Star 0/12 38.92
9th Vickie Anderson/Zack 4/ 82.70
10th Paddy O Donnell/Rineen Supreme 4/ 84.57
8 into Jump-Off
Winning Owner - Raymond Keane
Highest Placed Young Rider - Kellie Allen
Best Turned Out - Celine Dion (Shane Dalton)
Result - H.S.I/Connolly's RED MILLS Spring Tour – Kernan Equestrian Centre Sunday 30/03/2014 - Sponsored by Glencarron Nursing Home
1st Peter Smyth/Victoria Rose 0/0 30.03
2nd Alexander Butler/Vimminka 0/0 30.16
3rd Daniel Coyle/Uptown Girl 0/0 31.10
4th Jordan Coyle/VDL Cassius 0/0 31.43
5th Alexander Butler/Monastery Stud More Pleasure 0/0 32.17
6th Emily Turkington/Willem 0/0 32.18
7th Kelda Morgan/George 0/4 32.88
8th Emmet Mc Court/Money Train 0/4 33.57
9th Gerard Clarke/Rafiki 0/4 41.62
10th Gerard Clarke/Kings Best 0/11 49.85
10 Into Jump-off
Winning Owner - James Mc Kean
Highest Placed Young Rider - Daniel Coyle
Best Turned Out - Mise Le Meas (John Floody)