As this very popular Spring Tour heads towards the final Tom Wachman is the man to watch, this young athlete is only stepping up to this level and doing so in style as he claimed his third win of the league at Cavan as they hosted the penultimate leg on Sunday 15th March.
With entries exceeding all expectations both arenas were in full swing from early morning until just before 9.00pm as the competitors were seeking valuable points on the league table to head into the final on 21st March. Stuart Clarke and Alistair Megaghey were the Course Designers for the tour and provided fair but testing tracks throughout the day.
The 128cm CWD Spring Tour attracted sixty five entries from which thirty went through to the jump off. This proved to be electrifying as the young athletes jockeyed for pole position, Rhys Williams and PARC Giggles, fifth to go, set an early target of clear in 33.23 this held the top spot until twenty five riders later and last to go Wachman on PARC Epic rode the round of his life to secure the win, clear in 30.44. This puts Tom and PARC Epic at the top of leader board with 22 points ahead of Max Foley and Sparkel on 11 points, Foley is also on the board with his two other ponies ‘Little Lord Of The Hills’ (4 pts) and ‘Flying Star’ (also 4 pts). Second place went to Rhys Williams and PARC Giggles with Max Foley and Little Lord of The Hills finishing in third clear in 33.40.
In the 138 division there were fifty nine starters with twenty one of these having to learn the jump off course. Eight combinations completed on a zero score with the fastest of these being Dan Geaney on ‘County Express’, this pair broke the beam in 33.63 just relegating Harry Allen and ‘Fountain Ranger’ into runner up spot as they had led for a while with a time of 33.95. Third place went to Kate Derwin and ‘Buttons Two’ as they made their debut into the league for 2015, their time was 34.19. Heading into the final in this category Jack Ryan and ‘My Little Lady’ hold top spot on 12 points ahead of Sean Foley and ‘K C Lady’ 11 points with Geaney and Amy Reape ‘Seapatrick Total Eclipse’ fighting it out for third place on 7 points.
Meanwhile Arena 1 started with Children On Horses where six combinations shared first place with a double clear round scoring 3 valuable points on the leader board, these were Theo Van Cauwenberge on ‘Quantum Quest’, Daniel Fitzgerald ‘Gucci Lady’, Lee Carey ‘Mt Cruise’, Jack Ryan ‘Cavalier Teaca’, Abbie O’Sullivan ‘Charlemagne’ and Jennifer Kuehnle ‘Deita De La Bouverie’. Kuehnle leads this division with 12 points ahead of Fitzgerald and Ryan who share 9 points.
Not only is the CWD Spring Tour coming to its climax but also this was the penultimate trial for those seeking to represent their country in Fontainebleau in a month’s time. Thirty four started in this 148 1.30 viewing class watched carefully by HSI committee Chairman Keith Griffin, Team Coach Tom Slattery and SJI representative Liz Brennan as ten went through to the jump off. Harry Allen clearly stated his case as he took his second trial win with ‘Cassandra Van Het Roelhof’ clear in 34.86, second went to Abbie Sweetnam, another young athlete making a very successful transition into this level, she partnered ‘Dynamite Spartacus’ jumping clear in 35.84. Patrick Hickey finished in third with ‘New Forge Lady’ also clear in 39.14.
Closing the action in this arena was the CWD 148 1.20 Spring Tour where seventy one competitors went to post from which fifteen took part in the jump off. Emerging victorious was Abigail McGeoghan-Santry and ‘Garryndruig Churchill’, this pair producing a clear in 35.49 helping to shorten the long journey back to West Cork. Second place went to Patrick Hickey and ‘Shercock Rose’ clear in 37.61 moving this pair to the top of the leader board with 12 points. Ulster region athlete Tyrone Flanagan put up his first points on the league table when finishing third on ‘Talyas Diamond Link’ clear in 39.37.
The final of this CWD Children on Horses and Pony Spring Tour takes place at Ard Chuain Equestrian Centre amidst the forest at Corballa, Co Sligo and would be well worth a visit to witness the standard of athleticism and talent the young athletes of this country continue to demonstrate.