It was a very worthwhile weekend for John Floody as he took on the trip to Cavan for the final of the Allianz Autumn Grand Prix.
The penultimate round of this year’s Grand Prix took place in Cavan on the 2nd of December, proving to be a great warm up for the final which would be held the following day.
Floody was very focused with Bronson De Reve taking home the much needed 10 points and first place with a double clear in an unbeatable time of 37.69. Maura Counihan and Killerisk Minnie made their way onto the leader board with a time of 39.34 and in second place. Tadgh Kearney pipped third position with Edmond Kearney’s Ballydarton Chipson in a time of 42.27 with no faults.
In fifth place in her debut of this years Grand Prix was Michelle Kenny and RLE Avalon Du Carpont with the last of the double clears in a time of 50.62. Tholm Keane secured sixth place with Future Storm, a combination who also placed in sixth position the following day.
Out of the points but still taking seventh placing, Jonathan Smyth and Charlton Clio were unfortunate to have a pole down in the jump off in a time of 38.87.
After thirteen legs of this tour, the decision of overall leading combination would come down to the final leg.
With five horses in contention, three ridden my Mr. John Floody and two ridden by Jonathan Smyth, all eyes were on these two men coming into the final.
A tricky course, seeing only five of the twenty seven starters managing a first round clear meant that two of the fastest four fault combinations were brought back for the jump off.
John Floody and HTS Blackrock were the second fastest combination with four faults in the first round, sadly adding another two fences down left them in seventh place on the day. Tholm Keane and Future Storm had a great clear first round, however, unlucky in the second round with three poles down meant sixth place in the final.
Paddy O’Donnell and Galway Bay Astrojet were the fastest combination with four faults from the first round, adding another four in the second round and a time of 53.66 left him in fifth place.
Rebecca McGoldrick added four faults to her clear first round and a solid time of 44.33 to secure third position.
John Floody was third last to go in the jump off with Bronson De Reve, winner of the 1.35m the day previous. Bronson De Reve showed pure class under Floody with a foot perfect round to cross the finish in a time of 39.94.
With only two horses to go, both being Jonathan Smyth, the pressure was well and truly on. The first of Smyth’s horses to come into the arena was Ping Ball. A great round but sadly leaving one on the ground in a slower time than Floody at 40.64 meant that Smyth only had one more chance to take the spoils. It all came down to this last round from Jonathan Smyth and Charlton Clio. If they secured a clear round in under 39.94, they would be crowned this year’s Allianz Autumn Grand Prix Overall Leading Combination.
After a foot perfect first round, unfortunately, Smyth had two fences down in the second round in the fastest time of the day of 38.44. The two fences down left this combination in 4th place and denied them the title of the series.
John Floody, master of the the Autumn Grand Prix’s secured his title for the third consecutive year on Eileen Duggan’s Bronson De Reve.