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Gemma Phelan rides to victory in Maryville.

Waterford’s Gemma Phelan recorded her first victory in the TRM/Horse Sport Ireland New Heights Champion Series today (29th July) at Maryville in County Cork. Riding GRC Acapella, she was the fastest of only two double clears, in a time of 43.68 seconds. Bred and owned by Rory Costigan, the eight year-old gelding is by Luidam and out of the Aldato sired, Ballydoolagh Amiee Sunrise. Although only new to this level, this partnership has handled the transition well, having claimed fourth in the very competitive round last week at Tattersalls show.

In total 23 contested this round and from those, six went through to the second round.


The second double clear was delivered by Galway native Jessica Burke and Express Trend (ISH), in a time of 49.43 seconds. Bred and owned by Clare man Liam Nicholas, the gelding is an eight year-old by Future Trend and out of the Condios sired mare, Condios Express.


Dermott Lennon and MJM Pursuit, put in a fault free round first time out, but four faults in the second round in a time of 43.12, proved good enough for third. Bred by Cyril Ferguson, and now owned by MJM (IOM) Holdings Limited, MJM Pursuit is a nine-year-old mare by Aldato (KWPN) and out of a Limmerick mare, Mountain Mist.


Darragh Ryan came forward on zero faults in the first round, but like Lennon, a pole on the floor in the exact same time of 43.12, meant he had to share his placing with the former World Champion. Owned by Alexander Butler, Rincoola Rua is a 11-year-old mare by Diamant de Semilly and out of Rincoola Abu.         


A single time fault the first round allowed Joan Greene and CSF Vinze book a place in the second round, but four faults in a time of 51.39, saw them slot into fifth, when finishing on a total of five faults.


Madeline Roberts Allen, didn't put a foot wrong in the first with Daroento Vdl (KWPN), but eight faults in the second round in a time of 62.50, saw her take sixth. A ten-year-old Cardento and out of Laranda, this was the stallion’s first time to feature in the series.


The Winning owner in this round and receiving a crystal vase and champagne was Rory Costigan, while the winning groom was Vanessa Daly and she picked up the prize of €200 for her hard work.


1st: Gemma Phelan, GRC Acapella (0/0-43.68)

2nd: Jessica Burke, Express Trend (0/0-49.43)

3rd: Dermott Lennon, MJM Pursuit (0/4-43.12)

3rd: Darragh Ryan, Rincoola Rua (0/4-43.12)

5th: Joan Greene, CSF Vinze (1/4-51.39)

6th:Madeline Roberts Allen, Daeoento VDL (0/8-62.50)

7th: Tholm Keane, BMH Big Time (4-78.79)

8th:Gerard O’Neill, Castlefield Cass (4-81.03)

9th: Nicholas Butler, Cornet Son (4-82.27)

10th:Greg Broderick, Ballypatrick Flamenco (4-82.57)

Photocredit: Millstreet Horse Photography