Barnadown Showjumping proved a happy hunting ground for Captain Geoff Curran when fresh off Saturday’s National Grand Prix win, the army equitation school rider also triumphed in today’s (Sunday) final round of the TRM/ HSI New Heights Champion Series.
Partnered with Ringwood Glen on this occasion, Curran was the fastest of only three double clears to secure the victory in the €12,500 grand finale. By VDL Arkansas, the 14-year-old Ringwood Glen is out of the Pennistone-sired Kilglass Pennistone.
The leading owner prize of the Tipperary Crystal engraved vase and bottle of champagne went to the Minister of Defence while Mark McKenna was awarded the €200 cash groom’s prize.
The leader board remained wide open heading into the final round with points and a half on offer. An even 10 were guaranteed a place in the jump-off, five of which were in contention for the leading rider prize, resulting in a thrilling conclusion to the Series.
Curran however had a decisive win on the day when coming home with nearly two seconds to spare, stopping the clock at 43.93 seconds.
Curran has been active throughout the Series, victorious at Mullingar and Ballinsloe with Ringwood Glen and Hallowberry Cruz while also securing placings with Dollanstown and Shannondale Rahona.
Francis Connors took the runner-up position with Erne Ladygoldilocks delivering a faultless performance in 45.45. Bred by Hugh Fitzpatrick, the 11-year-old mare is by Ard VDL Douglas out of the dam Erne Touch.
Greg Broderick was the only other rider to keep a clean sheet over the shortened and raised course. Riding the 10-year-old Vigaro-sired Duco, Broderick played the tactical game completing in a time of 48.68. Broderick had logged a faster time aboard Chinook, making it home in 42.08, but with four faults to add he had to settle for fifth position.
Susan Fitzpatrick looked set to repeat her Millstreet International Grand Prix success with Fellow Castlefield when recording a time of 41.43 but proved out of luck with a single error relegating the young rider to fourth place in the line-up.
Peter Smyth finalized the top six as the last of the four faulters. Riding the Kroongraaf-sired eight-year-old mare CHS Krooze, Smyth stopped the clock at 42.14.
Curran may have triumphed on the day but the Series was another story with Broderick’s Ballypatrick Stables accounting for a number of prizes.
Broderick’s result with Duco, added to his opening wins in the Meadows and Portmore, ensured he claimed the leading rider prize of €2000 while Ashleigh Skillen was awarded the €1000 leading grooms prize.
Ballypatrick stable rider Darragh Ryan secured the €1000 on offer for the runner-up. Ryan finished just outside the top six placings on Sunday with Rincoola Rua but has been inside the top 10 on five occasions throughout the Series.
The top breeder’s prize of €2500 went to Harold McGahern for Rincoola Rua. The mare is by Diamant de Semilly out of a Cruising-sired dam.
The second top placed Irish-bred prize of €1500 was awarded to the Hugh Fitzpatrick bred Erne Ladygoldilocks (VDL Douglas) while receiving €1000 for Gelvins Touch (Touchdown – Diamond Lad) was John McCann.
TRM/HSI New Heights Champions Series Results – Irish Breeders Classic Barnadown Showjumping
Numbers declared: 44
Number of starters: 39
Through to the second round: 10
Double Clears: 3
Highest Placed Young Rider: Susan Fitzpatrick
Winning Owner: Minister of Defence
Winning Groom: Mark McKenna
1st: Captain Geoff Curran, Ringwood Glen (0/0-43.93)
2nd: Francis Connors, Erne Ladygoldilocks (0/0-45.45)
3rd: Greg Broderick, Duco (0/0-48.68)
4th: Susan Fitzpatrick, Fellow Castlefield (0/4-41.43)
5th: Greg Broderick, Chinook (0/4-42.08)
6th: Peter Smyth, CHS Krooze (0/4-42.14)
7th: Darragh Ryan, Rincoola Rua (4/4-43.02)
8th: Alexander Butler, Dekato (0/8-41.16)
9th: Tholm Keane, BMH Big Time (0/8-45.15)
10th: Ger O’Neill, Castlefield Vegas (0/R)
Overall Leading Rider: Greg Broderick
Overall Runner Up: Darragh Ryan
Breeder Prize 1st: Harold McGahern (Rincoola Rua)
Breeder Prize 2nd: Hugh Fitzpatrick (Erne Ladygoldilocks)
Breeder Prize 3rd: John McCann (Gelvins Touch)
Overall Leading Groom: Ashleigh Skillen