The Showjumping Ireland Autumn Grand Prix came to a conclusion last night (20th December) with County Down rider John McEntee and Hip Girl taking the 2020 title and taking home the league prize of €2,500. Along with the overall prize fund, he also won a young rider’s bursary to the value of €500, kindly sponsored by the SJI Young Riders Committee. Taking the runner-up prize in the league was Philip Gaw and Ardnacashel Coovella, while in third was young rider Brendan Murphy and Immun Ocean Ogara.
Owned by Stephex Stables, Hip Girl is a an 11-year-old Swedish bred mare, by Hip Hop and out of the Carthago sired dam, Mysterious Girl 2.
Standings going into the final weekend
McEntee and Hip Girl had gone into the final weekend of jumping in a strong position on 56 points, which was 20 points ahead of his closest rival, Philip Gaw and Ardnacashel Coovella. Although McEntee could have been beaten, it would have meant that Gaw needed to win both rounds and collect 22 points, and along with that for McEntee not to have been placed in either of the two rounds. In the end, with all three combinations failing to collect points Gaw points stood and as a result saw him take the runner-up place in the league and collected €1,750 for his efforts.
* Sunday 1.40m HSI Autumn Development Series *
Taking the win on Sunday in the 1.40m HSI Autumn Development Series was Kate Derwin and Deep Pockets. Last to go, Derwin negotiated a series of tight lines, along with a daring turn to the penultimate oxer and then a good pace to the final fence saw her clock 40.89 to claim the winners share of the €6,000 on offer.
Owned by Jim Derwin and bred by Charles Pidgeon from Westmeath, Deep Pockets is an 11-year-old gelding, by O.B.O.S Quality 004 and out of the Cruising sired dam, Simple Chic. This was the second time for this combination to take a round of this series in Cavan, having also claimed victory in the September.
First to go, Brendan Murphy set the bar high with the Sandra Duffy owned Ardnacashel Coovella, but a clear in 42.50 saw him take second place. Murphy didn’t go home to disappointed as he also took over third in the league with Immun Ocean Ogara.
Winner of the Cavan International Grand Prix in 2015, Canada’s Rebecca McGoldrick was back in the line-up in Cavan, claiming third, when she delivered a clear with her own Fleur IV in 43.01.
Fellow lady rider, Jenny Rankin took fourth place with the Barry O’ Connor owned Gerona, when she also answered all the questions in a time of 45.45.
An impressive performance by Clem McMahon on the Gary McNamara’s owned seven-year-old Lega land Team Spirit, saw them deliver a clear in 49.90 for fifth place.
Accounting for sixth place was Mikey Pender and the Miguel Bravo owned, Casanova Van Overis Z. The pairing looked to be up on target, but four faults at the C element of the HSI double meant he finished as the fastest of the four faulters.
* Saturday 1.35m SJI Autumn Grand Prix *
On Saturday, it was County Mayo rider Cian Goggins that took the win in the €2,000 Jim Derwin Bloodstock Sponsored class. Riding Valtor De Blagny, he was fastest of the 20 double clears in a time of 32.23 seconds. Owned by Moira Forbes, the 11-year-old French bred gelding is by Limbo and out of the Fetiche Du Pas sired dam, Opale De Blagny. The gelding is new to Goggins having previously been campaigned by Jamie Landers up to Grand Prix level. Goggins took over the ride less than a year ago and has been jumping at 1.40m.
Placed fourth in the last 1.35m Grand Prix in Cavan in early December, John Floody and the Denyse Hughes owned Ballyknock Diamond improved on their performance, this time claiming the runner-up spot, when clocking 34.83 seconds.
Winner of the last round in Cavan, Paul Beecher and Danqu was back in the ribbons, taking third, when they answered all the questions in a time of 35.52 seconds.
A clear in a time of 36.73 ensured Shannon Robinson and Joy Robinson’s Chardonnay fourth place.
John Floody took another share of the of the prize fund, when he kept all the poles in place aboard the Kathryn Magennis eight-year-old Diamond Roller sired gelding, Accidental Diamond. The pairing was less than a second behind their closest rivel, when clocking 37.26, for fifth place.
Young rider, Patrick Hickey completed the top six line-up with his own seven-year-old GRS Lady Amaro, when crossing the line in a time of 37.57.