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** GAIN | Alltech National Grand Prix Connell Hill Equestrian Centre **

Victory in the inaugural National Grand Prix in Connellhill went to Donegal’s Kenneth Graham as he lodged the winning round in the ninth leg of the GAIN Alltech National Grand Prix on Saturday (26th June). Riding his own mare, Beir Bua, he was the fastest of just two double clears in a time of 36.49 in the Earthtec Ltd Sponsored class.

Owned by Graham and bred by the late Harold McGahern, the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse is by Lancelot and out of the Cruising sired dam, Rincoola Bua. This combination has been in the winnings of late, taking third place in the HSI Premier Grand Prix in the Portmore Spring Championships in May.

From the original starters, five booked their place against the clock and battled it out for the £4,000 on offer.

The second clear was delivered by Galway rider Sven Hadley, who was riding his own Uidam and crossed the line in a time of 37.11. This combination has been in the winnings of late in the regional leagues and also took a win and two placings in Mullingar CSI 2* international show.

John McLaughlin incurred two-time faults with his own Lincourth Luidam, crossing the line in 53.91 seconds for third place.

Jonathan Smyth and Mulvin Lights out, had his foot to the floor and he crossed the line carrying four faults in 37.85 to fill fourth place.

Sven Hadley took another place in the line-up with Top Spin when he finished on four faults in 40.75 seconds.

Fastest of the four faulters in the first round was Edward Little, who was riding the Heather Crawford owned HSC Sunny Jim.

Just over the halfway point of the series, it is still all to play for in the battle for the title. Currently on top of the leaderboard Tim MacDonagh and Hollypark Galloway on 21 points. There is very

little between the next two placings as Dean Rogan and De L’Oiseliere have accumulated 19

points, ahead of John Floody and Accidental Diamond on 16 points. Both MacDonagh and

Floody had both recorded wins, whereas Rogan had been placed in three of the five rounds.