It’s been a busy few weeks for pony riders as they went from the SJI Pony Championships in Mullingar to the National Equestrian Championships in the RDS. Despite a busy schedule, pony riders were ready for the challenge ahead as they entered the main arena in the RDS on Friday morning to contest the Horse Sport Ireland sponsored championships.
This year it was 148cm six/seven-year-old ponies who were first to battle it out. In total 24 combinations lined out to take on the Alan Wade designed course and in the end, three six year-olds and three seven were seven-year-olds proceeded to the timed round. First to go, in the second round, Anna White and the Fergal White owned Tankardstown Dreamer (6yo) faulted at the RDS oxer and crossed the line in 37.07, for eventual fifth place. Next to go, Coen Williams crossed the line carrying eight faults with the Sheila Aylward’s Coppenagh Gatsby in a time of 37.48, which would later see him slot into sixth place. Cavan’s Camryn Clarke put in a foot perfect round aboard On My (6yo) in a time of 38.32 to take the lead. First to go in the seven-year-old division, Sadhbh Cuffe set off strong with Dunard Cavalexa, but four faults in a time of 36.01 saw her take eventual fourth. Cantering in a determined pace, Kate Lynch wasted no time with CQS Quality Cagney and a series of tight lines saw her clock the winning time of 37.24 and as a result, Camryn Clarke and Oh My had to settle for second place last to go, Mathhew Farrell and Maifield Another Sunrise, proved out of luck when he faulted at the double and a time of 35.61 for third place.
The 148cm division was next up to contest their championship and with riders well up for the challenge, nine of the 28 booked their place against the clock. Kian Dore and Sparkling Lackaghmore Joey (8 YO) answered all the questions, but proved out of luck in the second round as he came home with eight faults.
Kilkenny’s Chloe Hughes Kennedy set off in a determined pace aboard Jean Finney’s Still got me, but four faults and her time of 32.10, would prove good enough for eventual fourth. Reserve 148cm Champion at the SJI Championships, Sarah Fitzgerald took to the course with Moore’s Pride and delivered the first double clear in 37.80. James Brennan executed a series of tight lines with eight year-old MHS Glow, but four faults at the last in a time in 34.78 saw would see him take fifth place. Kilkenny’s Emily Moloney wasted no time with Castlehill Titan and a clear in 37.94 seconds, would later see her take third place. James Derwin had his eye on the win as he took to the course with Rincoola Babog, but four faults in 37.38 meant a sixth place for him. All eyes were on Martha Hughes Bravo and HHS Mustang Sally and she didn’t disappoint as she clocked the winning time of 36.08 and in the process demoted Fitzgerald into second.
In the 138cm Championship, 24 combinations with five of those booking their place against the clock. Senan Reape and Small Titan delivered the first clear and went on to deliver another clear against the clock in 35.95.
Iseult Fleming set off strong with Coppenagh Celtic Rebel and a series of tight lines matched with a strong gallop to the last saw her set the winning time of championship in 35.53.
Conor Sweeney wasted no time with Sakama Chezni and a series of tight turns saw him deliver a clear in 39.32 saw him take fourth place
Lauren Adams put in a gallant attempt with Riot Del Pegulil, and crossed the line in 35.62, which saw her finish just ahead of Reape (Small Titan) in second place.
Last to go, James Derwin proved out of luck when he crossed the line carry eight faults in 46.05 for fifth place. Fastest of the four faulters in the first round and taking sixth place was Charlotte McCracken and Drumcaughey Diamond.
It has been a great few weeks for Carlow’ Ruben Foley and he added another title to his record as he took the 128cm championship title in the RDS. Foley who is in his last year in the 128cm was also crowned SJI National Champion. As expected it was an exciting class, with plenty of support from spectators. Of the 28 combinations, ten booked their place against the clock.
The first double clear was delivered by Zara Sharkey and Lisboy Black Magic in a time of 40.82 for eventual fourth. Ruben Foley meant business as he took it on with The Silver Legend. A series of tight turns, saw him clocked the winning time of 32.04. Juliette McIntosh also kept it tight aboard Hollycreek Oran Splendour, but her time of 35.21 proved good enough for second place. Charlie Flynn set off in a blistering pace but a clear in 35.95 saw him take third place. Pippa Carroll and the Nut Cracker crossed the line carrying four faults in a time of 38.70 for fifth, ahead of Cian McMunn and Micky Bo who had four faults in a time of 40.32.