The SJI Premier Series got underway today with Sligo’s Kevin Gallagher and DHF Lift Off claiming the opening round at Barnadown today, and with it they took home the share of the €15,000 on offer. Not content with the win, Gallagher also took the runner-up spot with the GBBS Int LTD, Baloys PS.
The SJI Premier Series is foremost on riders minds, not only the lucrative prize money at each round, but also because of the places up for grabs for the two top finishers in the league to the International Classes at Dublin Horse Show. In 2021,
Gallagher and the Irish Sport Horse Ballypatrick Flamenco were crowned the Irish National Showjumping Champions after winning the Premier Series. That same year they also won the opening round at Barnadown. Owned by GBBS Int LTD and bred by Stephen Keane, DHF Lift Off is a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Harlequin Du Carel and out of the Mr Clover sired dam, Missy K. This combination has got plenty of practice at this level as they spent the start of the year competing in Spain at Vejer de la Frontera CSI4*. There was a great turnout for the first round with 43 combinations going to post, and from those six booked their place against the clock.
In the end, just three double clears were delivered with very little standing between the placings. Gallagher partnered DHF Lift Off to a clear in 37.16 and he was fractionally behind with his second mount, Baloys PS in a time of 37.90. Owned by GBBS Int LTD and bred by Gestut Lewitz, Baloys PS is an eight-year-old gelding by Baloubet De Rouet and is out of the Centadel sired dam, Baloubet De Rouet. This combination competed in Vejer de la Frontera CSI4* and clocked up some impressive results, which included second and fifth in a 1.40m, sixth in the 1.45m.
Winner of the GAIN Alltech National Grand Prix in Portmore, Dermott Lennon added to his record when he delivered the final double clear with Anthem In My Heart in a time of 37.94 for third. Owned by Lennon, Anthem In my Heart is a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding. The combination have only recently returned from Europe from a successful tour in Vejer de la Frontera CSI4*. Their good results include second and third place in a 1.40m two phase and fourth in a 1.45m Table A.
Junior rider, James Brennan put in a gallant attempt with MHS Jersey Girl, but with a pole on the ground in a time of 37.81, saw him take fourth place. Owned by and bred by Sinead Brennan, MHS Jersey Girl is an 12- year-old mare by Cardento out of the Quidam Junior 1 sired dam MHS Prime Time. MHS Jersey Girl is no stranger to this level of competition having won the HSI Premier Series Final in the Breeders Classic at Barnadown last year with Jason Foley.
Placed third in the GAIN Alltech Grand Prix the day before, eventer Cathal Daniels was back in the line-up, this time claiming fifth place with Cappog Tom, when they finished on four faults in a time of 40.06. The 12-year-old gelding was bred by Tommy Reilly and is by Camiro De Haar Z and out of Cornacassa Ferro.
Luke Campbell completed the top six, when he finished on 12 faults aboard Derryinver Truffle in a time of 41.28. Owned by David Campbell and bred by Tom and Linda Magee, the 11-year-old gelding is by Tornesch and out of the Cruising sired dam, Icing.