VETERAN and young horses, plus senior riders, get the chance to compete against their peers each year at the AIRC National Festival with the equine youngsters first to be judged in The Irish Field dressage section last Saturday.

Successful for Killcarrick on the excellent score of 73.18% was the Claire Maher-owned and ridden Gransha Midnight Magic who finished well clear of the Brooke Lodge combination of Angela McCann and Cloonagh Cardo (68.18) and Clonshire’s Emily Vial and Harlequin Moment (67.50).

The winner, a five-year-old Irish Draught mare by Lionwood Kinsales Lad, was bred in Co Down by Helen Stewart out of the Hillviewfarm Milligan mare Minita Jezebel.

A quartet of well-known horses and riders filled the top four places in Sunday’s veteran horse class where the highest score of 77.29 was achieved by Twinfort’s Owen Smyth riding the 18-year-old Hanoverian gelding Dark Site on whom he also won that day’s RCE class in the long arena.

He was followed by Tara Hill’s Edel King and her 22-year-old Hanoverian gelding Don Quixote (73.13), Ashbrook’s Anne O’Dowd with her 19-year-old bay mare FCD Touch Of Class (72.92) and Friary’s Jackie Dow and her very distinctive Arab, Juno Tintreach (71.25), a 20-year-old grey gelding by Prince Of Lightning.

Dow and Juno Tintreach (70.23) also finished fourth for Friary in the seniors’ dressage won by Kerry’s Carolann Sweeney O’Sullivan on board her 16-year-old piebald mare Jump On Jules (74.55). The pair were split by Kerry’s Mary Leahy with her 19-year-old black gelding Gooseberry Hill Billy (73.64) and Fingal’s Mary Hagan riding Sweetwell (73.64). The last-named, a 16-year-old bay with no recorded breeding, won the hunter mare class on Saturday.