ACTION in the national show jumping classes at Balmoral kicked off last Wednesday with the five-year-old horses taking centre stage in the BlueFrog five-year-old Championship.
Claiming victory when they delivered the fastest of the two double clears in a time of 44.23 was Harry Wood and ESI Indigo. Owned and bred by Ennisnag Stud, the stallion is by Dakar VDL out of the Guidam-sired ESI Paris.
A total of 22 combinations went to post and from those just four booked their place in the second round. Steven Holland and the Smalltown Boy IV also left the poles in their cups in a more cautious time of 46.73 for second place. Home-bred by owner Dolores Hughes, the gelding is by Goodluck VDL x Alanas Jewel.
Italy’s Luca Bortolamei posted a fast time of 45.87 seconds with Carol Gee’s Frequently Fernhill, but four faults meant they had to settle for third place. Bred by Caroline O’Brien, the gelding is by Tolan x Frequently Surprised.
Hannah Patterson also came home with one on the ground aboard Derena Picture This in a time of 48.07 which saw them take fourth place. Owned by Patterson, the mare, who is by Zirocco Blue VDL, was bred by Francis Tubman.
Edward Little failed to book his place in the second round when incurring a single time fault with Martin Wilson’s Tynan Delight (88.45) but slotted into fifth. Bred by Marshall Jenkinston, the mare is by Plot Blue out of Tynan Jewel.
Also falling victim to the clock was Shannon Robinson and JKS Vienna who finished the first round on a single fault (90.22) for sixth place. Owned by Joy Robinson and bred by John Mulvey, the mare is by Ramiro B x Tullibards Lux Sensational.
Fresh from his win in the Gain/Alltech National Grand Prix in Barnadown the weekend before, Athlone’s Francis Derwin added to his record when he took the win in the Spillers six and seven-year-old Championship.
Riding the Carol Gee-owned six-year-old Leonardo, he clocked the winning round in 41.75. Bred by A De Bont, the gelding is by I’m Special De Muze out of the Voltaire-sired Wulfin.
From the 24 starters, 12 booked their place against the clock. Declan McParland took the runner-up spot when he partnered his own and John Clarke’s Corraghoe Red to a clear in 45.81. Bred by Patrick Smith, the seven-year-old mare is by Mermus R x Corraghoe Lioness.
Jason Higgins also came home clear in a time of 46.37 with Heritage MBF for third place. Owned by Higgins and Meabh Bolger, the seven-year-old by Eldorado Van De Zeshoek was bred by Anne Marie O’Gorman.
Michael Roche, riding his own seven-year-old gelding MB Lorenzo R, took fourth place when clear in 48.95. Bred by Michael Beattie, he is by Tolan out of Vienna (Voltaire).
Slotting into fifth place was Barbara Allen and Carnlea Beach; they finished fastest of the four-faulters in a time of 44.60. Bred by Martina McCrory, the seven-year-old mare is by Beach Ball x B Termie R6.
Sixth place was filled by Nicole Kershaw who was riding the Keonan Stables-owned Fury; they picked up four faults in 45.81. This seven-year-old mare was bred by Linzi Johnston and is by Cornet Obolensky out of Avinda Z.