THE Kildare Branch of the Irish Pony Club won five of the 12 classes they staged at their IPC/Connolly’s Red Mills eventing qualifier on Sunday at Punchestown.

Eight combinations lined-out in the Open where, despite lowering a pole and picking up 1.2 cross-country time penalties, the dressage winner, Ella Butler, got the hosts off to an excellent start when topping the final leaderboard with the 13-year-old skewbald gelding Lenovo on whom she was fifth in an EI100 (J) at Ballindenisk (2) earlier in the month.

Anna Nangle recorded her second win in the series when one of only two riders to complete on their dressage score in Section A of the Intermediate where there were 19 runners. Nangle claimed the honours for Kildare with the Connemara gelding Blackwoodland Breeze, the 12-year-old Glencarrig Prince grey on whom she won once and was placed twice in three EI100 (P) outings this term.

Also scoring for the hosts on Sunday were Lucy Martin and the 16-year-old grey gelding Blackrose Thunder in Section A of the Intermediate; the Crecora winners, Phonsie Wardell and the seven-year-old bay mare Ballybrit Kate in Section B of the Juniors; and Hogan Byrne with the 18-year-old skewbald gelding Doonkinane Splash in Section B of the Under 12s.

Fitzgerald on a roll

The Shillelagh’s Jane Fitzgerald recorded her third Intro Intermediate victory of the campaign on the 11-year-old Silver Banner mare Broomfield Banner on whom she had also been successful this year under Eventing Ireland rules.

The other three Junior winners at Punchestown were the Killinicks’ Kate Walsh and Rathmanna Check (Section A), Newcastle Lyons’s Hazel Gleeson riding Remondi Bobtail (Section C) and the Killinicks’ Keira Crowther with Tomoka Spots (Section D). Wicklow’s Abigail Galligan landed the Junior Starter on Little Lady Lucy, North Kilkenny’s Mia Perry quickly followed up her Sleedagh win on Mulvey’s Marble in Section A of the Under 12s while Section C was won by Waterford’s Lillymai Walsh on Bawnabraher Buachaill.

The United and Carbery Branches combined to run Sunday’s Connolly’s Red Mills eventing qualifier at Ballindenisk where they won four of the day’s seven classes – a brace apiece.

The United struck first in the Open where Alana-Rose Steele, who was fastest across the country, added six time penalties on this phase to her winning dressage score of 29.95 with MBF Lord Lancer Bobbie. Steele and this six-year-old Fly Away Ali gelding have been placed in each of their four starts in EI company this season, most recently finishing fourth in an EI100 (J) class at Ballindenisk earlier this month.

The United double came up in Section B of the Junior class thanks to the efforts of Ellen Thompson who completed on her winning flatwork mark with the Connemara mare Hazy Bluebell, a seven-year-old daughter of Plume de Kezeg.

The Carberys’ double was completed by the Fleming Hand sisters, Leah and Emily. The former completed on her dressage score to land Section A of the Junior competition with the 17-year-old skewbald gelding My Romany Knight while Emily’s win came in the Novice Junior where she recorded the only double clear on board Double Trouble.

The Muskerrys’ Nicola Kiernan won the Intermediate with the 13-year-old Warrenstown You 2 gelding Mr Obrien Two You, The Kingdom’s Lauramai Leahy partnered the 15-year-old grey gelding Killoscully Spirit to victory in the Intro/Novice Intermediate and Co Limerick’s Kate Murphy topped the final leaderboard in the Under 12s’ competition with the former Grade A pony, No Dout About It, an 18-year-old skewbald mare.

The main local sponsor for this event was Mervue Laboratories while there was a prize for the best turned-out competitor in each class sponsored by East Cork Oil and Ryall O’Mahony.