FETHARD’s Katie Wyse (17), who had a huge amount of success with the 12hh pony All That Jazz, revealed how she got the ride on Leave It To You, TopSpec supreme champion at last week’s Irish Pony Society’s Summer Championships in Castle Irvine, Necarne, and tells us a bit about herself.

“I have watched Bart for a couple of years now and have always been in awe of him; first back in 2019, when he was champion riding horse at the RDS, and again this year in Balmoral where he won the same title with Rachel Moore. When we received a call saying they were looking for a jockey to take the reins in show hunter classes and that my name had been recommended, I most definitely jumped at the chance.

“My first ride on him was at the Royal Highland in the 153cms show hunter pony Horse Of the Year Show qualifier where we placed a very third in a strong class. The previous day he had qualified for HOYS in the riding horse class with Rachel. I then rode him at Tattersalls, where we won our show hunter class, and our next outing was the IPS Championships.

“Although he can be a little quirky, Bart is a dream to ride once he has had enough work. In the supreme, I knew the arena was very tight but I had to leave everything out there to give us our best chance.

“I have read many articles by the English judges who came over for the show and knew between them they liked a good walk, nice extension and something a bit different. Bart didn’t miss a beat as I rode with one hand, asked him for a three loop canter serpentine and dropped my reins head on with the judges at the end of my show.

“When I was announced as the winner, I was so delighted for all of Team Torrens who have been so helpful and supportive while I have been riding him and I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me. I will certainly be watching Bart and Rachel at the RDS and hopefully at HOYS. Rachel is one of the very best in the game and I love to watch and learn from her.

“I will be at the RDS also with my Connemara pony Illaunurra Bay, aka Cruz. We have qualified for Wednesday’s Connemara performance hunter championship after winning our section in Scarteen with the top marks of the day. We will also compete in the 153cms working hunter class on Saturday.

“We got Cruz from Gaby Horsley in the UK at the end of 2019 although he was bred in Galway by Pat O’Neill. He wasn’t terribly long broken or cut and I have brought him on myself. Lockdown was probably the best thing to happen for us as we got to know each other and find the right buttons. Last year was his novice show season but he surprised us all by qualifying for HOYS when winning his qualifier at The North of England show.

“We are still both learning all the time and, although he has a brilliant record to date, we had to remind ourselves that he is still inexperienced in some areas as when heading into the Dublin qualifiers and their complex cross-country combinations.

“However, he never batted an eyelid or let us down; he’s as brave as a lion and has a heart of gold.

“He will, most certainly, stand at the top of line-ups on the big days, and, although I dream of it being with me, if it’s with someone else down the road I will still be his number one supporter. He’s my pony of a lifetime.

“I have been around horses my whole life and although I plan to go to college I hope they are always a part of it. For the last two winters, I have worked riding out point-to-pointers for Aidan Kennedy at Rectory stables and I worked the stud season this year in a foaling unit in Coolmore. I am going into my Leaving Cert year at Loreto, Clonmel.”

Joint winners

Wyse competed Illaunurra Bay in last week’s Tom Robinson Gold Cup (dressage, working hunter and show jumping) where he was the overall winner in dressage.

When the working hunter scores were collated, there were joint winners in Carol Coad’s Frosthill Jackaroo (Isla Coad) and Marjorie Hardiman’s Creganna Kerfuffle (Lara Field) while Kirsty Greene topped the final figures in the show jumping phase with her mother Clare’s Horse and Jockey Clasper.

After more number crunching, the overall winner was announced as the Connemara mare Creganna Kerfuffle who was ridden by the owner’s daughter, Lara Field. The seven-year-old grey by Silver Shadow was bred by Hardiman out of the Tulira Robuck mare Prospect Suzy who is dam also of the Hardiman/Field family’s wonderful Creganna Dandini (by Cashelbay Prince).

Covid restrictions saw the Oranmore family stay closer to home over the past couple of years when they competed more regularly on the local show jumping circuit. Between July 2020 and the same month this year, Lara Field and Creganna Kerfuffle amassed 130 Show Jumping Ireland points.