IN a challenging environment to attract sponsors, equestrian bodies relied heavily on support from Horse Sport Ireland throughout the year.
In late August, it was announced that the governing body had partnered with Eventing Ireland as title sponsor of the National Championships scheduled for Lisgarvan House the following month.
The €10,000 sponsorship from HSI went towards prize money and was to be divided between each of the 13 championships. There was additional sponsorship from Connolly’s Red Mills and NutriScience with Treo Eile presenting €200 to the highest-placed thoroughbred in each class.
Clive Corrigan, whose family hosted the championships at their Co Carlow farm, was overwhelmed by the support he received from volunteers. “People came out of holes in the ground to help us,” he commented.
Corrigan was particularly pleased to see good friend Jonny Steele win the NutriScience EI115 (Open) championship with John Reid’s Anglo European Studbook-registered stallion Centre Stage whose stock have impressed on both the national and international circuits this season.
South Co Dublin’s Ian Cassells, who enjoyed an excellent campaign on the home front, claimed two titles at Lisgarvan. He moved up a place from second after dressage to win the Connolly’s Red Mills EI120 championship on Woodendfarm Jack O Dee while he recorded an all-the-way success in the NutriScience EI110 championships with Gerry and Fiona Leahy’s Rosconnell Alto on whom he competed in the CCI2*-L for six-year-olds at the world championships for young event horses at Le Lion D’Angers the following month.
On a retrieval mission having been eliminated at the European Junior championships in Sweden, Co Down’s Tom Rowlatt-McCormick also improved from second to win the HSI EI110 (J) on the home-bred Mon Ami Alme, while Ciara O’Connor completed on her dressage score to claim the HSI EI110 (P) championship with the Connemara pony stallion Agharanny Minstrel.
There were only three starters in the HSI EI110 for Amateur riders where Tori Dixon recorded a runaway victory on Mawillan with whom, two weeks later, she beat Cassells and Rosconnell Alto into second in the CCI2*-L at Millstreet.
At EI100 level, the titles were won by Katy Anchell on Skylow (EI Amateur), Katie Gibbons with Robins Fairy Tale (EI Pony), Bryan Bourke riding Killea Quality Cruise (EI Junior) and Amanda Goldsbury with Comberton Coda (National).
The three EI90 championships ran under the Eventing Ireland banner and here the winners were Aoife Hanratty on Newtowns Silver Bobby (Amateur), Laura Birley with Belline Rock Trend (National) and Skyla Nally riding Mayfield Boy (Pony).
The 2022 National Championships have been assigned the dates of September 10th and 11th but, at time of writing, no venue had been confirmed.