JACKILYNN Breslin won her first senior Grand Prix in Cavan last Sunday. Partnering Jim O’Neill’s 12-year-old gelding Castlefield Cass (Cassidee x Puissance), Breslin bested the field of 38 starters to take the win.
Speaking after the class, Breslin said: “We’re delighted with the win. I only began riding him last year and this is our second Grand Prix together. He has had a lot of good experience under his previous rider Jason Foley so he is confident and well balanced which is great, he is naturally quite fast so that helps.
“I think I managed to turn back a little bit tighter to fence four, and again in the turn back to the double, so I think I made up a good bit of time in both of those.
“Up to the age of about 18, I was mainly eventing horses but then got the opportunity to work for Shane Breeen in Hickstead so I began to concentrate on jumpers.
“I got the chance to ride and compete with a lot of really nice young horses and got great training and advice from Shane and Michael Quirke.
“I spent two and a half years there and once I moved home to Ireland, I began to work for Ger (O’Neill).
“I mainly ride for Ger’s dad Jim right now. We have about 16 horses in work and are just two minutes down the road from Ger so we do a lot of work together.
“As well as Cass, I also have Castlefield Miss (Pacino x Puissance) for the Grand Prix classes. She finished in eighth place on Sunday and was also eighth the previous week in JAG. She is not as experienced as Cass so is still a bit green but she is very exciting. She is extremely careful and quick and I’m really looking forward to seeing her progress.
“In addition, I am also lucky enough to have two lovely seven-year-olds Castlefield Bishop (Kannan x Guy Cavalier) and Castlefield Blue (Plot Blue x Puissance), as well as two talented six-year-olds, two five-year-olds and five four-year-olds.
“Our plan is to follow the Spring Tour with the two advanced horses and then hopefully to begin qualifiers with the younger ones.
“I will see how the horse’s form is, but am hoping to be in Broadmeadows this week and then go to Cavan so hopefully we can continue with our good results.”
Some 12 combinations made it into the jump-off against the clock over Stuart Clarke’s challenging track. Two combinations collected a single time fault in round one, while John O’Hagan riding CHS Fortitude opted to withdraw from the timed decider.
A further six had a single fence down for four faults. Two had a fence down and a time fault to finish on a score of five, six had two fences down for eight faults while the remaining nine collected nine faults or more.
Breslin and Castlefield Cass left all the fences intact and stopped the clock at 30.30 seconds in the jump-off which saw them capture the victory by a margin of over two seconds ahead of their closest rivals. Winner at Cavan two weeks earlier, John Floody and Accidental Diamond (Diamond Roller x High Roller) had to settle for the runner-up spot on this occasion when they crossed the finish in 32.80.
Junior rider Timmy Brennan and the eight-year-old GCS Ita (OBOS Quality - MHS Attraction) slotted into third in 33.46.
Savannah Marshall riding her own Dutch-bred 12-year-old mare Flambeau was fourth in 33.73, while Michelle Kenny and Kingdom Come took fifth in 37.07.
Grace McHugh aboard GMH Sporthorses Dutch-bred gelding Berlios Van De Kapel completed the top-six in 37.17.
The next and fifth round of the Spring league takes place tomorrow in Broadmeadows Equestrian Centre, Bullstown, Ashbourne Co Meath.