SATURDAY’S 1.25m All Ireland Speed Championship saw a win for Galway-based Joanne Blair as she partnered her own Mon Ami to the fastest clear round from a huge startlist of 106 combinations.

Just 25 of those 106 managed to produce a clear round and Blair was the fastest in 56.71 seconds when 63rd into the arena. Mon Ami is a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Sandro Boy who was bred by Brian McClintock.

Marta Hughes Bravo held the lead for a long time with her mother Marion Hughes’ Miss Belgium III when she clocked 57.99 early in the class, but she ultimately had to settle for second place.

The next two places were also filled by young riders with Tatianna Ormiston and Killorane Lucky Charm coming home clear in 59.67 for third. Matthew Morrison didn’t hang about with the six-year-old Finesse FZ and a clear in 59.80 saw him take fourth place.

Less than a second behind (60.68) and slotting into fifth place was Shane McCloskey and the seven-year-old M C Cavalier Abbey, while Hannah Fleming and Ritter also came home with nothing to add in 63.80 for sixth place.

Another win for Kershaw

Saturday’s action kicked off with the 1.30m Grand Final with 24 lining out in a bid to take home the €1,000 in the Donegal Hotel Group-sponsored class. Nicole Kershaw returned to the winner’s enclosure as she led the victory lap with Lisa Rosbotham’s Miss Valent.

The combination was one of eight through to the jump off and clocked the winning time of 35.70. The 10-year-old Miss Valent is, as her name suggests, by Rosbotham’s stallion Valent and, out of Miss Siss (John Henry), was bred at their Keonan Stables.

Airing on the side of caution, Darren Irwin partnered his own eight-year-old Trebra Premier Douglas to a clear, albeit in a slower time of 38.13 for second place. Just over a second slower and clear was Glen McCullough and Galwaybay Louie in 39.27 for third.

Filling fourth place when clear in 40.73 was JP McGranaghan and KEC Harrison in 40.73, ahead of Kathryn O’Hagen and Waltham Abbey, clear in 43.01. Young rider Timmy Brennan put in a very fast round with GCS Ita (8yo), clocking 38.36, but four faults saw them take sixth place.

Big entry

On Friday, the 1.25m speed class saw 114 competitors go to post and from those just 21 delivered clear rounds. Taking the win when she was the only competitor to come home under the 60-second marker was Suzanne Posnett. Riding her own Billy Flare, she crossed the line in 58.97.

Fractions behind was Pataire Crawford and the eight-year-old Jackstar who clocked 60.04. Jamie Landers slotted into third place with David Hedley’s Genesis, clear in 61.87, ahead of Linda Murphy and Sam Salad who broke the beam in 62.48.

Emily Turkington accounted for fifth place with Eletta Molino, clear in 65.04, while in sixth place was Anna Baynes and Lochan Ramiro, clear in 65.58.