When I was last on we were just on the way to Millstreet. As promised by Noel C the sun was shining when we arrived. We got all the horses settled in and the lorry sorted out as the Ellen would be living in it for the week as well as using as a feed and tack room.
I exercised all the horses there on Tuesday to let them have a look around as for some it was their first trip to the venue and as the arena are so big and open some of the horses thing they are in an all weather field when the first enter them. I was looking after the horses that we had left at home too so I left early to tend to them while Ellen put the horses stabled at the show to bed.
Wednesday started early and made a promising start to the week when I won the 1.10 young riders qualifier on Lady Clover Imp a grey mare that I rode as a 4 and 5 yr old, she loves going against the clock and as long as she leaves all the jumps in place she is very difficult to beat. Rossandro a 7yr old chestnut gelding I have also qualified in this class. Another horse I ride from time to time KEC Ivory Coast also qualified in the 1.20 6 yr old and under class, his owner is one of my amateur pupils so I just take him in the bigger classes to put mileage on him.
After a late night on Wednesday where jumping didn?t finish until after 10.00 Thursday morning was very quick coming around, Zancibar a beautiful 6 yr old I own myself qualified for the Boomerang class, this is a class restricted to 6 and 7 yr old horses and the track size starts at 1.30m so I was delighted with him because this competition will be his first proper test over a big technical track. The class of course is named after Eddie Mackens legendary horse Boomerang on which he won the Hickstead Derby among other big competitions. Rosandro was in flying form again winning the 1.10 6 year old and over qualifier.
On Friday Cyril settled down and got down to work coming 4th in the Six Bar and 8th in the Open Speed class. KEC Freefall a huge 5 year old Aldatus Z gelding I have was 6th in the 1.10m 5 yr old and under class, which myself and his owners were delighted with as he only started jumping this year, he is? such a big horse that he still has another year of filling out to do.
Saturday was a quite enough day with finals on, I jumped Rosandro and Lady in the 1.10m YR rider final where Rosandro had an unlucky 4 faults in the jump off, however Lady did her job and we ended up 4th. Cyril finished 8th in the Derby which is over natural obstacles as well as 1.40 ? 1.50m showjumps. It is a notoriously difficult class often the winner will finish on four faults, this was not the case this year and Lisa O Farrell and her faithful servant The Bodyguard were the only clear and took home the big pot. It?s a class Lisa has been chasing for a few years as she was second two years ago in it.
Poor Ellen thought Sunday would come after a long two weeks but it did and we had lots of finals to jump. The morning started well with Cyril being placed in the 1.35m open in the morning, Rosandro was in winning form again taking the spoils in the 1.10m final which ended up being a lightning quick class, we had to gallop flat out to the last and make sure we met it on a good stride, sometimes I think he is an overgrown 12.2 pony he gets so competitive in a jump off. Freefall was 6th in the 1.10m 5 yr old and under which was amazing as he is so big he just cant make the tight turns other compact horses can, he is quite flashy over a fence too so he wastes a bit of time in the air but I will stand to him when he faces bigger tracks. Zancibar had 4 faults in the Boomerang which I am very happy about as it was a huge, long technical track. It is by far the biggest track he has faced and he just lacked experience of big tracks and has never had to use his scope that much when coming down the last line which was a combination of 1.35m had he just tipped one pole. We will be back to take it on with him next year though as he is only 6.
Kathleen one of my armature pupils who rides KEC Ivory Coast placed 2nd in the Armature final, she was only barely beaten by the last rider. This was almost as good as coming second myself as I found Ivors as he is affectionately known, for her and have been training her on him since the early spring. She is extremely dedicated and is out in yard rain hail or shine to see her two horses she has with me.? All of us were down cheering her on ring side.
Mark O Sullivan won the ?30,000 Grand Prix on Amigo, the time in the jump off was incredibly tight and the fences full height at 1.50m, Mark was lucky to come back with all the fences up and only one time fault on Edward Doyles former mount. I would say a good night was had in Waterford when the eventually got home.
A big thanks must be given to the Duggan family who ran a wonderful show, everyone was in great spirits as the sun was shining and the prize money was good. There were more smiling faces leaving the office on Sunday evening after settling accounts then cross ones which guarantees everyone will be back next year.
We will be taking a much needed weekend off as I must go to look at some horses for customers and give my own horses a little holiday.
Check back next week to see if my buying trip has yielded any new arrivals.