Donaghy puts in strong bid for repeat success at the RDS

Northern Image lands two-year-old title

Sarah O’Donnell, Gowran, Co Kilkenny, with her pony Mister Boots. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sarah O’Donnell, Gowran, Co Kilkenny, with her pony Mister Boots. Photograph: Eric Luke


Banbridge owner John Donaghy, who exhibited the 2011 Dublin youngstock champion Caesars Palace, put in a strong bid yesterday for a repeat success when his thoroughbred gelding Northern Image landed the two-year-old title.

Shown by Shirley Hurst, the bay gelding by Stowaway was bred in Co Down by Patrick Collins out of the French-bred mare Fitanga, dam of four winners on the racecourse. The reserve champion is also well-bred being by the show jumping stallion Chekhov out of Sugar Cube, dam of the three-star eventing mare Sugar Brown Babe and her Porsch full-brother Sugar Bob, the 2012 RDS supreme hunter champion.

Action in the Main Arena yesterday morning was devoted to event horses. The small champion was the Boherdeal Clover mare Kilrodan Sailorette ridden for Nenagh owner/breeder John Craig by leading junior event rider Cathal Daniels.

Batterstown’s Sarah Ennis, who later this month is competing at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, won the four-year-old championship for staunch supporters Barry and Alice Kehoe on their home-bred Ricardo Z gelding Westwinds Mackenzie. Waterford rider Ciara Power joined forces with unrelated owner Sharon Power to claim the five-year-old crown on the OBOS Quality 004 mare OBOS Impressive.

At the end of a long day’s judging, Tom Murray’s French-bred stallion Plume de Kezeg won the ridden Connemara pony championship ahead of Kirstin McDonagh’s six-year-old Carracanada River, another stallion.

Small event horse champion – John Craig’s Kilrodan Sailorette (Cathal Daniels), 6yo chestnut mare by Boherdeal Clover – Kilrodan Boathouse, bred by owner; reserve, Pat Flanagan’s Lu Ca (Padraig Flanagan), 5yo bay gelding by Lux Z – Cavalisse, bred by Vida Tansey.

Four-year-old event horse champion – Alice Kehoe’s Westwinds Mackenzie (Sarah Ennis), bay gelding by Ricardo Z – Westwinds Clover, bred by owner; reserve, Mary Bolger’s Kilcannon Merlin (Jason Higgins), bay gelding A Quidam M – Killann Clover, bred by James McHugh.

Five-year-old event horse champion – Sharon Power’s OBOS Impressive (Ciara Power), bay mare by OBOS Quality 004 – OBOS Nancy Broone, bred by OBOS Business Centre; reserve, Mary Bolger’s Kilcannon Quality Cruise (Jason Higgins), bay mare by OBOS Quality 004 – Slaney Cruise Clover, bred by Michael Doyle.

Two-year-old champion – John Donaghy’s Northern Image, bay gelding by Stowaway – Fitanga, bred by Patrick Collins; reserve, Rebecca Monahan’s Notalot, bay filly by Lancelot – Clooneen Cavalier Countess, bred by James Wallace.

Three-year-old champion – Daphne Tierney’s Bloomfield Spotlight, bay gelding by Power Blade – Paris Clover, bred by Hazel Deacon; reserve, Valerie McCallister’s Sugar Bella, grey mare by Chekov PKZ – Sugar Cube, bred by Miriam Cunning.

Champion ridden Connemara – Tom Murray’s Plume de Kezeg, 11yo grey stallion by Janus – Divrumenn, bred by EARL Elevage de Kezeg; reserve, Kirstin McDonagh’s Carracanada River, 6yo bay stallion by Templebready Fear Bui – Doorty Lucky Lady, bred by James Byrne.