There were no wins for Irish show jumping riders competing at the five-star show in Paris on Friday but, at the same level in Canada, Co Down-born Conor Swail landed the featured 1.50m jump-off class at the Spruce Meadows showgrounds in Calgary.
There were 26 starters over a course set by Spain’s Santiago Varela but just six combinations managed to progress to the second round were four were again faultless against the clock. Swail took the honours when fastest of the quartet on Vanessa Mannix’s 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding GK Coco Chanel (43.610) with Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel finishing second on Tulum (44.910).
In the earlier 1.45m competition, where there were only three in the jump-off and no one went double clear, the USA’s Rich Fellers came out best with four faults on the Irish Sport Horse mare Lux Lady, a 13-year-old Lux Z mare bred in Co Longford by Joe O’Flaherty out of Shania (by Master Imp).
On this side of the Atlantic on Friday, Co Offaly’s Darragh Kenny won the 1.40m two-phase class at Knokke in Belgium on Whiterock Farm’s eight-year-old Anglo European gelding Billy Manjaro while at home, Tipperary’s Liam O’Meara partnered his own 14-year-old Coolcaum Hill gelding, Mr Coolcaum, to victory in the 1.40m national Grand Prix at Omagh. Action continues today at the Co Tyrone show where 24 horses have been declared for the TRM/HSI new heights champions series 1.50m Grand Prix.
Although there are no Irish riders listed for the Event Riders Masters at Barbury Castle, there are representatives from this country in all other classes at the English event. The best placed currently is Padraig McCarthy who is lying fourth in a section of the CIC2* with Mr Chunky.
A large contingent of Irish competitors are in Fontainebleau, France awaiting Sunday’s start of the European Championships for children on horses, Juniors and Young riders in dressage, eventing and show jumping.