Equestrian: Irish riders dominate at international horse show

Padraig McCarthy takes the honours in Liverpool ahead of British rider Paul Sims

Padraig McCarthy took top honours in Liverpool. Photograph: Libby Law/Inpho

Padraig McCarthy took top honours in Liverpool. Photograph: Libby Law/Inpho

 

Irish riders dominated Sunday night’s eventing Grand Prix at the international horse show in Liverpool where Padraig McCarthy took the honours on Tatiana Brent’s Rosemaber Lancuest.

The Devon-based Tipperary native had the final joker fence down with the 14-year-old Anglo European mare but those three penalties left him on the winning time of 91.37, ahead of Britain’s Paul Sims who was clear but slower with the nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, Second City (91.43).

Earlier in the month, McCarthy and Rosemaber Lancuest had placed third in a similar competition in Geneva won by Co Kildare-based Cathal Daniels riding Alcatraz but the positions were reversed on this occasion when Daniels and Sarah Hughes’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding finished in 92.98. Co Down’s Joseph Murphy, who, like McCarthy and Daniels, lowered the joker fence, slotted into fourth with the 18-year-old ISH gelding, Sportsfield Othello (95.33).

McCarthy, team and individual silver medal-winner at last year’s World Equestrian Games in North Carolina, will be in Ireland next month as guest speakers at the annual general meeting of the Northern Region of Eventing Ireland.

Disappointed not to have added to his win in Switzerland, and earlier at Stuttgart where McCarthy finished second, Daniels did have the pleasure over the weekend of seeing his best-known mount, Rioghan Rua, being voted EquiRatings horse of the year in a knock-out Facebook poll.

Daniels partnered the ISH mare on the WEG silver medal-winning team last September and this year won individual bronze at the European eventing championships in Luhmühlen, Germany with Mags Kinsella’s home-bred 12-year-old by Jack Of Diamonds. In the final vote of the EquiRatings competition, Rioghan Rua ended up on 51 per cent with 49 per cent of those who voted favouring SAP Hale Bob on which the host nation’s Ingrid Klimke won team and individual gold at Luhmühlen.

In Sunday night’s pure show jumping competition in Liverpool, the Horseware Ireland 1.50m jump-off class, Co Sligo’s Richard Howley partnered the nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding Arlo de Brondel (30.94) to finish second behind Britain’s Holly Smith riding Denver (29.66).

At Mechelen in Belgium, three Irish competitors finished in the top five in Sunday morning’s 34-strong 1.30m speed class for juniors and young riders.

Easily the fastest of seven clear rounds was recorded by Waterford’s Ian Fives who stopped the clock on 52.72 with Spencer Golding and Home Farm Equestrian’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Encore. North Co Dublin’s Aisling McGuinness finished second on the year younger Irish Sport Horse mare Kilderrys Joint Venture (56.19) while Co Cork’s Abbie Sweetnam was fifth on another mare, the six-year-old Brown Star Z (57.34).

The final round of the 2019 FEI Jumping Ponies Trophy takes place in Mechelen on Monday with six Irish riders due to line-out in the 14-strong field.

The lead is currently held by France’s Anna Szarsewski (38 points) but she is just one point ahead of Co Clare’s Rhys Williams (37). French rider Emma Meric shares third place with Co Down’s Alex Finney (32), Dalkey’s Caragh Charlton and Waterford’s Katie Power are lying joint-fifth (30) with Co Down’s John McEntee two points adrift in seventh (28).

Last year’s final was won by Power who followed up on Seamus Hughes Kennedy’s success in the inaugural running of the competition in 2017.

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