Equestrian: Tiger Roll steals the show at Tattersalls trials

Grand National hero paraded as the track proves influential to Saturday’s competition

There was a full day of competition both on the cross-country course and in the show jumping arena at the Tattersalls international horse trials on Saturday, the jumping action only coming to halt around lunchtime when the dual Aintree Grand National hero Tiger Roll was paraded before a large crowd of fans.

While Friday’s cross-country course had little effect on the result in the two-star classes, the Ian Stark-designed track used in The Irish Field CCI4*-L competition proved very influential. Of the top four after dressage, only the fourth-placed rider, New Zealand’s Dan Jocelyn riding the Irish Sport Horse gelding Blackthorn Cruise, maintained his position although adding a small number of time penalties for a two-phase total of 32.9.

The first day leader, Britain’s Pippa Funnell, dropped to 15th having had a stop on course with MGH Grafton Street, while both the second and third-placed combinations of Britain’s Laura Collett on Dacapo and Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto with Bernadette Utopia, were among the seven retirements on course. There were also two eliminations.

The lead is now held by the USA’s Will Coleman riding the ISH gelding Off The Record, a 10-year-old gelding by VDL Arkansas which was bred in Co Cavan by Peter Brady out of the Ard Ohio mare Drumagoland Bay. Coleman completed on his dressage score (31.5) as did Britain’s Michael Owen on the ISH gelding Jims Pal for second (32.2) and fellow Briton Izzy Taylor on PSH Gazelle (32.4) in third. Better-placed of the two Irish competitors left to contest Sunday’s show jumping round is local Co Meath rider Elizabeth Power who is lying sixth, on her dressage score (36.5), with the ISH gelding Samuel Thomas II.


At three-star level, the cross-country phase had less of an effect. In the Eventing Ireland CCI3*-L, where there were two eliminations, just one rider in the top eight after dressage dropped out of contention. Britain’s William Fox-Pitt holds the lead on his dressage score of 20.5 with Georgisaurous while the best-placed Irish rider in seventh is Co Cork’s Brian Morrison with Global Orchid (28.3).

In the Connolly’s Red Mills CCI3*-L for riders under 25, first and second places are now held by Galway native Cathal Daniels who was on Ireland’s silver medal-winning team at last year’s World Equestrian Games in the USA. The Kildare-based rider tops the leaderboard with Michelle Nelson and Kieran Connors’s home-bred ISH gelding OLS King Aragon (26 penalties), an eight-year-old by Samgemgee out of the Seamanship mare Just Beauty Queen, and lies second with Jo Breheny’s home-bred ISH mare LEB Lias Jewel (27.7).

Those competing in the four long format two-star classes all undertook their concluding, and influential, show jumping phase on Sunday.

In the Cooley Farm CCI2* for six and seven-year-old horses, Britain’s William Fox-Pitt, who was last to jump, dropped from first to fourth when Grafennacht lowered one pole and picked up time penalties for a three-phase total of 29.8. Moving up to fill the vacated top spot was Britain’s Izzy Taylor on Hartacker (28.3) with local rider Sarah Ennis, another of the WEG silver medal-winning team, being best of the Irish in third with Yvonne Gavin’s ISH mare Shanbo Sky Fall (29).

British riders filled the first five placings in the Land Rover CCI2* class, led by J.P. Sheffield on the 15-year-old stallion Woodlander Wesuvio (31.8 penalties). Tipperary’s Fergal Nesbitt was the best-placed Irish rider in eighth with his own ISH gelding Apollo Landing (34.1). France’s Arthur Duffort, who had been lying second on Brando de Cherel, dropped to 26th when lowering three of the coloured poles.

For the second year running, Sarah Riley’s Versace Biscuit won the Horseware CCI2* for Junior riders, this time ridden by Co Westmeath’s Chloe Fagan whose, parents, Mark and Deryn, have leased the 15-year-old Templebready Fear Bui gelding. Fagan (16) led from start to finish (25.6) on the bay which was bred in Co Tipperary by Sandra Maher out of the thoroughbred mare Olga Poloski.

Disappointingly, just two riders successfully completed all three phases of the Berney Bros CCI2* class for ponies with victory going to Co Laois’s Grace Tyrrell who completed on a total of 43.4 with her mother Maria’s Connemara gelding Fiona’s Fionn, an 11-year-old grey by Monaghanstown Fionn which was bred by Cait Ui Loinsigh out of the Carrentubber Lad mare, Gortnaphisey Fiona.

While competitors in the three and four-star long format classes take on their show jumping phase on Sunday, those in the George Mernagh Memorial CCI4*-S will tackle the cross-country course with the first horse due out at 1.15pm.

After dressage and show jumping, the lead is held by New Zealand’s Tim Price with Ascona M (27.1), on which he was third in this class in 2017. Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto is lying second on Vinci de la Vigne JRA (29.8) with Britain’s Alexander Bragg in third with Zagreb (29.9). Carlow’s Sam Watson, another member of the WEG silver medal-winning team, is fifth with Imperial Sky (33.8) and seventh on Tullabeg Flamenco (39.1).