Equestrian: Top class international eventing at Millstreet
Ireland’s Sarah Ennis finished second in dressage at Millstreet. Photo: Getty Images
While most interest over the past week has been centred on the European championships in dressage, para dressage and show jumping in Rotterdam, international eventing has been taking place in Millstreet, Co Cork.
The feature class is the fifth of six legs of the 2019 Event Rider Masters (CCI4*-S), marking the first time a round of the series has been held in Ireland. Among the 30 starters are Australians Bill Levett and Chris Burton who are currently lying second and third on the ERM leaderboard.
The dressage phase took place on Friday when Britain’s Oliver Townend, whose season has been interrupted by injury, went into the lead in the late afternoon on the Irish Sport Horse gelding Ballaghmor Class (21 penalties). Co Meath’s Sarah Ennis finished second with Horseware Stellor Rebound (25). Competitors in this class show jump on Saturday and complete the competition with cross-country on Sunday.
In the open CCI4*-S, the lead after dressage and show jumping is held by Britain’s Gemma Tattersall on Jalapeno (25.6 penalties). You have to go down the leaderboard to 19th to find the best-placed Irish rider, Devon-based Padraig McCarthy, who achieved a score of 32.6 with Leonidas II which was previously the mount of the recently-retired Mark Todd.
In the CCI4*-L, where they have only completed the dressage phase, the above-mentioned Burton tops the rankings with Lawton Chloe on a penalty score of 28.8. Co Down’s Joseph Murphy is currently in joint-sixth place with a relatively new addition to his yard, Cesar V (34.7).
At three-star level, Britain’s Harry Meade holds a strong hand in the long format class as he leads with Red Kite (29.5 penalties) and, on Gideon (31.2), shares second place with Co Down’s Clare Abbott riding the ISH gelding Jewelent and Co Cork’s Brian Morrison on Global Daenerys. For good measure, Meade is also joint-fifth after dressage with the ISH gelding, Monbeg Medlar (31.4).
They have completed both the dressage and show jumping phases in the short three-star class where the lead is held by a regular visitor to Ireland, Australia’s Kevin McNab riding the ISH gelding, Fernhill Tabasco (25.8). Britain’s Millie Dumas is currently second with the ISH mare, Universal Cooley (27.2) while best-placed of the Irish at this stage is Co Down’s Daniel Brown who is lying fifth with Fleur de Lis (30.5).
Most of the two-star classes finished on Friday but, in the CCI2*-L, where they still have to complete their show jumping phase, Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal, riding Penny Grans (24.8), has less than a fence in hand over Co Down’s Ella Boyle on the eye-catching grey mare, WKD Cooley (27.5).
On her first start in Ireland, Norway’s Yasmin Olsson Sanderson landed the CCIYH2*-S for six-year-olds with Inchello DHI; in the divided regular two-star class, the honours in Section A went to Britain’s Izzy Hall (Greenvale Altered Image) while Ireland’s Padraig McCarthy won Section B on Fiveberry; Britain’s Jaymee Savill filled the top two places in the pony class, winning on the piebald mare Knockmullen Flyer, a 12-year-old by Cavalier Jump For Joy.