TAKE YOUR CHANCES ON THE WESTERN FRONT
CLAREMORRIS RDS QUALIFIERS
Paddy O'Donnell & Harristown Princess joint winners of the eight year old and over
Tuesday saw a large number head west to Claremorris where again nearly four hundred horses and riders made their bid for qualification in the second round of RDS qualifiers.
Greg Broderick came out in front in the four year olds when Caratina was awarded top marks of 95.33 by judges Eamonn Rice, Mark Duffy and Jimmy Flynn. Owned by Lisa Cawley, the mare is by Cruising out of a Cloverhill dam.
Olive Clarke and the Shannondale Sarco St Ghyvan sired mare Shannondale Secret proved next best with a high mark of 95 while Broderick made it two through to Dublin when also qualifying the Quidam Junior I sired gelding MHS Automatic on a score of 94.33. John McGuinness took the last place in ninth with Tabby’s mark of 86.66 providing the cut off point.
Eamonn Rice, a familiar face marking four year old score cards, explained what he looks for when judging a horse and stressed the importance of a good canter “When a horse comes in the ring I watch its canter which is sometimes lacking in Irish horses. Riders don’t use the canter, there is too much collection. You have to get a good canter and a good rhythm and use it for impulsion off the ground.”
Talking about a horse’s technique he commented “They have to use their shoulder. Riders talk about a horse giving them a good feel and those horses use their shoulders but they have to follow through behind.”
For an overall view the northern judge added, “They have to have a good canter, lightness off the floor and elasticity over the fence. They have to have that carefulness; scope and canter. Rideability in the ring is also important, you can’t judge a horse’s temperament from the side of the ring but rideability is a good indicator.”
More than one hundred five year olds went to post over a Tom Holden designed course and fifty competitors made easy work of the 1.10(S) track to go through to a second round. A further twenty nine managed to leave the course intact to progress to the clocked round and ensure that a steady triple clear would not guarantee one of the nine places on offer.
Aidan Killeen aboard the OBOS Quality mare Darustud Elisha set the standard at 31.51 and proved unrivalled in the top spot. Derek McConnell put in a good effort with the Harlequin du Carel sired Boo Delicious but his time of 31.77 left him just off the mark in second place. Kelda Morgan and Cooldiamond Countess took the yellow rosette when coming home just inside the 31 second mark.
The Six Year Old class looked set to be a one rounder when only nine riders had clear sheets with the end of the first round fast approaching. Eddie Moloney looked set to change this with the Diamond Serpent sired Madges Lane Partner but one time penalty left him out of the running.
Mary Ellen Rice however was determined to force a jump off and duly delivered a fault free round aboard the flashy coloured son of Cavalier Two For Joy, Pride of Cavalier. The pair subsequently qualified in seventh place when recording the fastest time of the day in the jump off albeit with four faults.
Damien Griffin provided the excitement for the day when after a clear first round with Gortlettra Echo Rose he took on an extra obstacle, cantering straight through the finish and out over the arena fence. The Clover Echo mare continued to impress supplying a clear round in 37.25 for eventual fourth.
Christian Coyle emerged triumphant with John Higgins Senior’s Killagriff Ohio Lou when breaking the beams in a time of 33.98 with all the poles still in their cups.
Coyle produced the Ard Ohio sired gelding as a four year old but has only recently regained the ride. Speaking afterwards Derry based Coyle said “I’m delighted. I only have him six weeks and he is improving at every show.”
Cormac Rafferty claimed the honours in the Seven Year Olds on KMR Taylor Made when a time of 37.05 saw the pair come home with over a second in hand from nearest rivals Anthony O’Reagan and Bawnboy Cool Mover.
Already qualified aboard the Murray family’s other horse the seven year old KMR Special Edition, Rafferty was delighted to get the Tabasco Van Erpekom sired Taylor Made through.
Both seven year olds featured in last year’s Irish Studbook Series and Rafferty now plans to head to Mullingar with high hopes of repeating last year’s victory in the Six and Seven Year old section of the series.
Paddy O’Donnell and Elaine O’Neill shared the limelight in the Eight Year Old and Over when both stopped the clock at 31.90. O’Neill set the standard with the nine year old Errigal Flight mare Ballycoolan Flight
O’Donnell matched this score with the ten year old Clover Flush mare Harristown Princess to share the top spot in the thirteen way decider. John Floody and Larkhill Cruiser, narrowly missing out in Coilóg, took no chances this time and earned their spot in Dublin in third position in the line up.
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