Burke takes Connacht Showjumping LeagueAugust 9, 2012 - 8:07am
THE Final of the Olympic Saddlery Connacht Grand Prix League, supported by Horse Sport Ireland, Gain Feeds and Brooklands Bedding was held at Duffy's Equestrian Centre on Sunday.
The competition was sponsored on the day by Capital Plant Hire and Carr Agri, and 37 horses were declared to start.
This number was slightly down on previous legs of the League due in part to the unfortunate accidents of Gabriel Slattery (Irishtown) and Richard Kerins (Collooney) who are currently sidelined.
Brendan Duffy designed the course and created a decent challenge for all contenders.
The inclusion of a Liverpool fence saw many competitors take it on like jockeys at Aintree which added a degree of excitement to the proceedings.
Eight came through to the jump-off but Gort's Jessica Burke and Vitesse, top of the leaderboard at the start of the class, was not among them after being forced to retire.
Michael Duffy (Turloughmore) was nipping at Burke’s heels with both Killard Horizon and Carthago II, but the latter faulted in the first round and so he was contesting all his energy on Killard Horizon to win some of the valuable points-and-a-half on offer for the final.
First in the jump-off was Thomas O'Brien (Athenry) with Mini Clover and they jumped an impeccable clear round in 46.10 seconds. Tom Foley from Tulla, on his second appearance in the Connacht League this year with Paddy Fly, kept his considerable momentum all the way round to gallop through the finish clear in 45.31.
The last to jump was Duffy and Killard Horizon. A clear round for them would have meant three-in-a-row as overall winners of the League, but with one fence down it was to be Jessica Burke’s day.
The Safety Direct 1 metre Derby was held immediately after the Grand Prix and it was won by Thomas O'Brien riding Noel Delahunty's Aaron Ri while second place went to Jack Goaley with Liam Goaley's Tullykyne Boy.
Michael Duffy rode Harold McGahern's Rincool Hob Nob into third place and Aoife McCabe was fourth with John Philbin's Carramore Oasis.
Kevin Satchwell's Noddy Mountain was ridden by Shane Goggins into fifth and Suzanne Murphy was sixth with James Murphy's Summer Craic. Seventh was Brendan Dooley's The Grey Phantom with Rebecca Gilmore on board, and eighth was Debbie Norman with her own Sweet Ebony.