Astrid Blom, who won the Intermediate title at the Connolly’s RED MILLS sponsored AIRC National Dressage Championships on Sunday, had the biggest winning score on the day.
Two remarkable tests from the South West member gave her victory in one of the largest competitions at the championships with a total of 155.50% after her riding her 9-year-old grey stallion, Gelson ZK, produced two scores of 77.83% and 77.68 to land title for the Bandon resident.
Blom said after her win, “I’m absolutely thrilled with the result as we took a break from eventing during the summer to focus on the dressage, with the main goal aiming for these championships. We have been working very hard to get more expression in our tests and to see it all pay off and actually win is just incredible.
Our first test was amazing, probably the best test I have ever ridden. In the afternoon we were a bit unlucky having to warm up in a heavy shower, so our test wasn’t as good as the morning, but I’m so happy it was good enough to take the overall win.
Vicky Cloney gave the South West member a good run for her money as the Carne member was close behind in second place on the 16-year-old grey mare, Gentle Bouncer, on another remarkable score of 152.29%.
At the championships, competitors ride two tests in front of different judges, with their scores accumulated, to determine the fate of the national titles.
Jade Douglas, who was part of last years winning team, won the Advanced Primary championship on Carrigbeg Coco from a field of 29 starters. The Thomastown and District rider was third after the opening test on 71.82% but added 73.338% on her second outing to move up the placings into the top spot.
Her tally of 145.15% gave her a slim enough winning margin over Emer O’Donnell who was leading after the opening test on Mosstown Tod on the Longford members final score of 143.64%.
23 riders contested the Advanced Intermediate championship where Antonio de Burgh picked up another national title to add to her win in the Carl Geisler showing championship at the Riding Clubs Festival in June. The Coole Lane rider landed the dressage title on her 10-year-old chestnut gelding, Gypsy Cobra Cruis on a tally of 147.24%. Carne’s Melanie Hammell took home the blue ribbon on Taylor Slaney Cruise on 147.24%.
In the Open championship, Sarah Slattery recorded the highest percentage of any competitor on her 11-year-old bay gelding, San Marino Mr, to win the spoils on 154.83%. The Tynagh riders impressive score of 81.90% came in her opening test in front of Pat Ryan. Another Western region rider took home the blue ribbon as Mary Mitchell was next best on 146.72% for Tonabrockey.
Deidre Kane, who won the long arena test at last years Riding Clubs Festival, had a narrow victory in the Advanced Open championship on 134.55%. The Greenhills member was lying second after the first test but Mighty Clever put in a solid performance in the second test to overtake Eileen Hupp (Abbey Jo) to leave the Clonlara rider in second on 134.22%.
Deerpark notched up its first win in the Primary championship where Annina O’Halloran won the honours on Mister Sammy Boy. The Clare resident moved up to pole position after an impressive second test to finish on 151.03%. Darren Rossiter (North Dakota Dawn) was second after the Carne member was leading after the opening test but finished on a tally of 150.31% to take the blue ribbon for Wexford based club.
Elsewhere in the non-championship classes, Border Counties Edel Cunningham topped the Advanced Primary division on Cloncaw Smartie while Jackie Dow claimed the spoils in the Intermediate class on Juno Tintreach for Friary. Tara Hills Zoe Grogan won the Advanced Intermediate division on Diabolo De La Cour while Patricia Warren won the Young Horse class on Well Dun Welby, who also won the young show class at last month’s AIRC show jumping championships.