Curran overcomes set back to win Connolly’s Red Mills show jumping c’ship title

Competing at the show jumping championships was just a pipe dream for Therese Curran, who broke her ankle earlier this year, but the Ashwood member went on to win the advanced primary title at the Connolly’s Red Mills National Show Jumping Championships last Sunday.

Curran was among 12 riders who progressed to the jump-off in the championship final after jumping a clear round.

The Thomastown resident, who was fifth in last years final, was just 0.10 seconds off the optimum time to claim the spoils on her 20-year-old chestnut ISH, Coolkennedy.

It was a close contest as second placed Galway’s Severine Ray was just 0.77 off the target on Ziva Galway. Ashbrooks Eileen Cummins, who had earlier won the qualifier from a field of 42 riders, didn’t feature in the top six in the final.

Curran was shocked by her win on Sunday as she said,

It’s been worth the perseverance but I never thought in a million years that I would get the opportunity to hold one of those cup’s with our chairman, Tony Ennis.

I could not have done it without my sidekick Andy (Coolkenndy) as he really is cool. I would also like to thank the Association as you have made my year.

In the advanced intermediate championship, Brian Dunne won the title after a thrilling two-way jump-off. The Mo Chara rider was first to jump against the clock in the final and set a target of 34.52 with all fences intact on Quarrycrest River Dancer. Lorraine Trenier tried valiantly on Castletara Trendsetter but the Lakelands rider came a cropper at the second fence as a pole hit the floor to leave Dunne the champion.

Letterkenny’s Emma Carton, who had earlier won the qualifier on Aughavannon Merlin, had to settle for third place in the final as the fastest of the 4 faulters.

Jack Guinan completed the double when the Ballinasloe rider added the open and advanced open championship title to his earlier win in the derby. Guinan was one of three through to the jump-off where he set an impressive time of 33.88 on Banagher Coronado with all fences standing to claim the spoils ahead of

Guinan was one of three through to the jump-off where he set an impressive time of 33.88 on Banagher Coronado with all fences standing to claim the spoils ahead of Arderin’s Meabh Keating on Shylock Flight who had a pole on the floor in a time of 31.94. Keating had earlier won the qualifier.

The intermediate championship attracted a large entry of over 70 riders who took part in the qualifier.

Nicole Fleming was the only rider in the morning qualifier to break through the 27-second barrier of the 42 riders through to the jump-off. Fleming on her 14-year-old bay mare, Kapalga, set an unbeatable time of 26.55 to land the red rosette for Mo Chara.

The Broadford resident, however, didn’t feature among the prize winners in the final where 11 of the 20 qualified riders went through to jump-off.

Pat O’Neill riding Illaunurra Shadow, an 11-year-old grey Connemara, was first into the ring for the jump-off and set what proved to be an unbeatable target of 32.15. Only Suzann McLoughlin came agonisingly close to the Springmount rider when McLoughlin crossed the beam in a time of 32.16 to take home the blue ribbon for Mo Chara.

In the primary championship, Patrick Condon won the title after he was one of just two double clear rounds in the final. The South Roscommon rider finished closest to the optimum time on Our Creagh Hero leaving Castle Carraig’s Monica Hegarty in second place on Lucky’s Girl. Laura Fitzsimons (Kilronan Duff) was third after the Ashbrook rider had won the qualifier earlier in the day.

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Owen Smyth held out for a narrow victory on Orlando (KWPN) in the Connolly's Red Mills Open Dressage Championship last August

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