Benbulben Riding Club won two of the three derby competitions on offer at the Connolly’s Red Mills National Show Jumping Championships at Mullingar Equestrian Centre last Sunday.
Rebekah Tansey picked up the Sligo clubs first win of the day in the advanced intermediate derby where 31 riders took on Michael Keaveney’s 16 fence track in the international grass arena.
The Ballymote resident was second into the ring and recorded one of only four clear rounds in the competition on her five-year-old chestnut mare, Riverfield Pacino in a time of 103.47.
Tansey’s clubmate Breda Perrin finished next best on Erronagh Sky but was almost four seconds off the pace as the Boyle resident took home the blue ribbon in a time of 107.08. Corrib’s Colm Kelly (Sparkling Diamond) and
Lakelands Joanne Cole (Sonnet)) recorded the only remaining clears in the competition in third and fourth respectively.
Tansey said afterwards,
The show jumping championships is my favourite event on the AIRC calendar as there’s always a really fun atmosphere and a sense of healthy competition. This has been a great year so far for my club and I was delighted with a win in the Advanced Intermediate Derby and Young Horse class with my new horse, Riverfield Pacino.
The Sligo clubs other derby win came in the intermediate division where Avril Burke proved unbeatable on Rookery Apache, a 12-year-old skewbald gelding.
The Collooney resident, who stopped the clock on 89.45, was fastest of nine clear rounds from 38 starters. Her nearest rival, Sarah Jane Flanagan put in a valiant effort on Merrywell Splash of Clover but was over five seconds off the winning time on 94.56 for Cheval.
Kieran Cahill ran out the victor in the open and advanced open derby where only two riders completed the 16 fence track with a clean sheet. The Thomastown and District member crossed the line in a time of 101.94. This gave him a considerable winning margin over Brian Cassidy who stopped the clock on 126.38 on Looks Easy who took the blue ribbon for the Dublin based club.
Lakelands riders enjoyed success in the accumulator classes for the advanced primary and primary riders.
Just four of the 19 starters in the advanced primary division crossed the line with all fences intact where Emma
Reynolds claimed the red rosette on Shalamar Jlo after the Lakelands rider finished closest to the optimum time.
Reynolds was just 7.65 seconds off the target which gave her over two seconds of a winning margin over Benbulben’s Katherine O’Brien on Oscar (IPSA) who was 10.13 seconds off the target.
Clare Turner won the primary division where the Lakelands rider was closest to the optimum time on Lus Na Meala Ruby Tuesday. Turner was just 4.81 seconds off the target of the five riders who accumulated maximum points. Michelle Kelly followed closely behind in second place on Donatello Dreamer for Castle Carraig.
UPDATE: This article was amended on 23rd July as it incorrectly stated that Avril Burke won the Intermediate derby on Rookery Sparkle. Avril actually won the competition on her other horse, Rookery Apache.