Isobelle Gould from Barrow Valley was the only rider to achieve a combined score in excess of 150% in the individual championships at the Connolly’s Red Mills National Dressage Championships last Sunday.
The Carlow resident riding her 10-year-old ISH chestnut mare, Foxy Furisto, produced two consistently strong performances to register 76.46% and 75.38% to claim the primary championship title.
Her combined score of 151.84% gave her an unassailable lead over Calliaghstowns’ Niamh Corbet (Knock on Jake) in second place on 147.54%.
Gould said afterwards,
we had a shaky start to the day with Foxy being a little too sharp in the first warm up. It’s definitely a day I won’t forget as for me, it’s like having won at Rio!
It was my aim to go to the championships to try to get placed but to come home as the champion on a homebred mare, makes it even more special. A massive thanks to everyone who helped me along the way.
The format for the championships remained unchanged from previous years with each rider performing two tests, in front of different judges, to decide the fate of the national titles.
Eilis Von Cramon achieved the highest test score of the championships in the advanced open division where the Ross House rider registered 77.19% on Lough Conn Laura. The Ballinagh resident, however, couldn’t maintain the performance in the afternoon session as she dropped back to second place after Foxborough’s Enda Collier Pratt overtook the Ross House rider to claim the spoils. Collier Pratt’s score of 145.61% moved her ahead of Von Cramon on 141.85%.
In the open championship, Owen Smith held out for a narrow victory on Orlando (KWPN). The Twinfort rider finished on 137.62% to claim the spoils on his 20-year-old KWPN black gelding. Michael Moore, for the second year running, ended up in the runners up position on Guaranteed Gold after the Ashbrook rider fell just short of the target on 137.47%.
The advanced intermediate division was also a close contest with less than one percent separating the top two riders. Cassandra Morris was lying around fourth place after the morning session but the Barnacarroll rider fought back in the afternoon to claim the spoils on Redpark Magic. Her score of 140.06% gave her a narrow margin over second placed Lianne O’Shea (Bento Van De Noordheuvel) for Greenhills.
25 riders contested the intermediate championship where Donna Murray led after the morning session on Lady Temple but as the competition drew to a close, the Dalysgrove member fell back to third place as Rathfarnham’s Jessica Carton claimed the honours on Alter Real Lady. Carton’s score of 143.38 gave the Killiney resident a narrow win over Tracey McKeown who registered 142.75% on Ardeo Chocolate for Castle Hill.
In the advanced primary championship, Helena Fitzgerald claimed the spoils after two notable tests on Gentleman James. The Ashbrook rider, who won the Carl Geisler Memorial Championship at the Riding Clubs Festival in June, recorded 68.00% in her opening test on her 16-year-old ISH bay gelding. Her afternoon test of 71.55% sealed the win for the Ratoath resident as her total of 139.55% could not be matched. Abbeylands Ceara Banner slotted into second place on RRC Soprano on 137.39%.
Abbeylands Ceara Banner slotted into second place on RRC Soprano on 137.39%.
Elsewhere in the non-championship classes, Unicorn’s Susan Smyth claimed the spoils in the advanced intermediate on Antoinette while Fiona Lee topped the intermediate non qualification class on Boheraroan for Enniskerry. Mosstown’s Emer Lyons won the remaining advanced primary division on Aughanahowan Villa.