Captain Geoff Curran gave Ringwood Glen a successful first outing in the TRM/HSI New Heights Champions Series when victorious in the penultimate leg at Mullingar Equestrian Centre.
Curran has been active throughout the Series with placings aboard Dollanstown and Shannondale Rahona with Hallowberry Cruz also triumphing under the Army Equitation School rider at Ballinasloe.
With all three mounts confirmed for next week’s Dublin Horse Show it fell to veteran campaigner Ringwood Glen to contest Sunday’s €10,000 feature class. By VDL Arkansas, the 14-year-old gelding has been a dependable mount over the years, one of a string that contributed to Curran’s 2016 Premier Series Champion title.
The leading owner prize of the Tipperary Crystal engraved vase and bottle of champagne went to the Minister for Defence while Mark McKenna received the €200 cash for winning groom.
Alan Wade had set the challenge for the starting 38 which yielded 12 through to the clocked round with only five of these combinations keeping a clean sheet on their second outing.
Curran set the standard at a double clear in a time of 43.42 seconds which would prove unbeatable.
Liam O’Meara was next fastest on the day to secure the runner-up position concluding a successful weekend having also featured in fifth place in the National Grand Prix. Once again riding the Russel-sired eight-year-old Russel Style, O’Meara stopped the clock at 44.03.
Nicholas Butler was fractionally off this pace with Vimminka across the line in 44.76. The overall runner-up in the 2017 New Heights Champions Series, Butler featured consistently throughout with the 16-year-old Nabab de Reve-sired Vimminka and this season the pair have shown similar form with a runner-up finish in Portmore and a third place finish in Ballinsloe.
Francis Connors produced a textbook clear round with Erne Ladygoldilocks but his time of 48.26 was only sufficient for fourth place. The 11-year-old Ard VDL Douglas-sired mare has already been in the prizes in the Series, finishing in the top five at Ballinasloe.
Peter Smyth supplied the last of the double clears aboard Roscrib de Ross. Making his New Heights Champions Series debut, the 11-year-old Varo-sired gelding logged a time of 50.66.
Alexander Butler completed the line-up in sixth as the fastest of the four faulters with Eldorado. Having showcased their speed credentials to great effect to win the round at Omagh, the pair put in the fastest time of the day when coming home in 42.53.
Highest Placed Young Rider: Tim McDonagh
Winning Owner: Minister of Defence
Winning Groom: Mark McKenna