• Post published:August 22, 2016

The Horseware/TRM Premier series came to a nail-biting finish yesterday (Sunday 21st) at the Meadows with Captain Geoff Curran taking the final round in the Clive Richardson Ltd €10,000 sponsored class aboard Shannondale Rahona. In securing the final leg, Curran had done enough to take the Premier Series league by a margin of just one point from Francis Connors.

Shannondale Rahona is a ten-year-old mare by Shannondale Sarco St. Ghyvan Z out of a Cavalier Royale mare Cavalier Hill.

Although Connors failed to feature in the final placings at the Meadows, he didn’t  go home too disappointed as he and Erne Ladygoldilocks was top of the leaderboard on 27 points which meant that he was crowned National Champion for the second time in his career, having won it in Salthill in the early 1990’s with Spring Elegance. Owned by Hugh Fitzpatrick, Erne Ladygoldilocks is a nine-year-old mare by VDL Douglas out of Erne Touch.

Speaking afterwards, Connors said, it is a great to be crowned National Champion after a long year. It was a great win for Erne Ladygoldilocks and great way to top off her season.  She will now go on a break while I concentrate on some of the younger horses. The course was quite strong and demanded some jumping. The course was very good for a final and turned out to be a very good jump-off”

Captain Geoff Curran said; “I am delighted to win the league. It was the first time that I have won a leg but I had been consistently placed throughout the series. I knew that I needed to win today and I knew that it also meant that Francis would have to be out of the points as there was little between us. Thankfully it worked out for me in the end. The mare is a ten-year-old and we bought her as a five-year-old. I have produced her as six year old. She deserved the win today. It was great to round up the national season with this win today”.

On duty, international course designer Tom Holden built a fitting course for the final round. Questions were asked from the start with the first round incorporating a series of related distances, which demanded careful riding.

With clear rounds being hard come by, just three combinations maintained clean sheets in the first round. With the top 25% coming back to contest the class, a further three riders who finished the first round on four faults, joined the clear rounds in the second round.

First to go in the second round carrying four faults, Darryl Walker and Riverside Ace proved out of luck when they added a further eight faults to their first round score of four. A total of 12 faults in 48.35 meant that they slotted into sixth place.

Shane Dalton and Captain’s Magic Touch had an unlucky four faults at the TRM vertical at fence six in the first round, but they kept everything in place second time out and their time of 44.67 put them in the lead and then eventual fourth.

Junior rider Mikey Pender added to his impressive record sheet when taking fifth place with Z7 Cordanos. The pairing were unlucky to fault at fence nine in the first round, but an improvement on form saw them keep a clean sheet in the second round in a time of 44.88.

Fellow young  rider Matt Garrigan opted for the longer lines with Contino 56 and it paid off, as they clocked  a double clear in a time of 48.24 for third.

Second last to go, Dermott Lennon delivered his second clear round with Horatio Van Erpekom in a time of 46.44 seconds, which saw him take the lead.

All eyes were on last to go, Capt. Geoff Curran aboard Shannondale Rahona. With the league win in sight, Curran set off in a determined pace and a clear second time out in 44.47 was enough to take victory, leaving Lennon to take second place.

Hosreware/TRM Premier Series Grand Prix final from the Meadows Equestrian Centre result:

Sponsored by Clive Richardson Ltd.

1st Shannondale Rahona/Capt. G Curran 0/0/44.47

2nd Horatio Van Erpekom/D. Lennon 0/0/46.44

3rd Contino56/M. Garrigan 0/0/48.24

4th Captains Magic Touch/S. Dalton 4/0/44.67

5th Z7 Cordanos V/M. Pender 4/0/44.88

6th Riverside Ace/D. Walker 4/8/48.35

Francis Connors was crowned 2016 National Champion!