Dressage Ireland National Winter Finals

 Mon, 8th Apr, 2019

Report by Paul Nolan


Paul Nolan
8th April 2019

Rachel Dowley won three classes at the Dressage Ireland national winter finals in Cavan Equestrian Centre last weekend [Saturday, April 6, 2019 and Sunday, April, 7, 2019]. In the Intermédiare I final, Dowley and the twelve-year-old Hochadel gelding Cadens scored 68.088% for the win. Dowley claimed top honours in the novice category three championship with Florencio gelding Insticator B.S., winner of the young horse five-year old and novice freestyle national championships last September. This one went right down to the wire with just 0.028% separating Insticator B.S. from Marguerite Mc Sweeney and Fidette in the final standings. The Carrick-on-Suir rider also won the preliminary category three Winter Final with Just a Ball B.S. "I'm delighted" said Rachel "I have had Cadens since he was four and we have had a lot of success coming up through the grades to get to this level. I'm aiming to do our first big tour grand prix at the Wild Atlantic dressage festival in Sligo in early May. I'm fortunate to ride two horses from Julie Lockley's Bramley Stud in Yorkshire, Insticator B.S. and Just a Ball B.S. Both are talented horses and they delivered mistake free tests for the win."

Dowley's trainer, Irish international rider Anne Marie Dunphy won the Prix St-Georges final with Her Highness Willow. The former national champion and her thirteen-year-old His Highness mare winning on a score of 65.956%. Sorrell Klatzko retained her Intermédiare II title with Highlight. It was an emotional final outing for the pair who nearly didn't make it to Cavan when Sorrell's trailer was stolen earlier in the week. "I want to thank Julieann Gaffney and JAG Equestrian for letting me have a trailer so I could compete here." said Sorrell "Highlight is the first horse I have owned and trained winning every single title up to this level. It is our last competition and she will now go to a young rider." International pony rider Finn Curran scored 67.102% with Blokland's Hoeve Amor to win the FEI pony rider final.

Having won the Advanced Medium final in 2018, Limerick-based rider Tara Oliver and Furst Romance produced a repeat performance claiming the win on a 67.598% total. Reigning Advanced Medium national champions, fifteen year-old Sive Kearney from Co. Tipperary and Rob Roy scored 68.015% to win the Advanced national winter final. Former national dressage champion Laragh O'Grady won the Medium category three championship with the eight-year-old Belgian-bred gelding Confession Z. Tara Hayes and Thorneyside Kestrel, who won both the FEI pony championship and the freestyle equivalent at the 2018 national championships, continued their good run of form winning the Medium category two final and for good measure Tara placed second in the final with Harley. Margaret Coonan's ten-year-old Scandic gelding Erastus H, ridden by Emma Kieran, won the elementary category three final and placed second in the Medium category three final. In a tightly contested elementary category two final, which saw the top three separated by less than a third of a percentage point, Nessa Toher Shannon and El Nino prevailed to win on a 68.661% total.

Aisling Deverell and Annaharvey Dunowen, winners of the 2018 preliminary category two national championship, won the novice category two final. In the novice category one final Barry Higgins was first with Norwood Black Betty and he placed third with My Little Valentine. Niamh Nolan and Toberpatrick Tom Boy won the preliminary category two final. The preliminary category one final was won by Rebecca Keane and Jolly Joxer. Aimee Maxwell and Romeo claimed a double winning the sportsman novice and sportsman preliminary finals. The Children on Horses final was won by Cillian Curran and Charlotte. The award for the highest placed Irish Draught horse at the finals went to Beezies Big Brother (Simone Hession Quinn), with the highest placed thoroughbred award going to Ballymorran Heaven Sent (Angela Penman) and the highest placed Connemara pony award was won by Carn Verdon Boy (Alana Cazabon).

The trailblazers classes, to make dressage more accessible to a greater number of new competitors at regional and national level, were part of the schedule once again this year. The trailblazers competed in the sunshine in the outdoor arena on Sunday. Ciara Hanley and the versatile thirteen-year-old Irish Sport Horse international show jumping stallion Captain Caruso scored 70.690% to win the senior trailblazers preliminary class. Ciara O'Connor and Brandon Zimbabwe won the junior trailblazers preliminary under twelve championship on a 74.659% total and Kara Madden scored 75.00% with Stanley Grange Regal Request to win the junior trailblazers preliminary twelve to sixteen-year-old championship. The senior trailblazers novice class was won by Katie Behan and Jet the Hero.


Link to Dressage Ireland National Winter Finals 2019 Results - https://www.dressageireland.ie/results/index.php?p=s&i=1160&r=WF&y=2019&fbclid=IwAR2ijo0MkHSkCdIzokyTLL_TGwPZhmzyQ5TQBGUIpjRgnqk8ZgG5c27Tpxc