The Showjumping Ireland (SJI) Autumn Grand Prix got off to a strong start last Sunday at Jag Equestrian, Kildare. Following his success in the Underwriting Exchange National Grand Prix league, Liam O’Meara claimed the opening round of this autumn league.

Riding Oldtown KC, he lodged the fastest clear round in 38.47 seconds. Since coming to O’Meara’s yard in May, the 15-year-old stallion has proven very consistent, with a series of wins and results up to 1.50m national grand prix level. The stallion was an embryo transfer foal by Cruising and out of Trevor Breen’s former international mount Oldtown Katie.

Capt. Geoff Curran and Dowth Hall finished second in 39.56. Owned by Professor Alice Stanton and the Minister for Defence and bred by Dr. Noel Cawley, the nine-year-old mare is by Flexible and out of the Cloverhill-sired mare, Ballinakill Clover. She is a full sister to Hybernia, who was also bred by Cawley and jumped to CSI4* with Greg Broderick.

Dothraki Warlord is a horse to watch in the future. Partnered by Derek Mc Connell, they jumped clear in 39.86 for third place. Owned by Sorcha Hennessy, this gelding, who was bred by Patrick Kearns, is by Mermus R and out of the Diamant De Semilly-sired dam, Tiamo Diamant.

At just seven-years-old he has accumulated over 400 show jumping points. Along with a series of good results on the national circuit. This combination travelled to the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses at Lanaken in 2017. This year Mc Connell will travel to Lanaken as part of the Irish squad once again, where he will ride Longfield Quinlui.

Finishing fourth was Gerard Clarke and Honfleur, jumping clear in 40.07. Owned by Tirnaskea stud, the seven-year-old, who was also bred by Patrick Kerns, is by Pacino and out of the Votaire (Hann)-sired dam Maktoub (ISH).

Stephen Murphy claimed fifth place with Chantelle, clear in 41.52. A consistent partnership, Jamie Garland and Zedlepplin slotted into sixth, this combination were first into the ring and set the time to beat of 41.70.

This autumn league is often a good time to step up a level and one horse to make an impressive move up the level was Carlotta Silver. Ridden by Edward Doyle this seven-year-old mare delivered a double clear in the jump-off to finish just outside of the top six.

Amateur championships

In Mullingar, the Amateur ‘A’ Irish Farmers Journal series came to a close with 35 riders going to post. Victory went to Laura Walshe and Ballinaguilkey Heritage, when they lodged the winning clear round in 38.16.

Hot on her heels was Katy Scott and Paeona Du Mesnil, who crossed the line with nothing to add in 39.24. Slotting into third was Tara Fergus and Tirconaill River Rose in 39.78.

Fourth place went to Breda Perrin and Erronagh Sky, who kept all the poles in place in a time of 42.87, ahead of Amy Wilson and Vagabond, clear in 45.52. Nicola Walshe recorded the fastest time of 36.93 aboard Cluainin Robb, but it came at a price, as they crossed the line carrying four faults.