Following last week’s heart-wrenching exit for Ireland’s Olympic show jumpers I was left wordless and I just wanted to leave this week’s column blank.
I had remained confident that our squad could go all the way. But a burst blood vessel and a disastrous cast shoe ended that Irish dream. In over 70 years of following this sport I never before felt so crestfallen.
But a wise friend of mine said to me look forward and that is what I am doing – looking forward to the Europeans at the end of this month, the Nations Cup final in October, the World Championships next year and the Paris Olympics in 2024.
All Ireland Championships
On a more positive note, I am delighted to report results from the 2021 Irish Shows Association (ISA) All Ireland Young Horse Championships that took place at Charleville last weekend.
Abiding by COVID-19 guidelines and behind closed doors, six All Ireland titles were decided – yearling colt, yearling filly, colt foal, two-year-old filly, three-year-old horse and two-year-old Irish Draught filly.
Backed by Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) and sponsors such as Ennis Municipal Authority and John Tyner along with assistance from the usual hosts of these events at Kildysart, Rathangan, Barryroe, Bridgetown, Clarecastle and Limerick; Charleville bravely took up the challenge of keeping this important series alive.
The first All Ireland Young Horse Championship ran at Goresbridge in 1982, and has now been expanded to some 12 titles. A further six will be judged at Roscommon in September.
• All Ireland Irish Draught two-year-old filly champion: Oxview Grace by Inisfree – owned by Eddie Murphy of Charlestown and bred by Gerry Ferguson in Foxford. Reserve went to Hazel Dickson.
• All Ireland yearling colt/gelding champion - Williamson’s Spotlight by Financial Reward – owned by Aid Aidan and William Williamson of Skibbereen and bred by Tom Newell in Claregalway. P.J Lehane had the reserve by Centennial.
• All Ireland two-year-old filly champion: Crannaghmore Emirs Cailin by Elusive Emir – owned and bred by Darragh Glynn of Crannaghmore, Athlone. PJ and Lorcan Glynn had the reserve by Louchahoe Guy.
• All Ireland yearling filly champion: Barnaview Dancing Queen by Singing N Dancing, owned by Ian Murphy from Swinford and bred by Hughie and Mary T Murphy also of Swinford. Valerie Davis had the reserve by Island Commander.
• All Ireland colt foal final champion: Winston TB by Darci, owned and bred by Declan Daly of Clonakilty. Reserve went to PJ Lehane’s colt by Munther.
• All Ireland three-year-old champion: Say No More by Chillout, owned by Regina Daly of Skibbereen and bred by Anthony Sheridan in Mayo. Reserve went to John Roche’s Assagart Hopes and Desires.