Working Hunter and Puissance ‘14 For Clifden Gallery 2014 Click Here
Well, if entries were good in the Ridden and In-Hand Classes on Thursday they were positively phenomenal in the working Hunter Classes on the final day of Clifden Show on the Friday. For example there were 33 ponies entered in the Potential Working Hunter class for 4-6 year olds.! 28 were entered in Class N for riders over 16 and 22 qualified ponies had entered in the High Performance Final. Even allowing for the few who might not have taken part, the figures are impressive and their numbers have been steadily increasing since the first four Working Hunter Classes were introduced to Clifden in 2007.And just for the record, the Puissance wall first appeared in 2009 and the High Performance Championship has now run for four years.
Blackwood Fernando (Ferdia)and Alicia Devlin Byrne stand out as having some of the best days of a successful performance career in the Clifden Ring, and they figured prominently again this year when they took the laurels in the High Performance Final with a 1st prize worth €1200, for the 2nd time in 3 years. In 2012 they were 1st and in 2013 were 2nd. (This pic is actually from 2012)
The bay gelding Shanbo Hazels Boy (Monaghanstown Boy) stood in Reserve place with his rider Gillian Bond. Early that morning. Significantly not a single qualified pony managed a clear round on Clifden’s demanding and tricky 12 obstacle course.
The first and largest class of the day, for Potential working Hunter ponies was won by Pataire Crawford with her 5 year old mare Ardfry Jade (Patty’s Sweet Dream). This pair also later took the Champion Working Hunter Award. Pataire is no stranger to the Clifden Performance ring as she has already won the High Performance Final at the age of only 10 in 2012 and again in 2013 on the great little mare Westmir Queen.
2nd in this Class was Glencarrig Joey (Bunowen Bobby) with Pat Geoghegan.
The Reserve Working Hunter Champion was Dunran Katie Sue (Monaghanstown Prince) with Lucinda Kelly and this Wicklow combination had won the Working Hunter Class for riders over 16.
The Stallion Working Hunter Class went to Pauline Dahill with Plume de Kezeg (Janus) and this pair had carried away the top prize last year also.
Newtown Moll’s Pride (Fredericksminde Hazy Match) with Alyssa O’Neill was a close 2nd.
The day was by now beautifully fine and sunny and spectators were standing four deep around the ring.
The ‘ride and drive’ on a lighter note, was hectically entertaining before the Puissance competition began almost exactly at the advertised time of 4pm.
You can sense the all-pervasive high excitement of this type of competition and it was good to see some new ponies tackle this formidable red wall which this year was jumped by two ponies at a height of 1.60 metres.
One of the two was Doire Mhainaigh Earl and Christine Molloy from faraway Waterford who had won this competition last year. This 10 yr old is by Robe Earl
The prize was shared with Carnabay Mirah, a fourteen yr. old stallion by Westside Mirah, ridden by Justine O’Hara. Justine has won this competition in 2011 with Bobby Sparrow Blue.