Sparrow soars to victory in Connemara
The versatile stallion Bobby Sparrow Blue continued his winning streak at Clifden this year with regular rider Justine O'Hara when securing the spoils in the high performance final.
In what proved to be a good few days for the connections he also sired Vales Blue Bobby Sparrow, third in the green hunter final which was won by Lisa Hockley on Carnakilly Finn.
The €3,000 high performance final saw 24 combinations forward from the qualifiers held countrywide throughout the summer, but in the end only a handful of combinations showed the standard of jumping required by leaving all the fences intact.
The final results were based on their jumping ability, in addition to movement, conformation and type. Judges on the day were Peter Molloy and Pat Stirling.
Second place went to Hannah Gordon riding Derryronane Stud's 11-year-old stallion Black Shadow. His progeny Brackagh Dream and Donn Boy also appeared in the line-up in the green hunter final in fifth and seventh.
As one of the oldest ponies competing at the show, the 20-year-old Bobby Sparrow Blue again gave a truly impressive display of jumping at a venue which has provided him with some of his biggest wins of his career.
Owned by Patricia Dalton of Faughanvale Stables in Derry, he shared a win in the first ever Puissance at Clifden in 2009 when clearing 1.55m. He was also a joint winner in 2010 and won it outright in 2011 when Justine was just 14 years old. Two years ago, Susan Oakes set a record when riding him side-saddle to clear 1.35m.
A Grade A show jumper, Bobby Sparrow Blue is a full-brother to fellow Grade A pony Some Man For One Man, who represented Ireland at European Championship level on numerous occasions.