Farm Ireland

Sunday 22 April 2018

Cheltenham winners in race for riding horse title


Siobhán English

Forpadydeplasterer has been on a winning streak of late with Joanne Quirke in the saddle and his connections will be hoping he can retain his crown in the Racehorse to Riding Horse on Saturday afternoon.

However, he will have plenty of opposition in the form of fellow Cheltenham winners Imperial Commander, Sizing Europe and Arvika Ligeonniere, to name but a few.

They are among 17 entered for this popular competition also previously won by Cooldine, Brave Inca and War of Attrition.

The retraining of racehorses for the show ring has grown in popularity immensely in recent years and the majority of horses who spend years on the track thoroughly enjoy their new lifestyle.

One who has taken to it with much enthusiasm is Sizing Europe, who, on his debut at Dungarvan two weeks ago, entered the winners' enclosure with Rosemary Connors in the saddle.

During his racing career with Henry de Bromhead Sizing Europe was kept in peak condition with regular flatwork sessions by the Waterford-based rider.

Runner-up at the RDS in 2014, Amstecos will be hoping to go one better this year, as will Themoonandsixpence, third 12 months ago, but they will also be challenged by the former Dermot Weld-trained Prince Erik, as well as Glantara, Why Not Batim and Gimli's Axe.

Blue Law, Time Travel, French Accordion, Snaefell, Rassi Maguire, Beau Michael and Heisacoolhand make up the rest of the field.

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Hunter classes

There is always great interest when former in-hand winners return to the RDS under saddle and one of note for the hunter classes is Ballard Big Bang.

Bred in Cork by Seamus Lehane, this four-year-old won the Pembroke Cup in 2014 and will return for the lightweight hunters on Thursday with Elaine Tomlinson in the saddle.

Bred and exhibited throughout her showing career by Shirley Hurst, Tattygare Good To Go is one of the most successful mares to ever grace the RDS with a total of four wins.

Youngstock champion in 2013 and champion hunter mare last summer, this smashing daughter of Porsch is among 10 to compete in the four to eight-year-old middleweight hunter class on Friday morning.

Other horses to watch include the five-year-old middleweight Tandys Bridge, champion recently at Rathdowney and Wexford, and Bloomfield Incognito, one of three sent up by Daphne Tierney. Together with Jane Bradbury, this formidable duo won the supreme hunter accolade in 2014 with Bloomfield Excelsior who is now showing with much success on the UK circuit with Jayne Ross.

Indo Farming