Sunday 25 February 2018

Griffiths shows class as he takes lead at Tattersalls


Australia's Sam Griffiths pictured last year on Paulank Brockagh during the Cross Country Test (Sportsfile)
Australia's Sam Griffiths pictured last year on Paulank Brockagh during the Cross Country Test (Sportsfile)

Louise Parkes

Australia's Sam Griffiths celebrated his 43rd birthday by taking the lead after dressage in The Irish Field CCI 3-Star at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Fairyhouse yesterday.

But the man who won last year's Badminton Horse Trials with the Irish-bred Paulank Brockagh has only a narrow lead over Britain's Flora Harris and Bayano as he heads out over Ian Starks cross-country track at the Meath venue tomorrow with Favorit Z.

Griffiths' 10-year-old bay gelding went out in front with a score of 36.10, but Harris is only 1.3 points behind ahead of fellow-Britons Nick Gauntlett, Kitty King, Panda Christie and Gemma Tattersall. Best of the Irish is Jonty Evans, in 13th with Cooley Rorkes Drift, while Mark Kyle is two places further adrift with Loughton Pearl.

In the Eventing Ireland 2-Star, Aoife Clark lies fourth with Kings Advocate, trailing Britain's Harry Meade (Away Cruising), Kiwi legend Mark Todd (OBOS Colombus) and Australia's Wendy Schaeffer (Smokin Sun).

There are just two Irish leaders at this early stage, Cork's Jodie O'Keeffe (Kachemire le Beau) heading the Land Rover CCI 1-Star and Conor Maguire (Derroon Wood) topping the Tredstep Juniors as Sweden's Selma Hammarstrom (Sligo Fortunus) is in pole position in the Dunboyne Castle Ponies and Britain's Chuffy Clarke (Winnetous M) tops the Connolly's Redmills U-24s.

On Wednesday the winners of the George Mernagh Memorial Bursaries were presented to 36-year-old Lurgan course-designer Aaron McCusker, 18-year-old event rider Cathal Daniels from Loughrea and 22-year-old dressage rider Rachel Dowley from Carrick-on Suir.

Irish Independent

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