IRISH Showjumpers, Owners, Breeders and Horses were rewarded at the Showjumpers Awards Ball in the Killashee House Hotel in Naas on Saturday night.
There were 22 Awards presented at the Annual event on Saturday night with spectators gathered from all sections of the Equine community.
The Showjumpers Club inducted a new member to the Hall of Fame and in doing so, brought in the first Equine inductee as the great stallion Cruising was given the accolade. The McCann family’s great horse has been one of the most influential horses in the Irish Breed and continues to add value to the Irish Sport Horse industry.
Cruising passed away earlier this year but his is a legend that will live on for many years thanks to his many wins on the International circuit and his contribution to the Irish Nations Cup Team during the 1990’s.
Bertram Allen has had a monumental rise in the World Rankings this year with numerous wins and placings around Europe and several high profile performances on the Nations Cup circuit. His most notable achievement was undoubtedly winning the Grand Prix of Ireland at the Dublin Horse Show in August.
Allen, who is just 19, currently lies in 17th position in the World Rankings and was rewarded with the International Rider of the Year prize.
At the Dublin Horse Show, Allen steered the wonderful grey mare, Molly Malone to victory in the Dublin Grand Prix and with her many impressive performances she was named as the Horse of the Year.
Elsewhere on the International scene, Darragh Kenny was presented with a Special Achievement Award for his various successes this season, namely as part of the Irish Nations Cup squad.
From their results at the European Championships, the Irish Pony Showjumping Team were announced as the Team of the Year having taken home a Silver Medal. In the Junior and Young Rider division, Noelle Barry and Jonathan Gordon were named Junior of the Year and Young Rider of the Year respectively as they finished highest individually in their respective divisions.
On the National front, a new National Champion was crowned in the very familiar face of Greg Broderick. Having won the TRM/Horseware National Grand Prix League for the previous two years, Broderick had another season to remember as he claimed the TRM/Horseware Premier Series. His main horse, MHS Going Global was crowned as the Leading Horse in the Series while the Broderick family were also presented with a Special Achievement Award for their contribution to the Sport Horse industry.
Broderick’s National Grand Prix League Title was handed down to Kilkenny’s Vincent Byrne. Byrne is another rider who has had a steep rise to the top and this was his biggest accolade to date. Along with taking the league, his main mount, Mr Rockefeller claimed the Leading Horse Title.
The season began with the HSI/Connolly’s Red Mills Spring Tour and this was won for the third time in a row by the seemingly unbeatable Daniel Coyle and Linzi Johnston’s wondermare Uptown Girl.
At the end of the season, another rider successfully defended a League Title with Alexander Butler taking the GAIN/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League for the second year in a row.
For the first time there was a National Young Rider of the Year award and this was won by Mayo’s Cormac Hanley at the National Young Rider Championships in Ennis in August.
In the Amateur division, Joanna Penfold won the Amateur Speed Championship while Lorna Conroy was the National Amateur Champion. The Groom of the Year was voted for by Riders and fellow grooms and it was won by Thomas Brosnan who works at the Kennedy Equine Centre in Tralee. Also put to a vote was the Show of the Year and this was won by Ballyfoyle Gymkhana.
Chairman of the Showjumpers Club, Ronan Corrigan commented on the strength of the Irish Showjumping Industry; ‘’2014 has been another fantastic year for Showjumping and it has been highlighted by the successes of Bertram Allen who remains a force to be reckoned with on the International scene. We had so many memorable moments this year, nationally and internationally that it goes to show that Ireland remains to be one of the main linchpins in international showjumping.
‘’Sadly this year we saw the demise of the legendary Cruising but we are delighted to be able to acknowledge his contribution to the Equine Industry and to reward his Breeder and Owner, Mary McCann and her family.
‘’All in all, this has been another very successful year but we are sure that the successes of this year can be built on going forward to 2015.’’
The Showjumpers Club organised HSI/Connolly’s RED MILLS Spring Tour will get the 2015 Grand Prix season started on February 15th 2015 at Kildare International.
Bertram Allen and Cruising received awards