First two days of 2013 Silver Spurs Assessment

  • 13 April 2013, 14:42

Silver Spurs

The Silver Spurs is an annual competition, run by Dressage Ireland with the support of Horse Sport Ireland, which aims to develop and reward talented young riders who have potential to progress in their chosen discipline. The competition begins with a series of assessment days, where competitors take part in a group lesson with the assessor. The assessor awards each rider a score out of ten for position, effectiveness and trainability. A scoreboard is collated of the results of each assessment day, and the top 25% in each category will be invited to attend the semi-final day in August.

Islay Auty, this year’s assessor, is an internationally renowned British coach and pony selector, and was in Ireland over the Easter break to judge the first two assessment days, held in Laurelview and Spruce Lodge respectively.


Islay said “ I have had a great two days with enthusiastic riders of all ages from nine upwards. The facilities have all been super and in spite of it being unseasonably cold all the riders worked hard and we achieved some pleasing results. Generally the standard of riding was good and in the senor groups there was some outstanding talent in both horses and riders. I wish them success in their futures, both in this competition and in the wider equestrian world’’.


After the first two days, the lead in the U12 section is held jointly by Maya Boyle and Tara Hayes. Boyle lead her section in Laurelview, while Hayes achieved the same feat the following day in Spruce Lodge. Both of these young riders scored consistent eights across the board.


The Laurelview competitors hold a dominant lead in the pony section, with Katie Burns and Holly Boal sharing the highest score of 23 marks. Ella Boyle and Ciara Muirhead lie in equal third on 22, while four competitors from Spruce Lodge hold equal fifth on 21.5.


Katrina Buchanan, riding Mr. Quayside, holds a clear lead in the junior section, .5 of a mark in front of the Tattersalls bound event rider, Kerri Lyons, who is trained by Amanda Goldsbury. In third place here is Rachael Coulter and Gorsehill Maya


Northern riders Courntey Stuart and Alex Houston share both the lead in the U25 section, and the highest score awarded over the two days, finishing with 27 marks each. Trained by Lucy Adams, Houston is another rider aiming for Tattersalls international, while Courtney Stuart has recently returned from training abroad, both in America and at Talland Equestrian Centre in England. One mark behind these riders is Rachel Dowley, the current U25 Winter Champion, who achieved the highest score of the day in Spruce Lodge.


Catherine McNally was the sole entrant in the Open U25 class, and with her intermediate eventer DG Lions Fort she earned 22.5 marks.


Islay returns to Ireland for three more days of assessments:

2nd June at Spruce Lodge Wicklow organised by Joan Keogh.

27th June at Ennis Show Ground organised by Vida Tansey.

28th June at Stonehaven Equestrian Centre, Waterford organised by Joan Lenehan.

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