With eight international classes running simultaneously, Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair is always an incredibly busy event. Both dressage and cross country action delighted spectators on another beautiful day in Ireland, and we’ve got a breakdown on the day courtesy of our good friends at EquiRatings. Here are five Friday facts you need to know:
1. Austin O’Connor and Kilpatrick Knight, who lead the George Mernagh Memorial CIC3* after dressage on 42.3, are making their fifth appearance at the venue in as many years. Austin and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Master Imp have a 100 percent clear cross country record at Tatts.
2. Padraig McCarthy is making his first appearance at Tatts a memorable one. He’s currently sitting in second place in The Irish Field CCI3* with Mr. Chunky on 44.7, plus he’s in third and fifth places in the CIC3* with Bernadette Utopia and Simon Porloe. Padraig has only contested 11 CIC3* star competitions in his career, but he completed all of them with a clear cross country and is fresh off his first win at the level at Chatsworth.
3. It’s a common theme at Tattersalls that a good first phase is vital to be a contender to take the win. In the CIC3*, the past four winners all came from the top two places after dressage. Currently Austin O’Connor and Jonty Evans are holding those spots in the hopes of boosting their chances for selection to the Irish Olympic team.
4. Ireland will look to maintain the tradition of winning the CIC3* title in Olympic years, a trend that may well continue as they once again field their main Olympic contenders. Austin and Jonty have both gone on to contest the Games when Tattersalls was previously used as a trial run, so spectators can expect Olympic fever to be in full force over the next couple of days.
5. Jonelle Price’s CCIYH1* dressage score of 34.9 with OBOS Impressive is a new record low for the one-star at Tatts. The next finishing score in that class was set by Janou Bleekman in 2014 when she finished on a 36.3. OBOS Impressive, a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by OBOS Quality, most recently finished 18th in the CIC2* at Saumur.
Looking to our American riders at Tatts, Katherine Coleman is sitting in 30th place on 50.8 in the Eventing Ireland CCI2* with her own Back to Business. You might have seen the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare competing at The Fork this spring, where she finished sixth in a strong CIC* division while Katherine was in the States preparing to compete at Rolex. Back to Business completed the CIC2* at Rockingham last month in preparation for her first CCI2* at Tatts.
Katherine also went cross country today in the Cooley Farm CCIYH1* with her own Monte Classico. After a lovely dressage test that had them sitting in 12th on 42.3 after dressage, they picked up a bummer of a runout at fence 15b to slip down the leaderboard. This 7-year-old Dutch gelding is a super jumper and definitely an exciting horse to watch for the future.
Notice something on Katherine’s back in the photo above? That’s the one and only Wilberry Wonderpony, who will be riding along on cross country with competitors all weekend to benefit cancer charities. Hannah Francis, the 18-year-old British eventer behind the wildly successful charity, is bravely battling a severe form of bone cancer and performed beautiful test rides at Tattersalls this weekend with her lovely mare Mavis. Click here to watch a video.
Hannah was unfortunately admitted to the hospital soon after, and the entire EN team is sending her the very best wishes. “Admitted to hospital on the way home late last night after one of the best few days I’ve ever had in the amazing Ireland at Tattersalls International Horse trials riding my first international tests abroad,” Hannah said. “Despite the pain Mavis was incredible. Every single person involved has made it totally magical and unforgettable, and I’m so very grateful to each and every one of you.”
Katherine is also competing in the CCI3*, which did dressage yesterday, and is currently in 19th place on 55.5 with Longwood as we look ahead to cross country tomorrow. You can watch the duration of cross country tomorrow live and for free at this link.
Our other American competitor, Texan native Mimi Falb, unfortunately had an early end to her weekend on cross country with Kilpipe Jewel in the Land Rover CCI*. Mimi and the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse stallion picked up thee cumulative refusals on course at fences 9b and 15b.
Many thanks to both Tattersalls and Libby Law Photography for providing lovely photos from the competition. Keep it locked on EN all weekend long for everything you need to know from Tatts.