NI stars Daniel and Conor shine in Canada
The opening day of the Spruce Meadows Masters five-day show in Calgary saw Derry and Saintfield riders dominate the international arena.
Daniel Coyle and the talented Cita won the 17 horse jump off from 64 starters to claim the Telus Cup over a 1m 50 track, while Conor Swail on GK Coco Chanel were runners up in the Akita Drilling Cup.
Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid took the early lead going clear in the jump off in 37.34 but Brazilian Eduardo Menezes with Ennabel Van Het Posthuis overtook him by 0.57 of a second.
Last to jump, Daniel Coyle and Cita scorched round in 36.24 to claim the trophy, also taking fourth with Legacy.
Menezes went on to win the Akita Drilling Cup on H5 Quintol with Swail a close second with GK Coco Chanel.
Waterford's Francis Connors is the new national 2019 Irish Showjumping champion and overall league winner of the TRM Horseport Ireland New Heights competition at the Galway finals. The league spanned Omagh show, Portmore, Aghalee and Balmoral where Connors and Hugh Fitzpatrick's Erne Ladygoldilocks excelled. Runner up was Tholm Keane with BMH Big Time and Tim Macdonagh on Hollypark Galloway.
Meanwhile the equestrian world has contributed to a funding page raising more than $250,000 to aid Irish rider Kevin Babington who has undergone spinal cord surgery in New York.
Showjumpers worldwide have contributed to the fund to take care of expenses outside his medical insurance which include rehabilitation.