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Campbell 'blessed' to bank local success

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Cool hand: Luke Campbell and Corlioni on their way to winning the Ulster Region Grand Prix tour at Portmore

Cool hand: Luke Campbell and Corlioni on their way to winning the Ulster Region Grand Prix tour at Portmore

Cool hand: Luke Campbell and Corlioni on their way to winning the Ulster Region Grand Prix tour at Portmore

Lisburn showjumper Luke Campbell showed his class to win the 1m 35 Ulster Grand Prix from 46 starters at Aghalee's Portmore Equestrian Centre, where the cream of riders competed for two days under strict Covid guidelines.

Campbell had no fewer than three horses in the 15-horse jump-off, where he was closely pursued by 2019 European pony gold medallist John McEntee.

"It's great to come to my local venue and have three horses in the jump-off," said a delighted Campbell.

"Portmore is only 20 minutes away, I am very blessed. The surface here is fantastic, I was delighted to win, the event was electric."

Portmore-based senior national course builder Rafael Suarez provided a jump-off track for bravehearts, with tight turns and a final long gallop to the last oxer.

Campbell, who was runner-up in Kernan's Ulster Grand Prix last month, gave an exhibition in class to win with Corlioni in 35.11.

McEntee (17) with the Belgian Stephex-owned Hip Hop sired grey mare Hip Girl, also impressed to stop the clock in 36.90 for second, and steered Miguel Bravo's eight-year-old bay mare HHS A Touch of Class into third in 38.62.

Alo McEntee, John's father and trainer, said: "John has some very good horses and great owners, the show has been brilliant, great weather and a brilliant prep for the Balmoral Park two-day event."

Comber's Suzanne Posnett with Foesuela, owned by her mother Pamela, finished fourth, while Omagh's rising star Mackenzie Healy was fifth and sixth, partnering McFadden Equine's Emerald Pokemon and Domar Van De Neerheide.

Dromore rider Kirsten Farr took the 1m 20 final ahead of Olivia Roulston on Valent, while Charlotte Harding won the 1.10m final over Posnett.

Randalstown-based Philip Gaw's Carnlea Sandy Beach was victorious in the four-year-olds, ahead of Jennifer Torrens of Tyrone, while Armagh's Sharon Clonlon received the five-year- old rosette in front of Beverley Caves.

Lisa Patterson and Richard Smyth were first and second in the seven/eight-year-olds with eventer Jessica McIntyre, Banbridge, winning the opening 1.30 class.

Fivemiletown's Alan Robertson travelled to Waterford with Immun Ocean Ogara to win the River Lodge 1.45 class. Brendan Murphy steered Ogara to success in 36.28 ahead of Edward Doyle on Cruise Mor in 37.66

Mark Finnerty claimed the National Grand Prix at Killossery Lodge on board All Action, with runner-up and third going to Stephen Murphy and Derek McConnell.

Joan Greene won the Underwriting Exchange National Grand Prix, Tipperary, where Moy's Annabel Heffron (16) was fifth with Lightyear 2.

Omagh's Niamh McEvoy and her pony, Fireman, excelled at Cavan Weekend, winning the Coolmore Stud 1.25m and the Ballywalter Farms Teggart Memorial Cup Grand Prix.

Belfast Telegraph