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Knight shines at super show


Jump to it: Top showjumping action from the opening day of the Balmoral Show at the King's Hall in south Belfast

Jump to it: Top showjumping action from the opening day of the Balmoral Show at the King's Hall in south Belfast

Jump to it: Top showjumping action from the opening day of the Balmoral Show at the King's Hall in south Belfast

Top racehorse trainer Henrietta Knight was just one of the stars at Balmoral Show, putting a selection of young horses through their paces with friend Ann Hooley.

Knight trained Best Mate, winner of three Cheltenham Gold Cups.

“I have judged some excellent young horses today,” Knight said.

“The champion and reserve are both lovely horses and I know most of the prizewinners here will go on to win competitions in the future at Dublin and further afield.”

Gracehill producer Frank Dickey won the Royal Ulster Rifles trophy with his three year old gelding which celebrated a birthday on the same date.

County Clare horseman Tom Casey won the best two and three year old filly and took reserve champion of the show with a mare shown by Shirley Hurst from Lisbellaw.

Both sired by showjumping stallions Porsch and Cassino, the horses were every bit as glamorous as their pedigrees suggested.

Ballyclare veteran Harry Marshall won the opening showjumping class at Balmoral on the Lurgan owned stallion Derryinver Luxury Cruise.

The young sire, owned by poultry farmer David Campbell, excelled to win the Allbed six and seven year old championship having the fastest jump off round of 43.50.

Maguiresbridge rider James Hogg partnered his son of Cruising to take runner up slot in 45.56 as Carrick rider Melanie Davidson finished third on Alan Davidson's Ulisina, going clear in 50.56.

Young Derry rider Daniel Coyle, who has won two Grand Prix events this year, couldn't be stopped in The Concept Group five year old championship, winning on OTT Alfie owned by Carole Blair.

Coyle's time of 35.44 couldn't be beaten by Randalstown's Shannon McKenzie on Ben's Lady Lux for second place in 37.64.

Martin O'Neill with his own My Cara Douglas finished fourth ahead of Jessica Burke, Sarah Kilpatrick and Simon Scott.

Young Belfast rider Sophie Dalm, daughter of PR guru Mandy Dalm and her hotelier husband Pim Dalm, reigned supreme in The Eventsec 1.30 championship with her Dutch bred horse Unique.

Dalm had a superb time of 54.23 to beat Carrick based Tom Doherty with Julie McClelland's Leizel Lux.

Both Doherty and Niall Byrne had two fences down in the three horse jump off with the latter taking third on Regular Touch.

Irish rider Sven Hadley with Adelgonde Z owned by Billy Twomey won the P&O International Two Phase with the fastest second round clear in 30.09.

Mayo man Alexander Butler on Lowhill Ambassador finished second in 30.35 ahead of Waterford rider Paddy O'Donnell on Hey There Delilah.

Daniel Coyle was again in the prizes for fourth place with Special Leap owned by Joe McElroy.

The Connolly's Red Mills International Stakes went to Paddy O'Donnell with Harristown Princess.

In a six horse jump off O'Donnell, who won a recent Grand Prix in Europe, was fastest in 44.08.

Senior GB rider Geoff Billington and Uppercut were second in 44.86 with team colleague Robert Maguire slotting into third with Zidane VIII.

Highly impressive on opening day was Lurgan’s Angela Percy who finished fourth in the Stakes with Cuba Libre owned by Debbie McGoldrick.

Belfast Telegraph