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Simpson leads way as Ulster stars taste glory


David Simpson

David Simpson

David Simpson

Ulster showjumpers have won Grand Prix classes in Belfast, England and Italy with Londonderry rider David Simpson leading the way with a superb win in the £50,000 Dodson and Horrell 1m50 class at Bolesworth, Chester.

Clones ace Clement McMahon claimed the £15,000 Premier Grand Prix at Balmoral Park, while Templepatrick-based Sameh el Dahan partnered WKD Toronto to win the Gorla Minore Italian Grand Prix.

Simpson excelled in a 12-horse jump-off at Bolesworth with Foudre F to have the only double clear round to win in 42.22 ahead of William Whitaker on Galtur and Londonderry’s Daniel Coyle with his new horse Carlyle.

Simpson was delighted after winning nearly £20,000 and said: “The time was tight, I stuck to my plans and it paid off. Foudre is so consistently careful and tries hard.”

The grand finale at the National Championship show at Balmoral saw McMahon, with Hilton Pacato, scorch round to win the four-horse jump-off in 47.55 from 36 starters over a strong track built by Klaus Wholle.

It was also mastered by Kevin Gallagher on Ballypatrick Flamenco, who took second in 48.66, and Jason Foley, third with 48.90 on MHS Jersey Girl.

McMahon said: “It’s always a treat coming to Balmoral, we don’t have many arenas like this in Ireland.

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"It is underused, the riders would love to see this being used a few times in the year. Good horses really show themselves here.”

The leading male rider at Balmoral was new kid on the block, 19-year-old Dylan Ward (Newcastle), who claimed the 1.30m final onboard Diamont de la Mer, bred by his grandfather Hugh (82).

Ward is a full-time rider with Sycamore Stables, Templepatrick and finished fifth in the 1.20m final with WKD Argentah.

“I want to thank Sameh el Dahan, Denis Flannery and Joanne Sloan Allen for great training,” said Ward, whose father keeps his own horses ticking along while he works for Sycamore.

Nicole Kershaw, based with Keonan Stables, Banbridge, received the Hugh Fitzpatrick diamond necklace as leading female rider, having won the seven-year-old final with Clovalent and taken third in the 1.30m final on Novellent.

Kershaw was working in Germany when she was headhunted to ride for the Rosbotham family stables.

The champion four-year-old was Hallsmill Aga Quix, owned and ridden by Banbridge’s Angela Waras, while Ards rider Michael Cave was champion 1.20m finalist with Tom Spence’s Gortshalgan, a consistent winner at this level all year.

Honours in the five-year-old Championship went to HHS India, ridden by Banbridge’s John McEntee, with six-year-old honours claimed by Adam Carey on the talented Luicruz.

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