Smyth shows gold standard to taste Grand Prix Qualifier success
Strabane's up and coming talent Jonathan Smyth has won the International Gold tour 1.40m Grand Prix Qualifier International class at the Millstreet show in County Cork.
Smyth - nephew of model agency boss Alison Clarke, the wife of golfer Darren Clarke - excelled from 86 entries to jump the fastest clear in 62.23 on his consistent Charlton Clio.
He also finished fourth on Mulvin Lui behind Liam O'Meara with Oldtown KC on 62.73 and Captain Geoff Curran on the Paul Dillon-bred Drummiller Lough, who went clear in 63.15.
Smyth, who won three main classes at the National Balmoral Championships in July, took the runner-up position behind Sven Hadley and Ganorad in the International 1.25m Silver tour.
From 78 entries, Hadley won in 61.49 ahead of Smyth and Cruising Lux, who were a fraction slower in 61.51.
Moville showjumper Kenneth Graham excelled to win the five-year-old horse qualifier from 82 starters on Tullabeg Jackson with a jump-off clear of 30.83.
Ethane Ahearn, on board BP Winston, finished runner-up in 31.82, while Aghalee's Luke Campbell was third with a fast clear in 32.01 on Ikandy.
Harry Marshall, from Ballyclare, and Dermott Lennon, from Banbridge, are in Millstreet and will contest the main Grand Prix tomorrow (3pm). The former partnered Barcelona to finish fourth in the GP qualifier.
Banbridge rider Alex Finney was in top form to claim first from 54 starters in the 148cm Champion of Ireland qualifier with Corradino du Bary.
The Jean Finney-owned pony won with the fastest clear in 31.25, beating Kanturk's Ryan Sweetnam's 31.57 with Perseus and Erin Crawford's clear 31.59 on Castlewarren Gold.