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Smyth's delight Crystal clear after more success



First place: Jonathan Smyth in Mullingar action

First place: Jonathan Smyth in Mullingar action

laurence dunne/jumpinaction.net

First place: Jonathan Smyth in Mullingar action

Strabane whizzkid Jonathan Smyth followed up his recent Grand Prix Cavan success by winning the Mullingar Underwriting Exchange National GP with the foot-perfect Crystal Tom.

It was also a memorable show for Enniskillen's Katie Conlon (18), who finished fourth from 48 starters in the €12,000 (£10,800) Premier HSI 1m50 Grand Prix with Ping Ball and went on to lift the Leading Young Rider title. Her brother Matthew (14) also took the Children on Horses Championship.

Smyth leads the Underwriting Exchange GP leaderboard on 28 points ahead of Susan Fitzpatrick on 20. He won Mullingar from 95 starters in an eight-horse jump-off with a foot-perfect round in 34.10, beating Olympian Cian O'Connor on the French-bred Careca LS Elite (clear in 35.54). Third went to Max Wachman and Brooklyn de Huis (clear in 36.86).

Fivemiletown owner Alan Robertson's Immun Ocean Ogara finished fourth in 38.02 in the hands of Brendan Murphy. Kenneth Graham of Moville finished fifth and sixth.

Smyth said: "Crystal Tom has had a fantastic season. Mullingar was an amazing show and we are looking forward to National Balmoral on August 15-16."

Katie Conlon added: "I was thrilled to jump at this level and take on the leading Irish riders to finish fourth. It was brilliant to win Leading Young Rider. I am now resting my horses until National Balmoral."

Coincidentally, Richard Smyth, Jonathan's father, also bred Katie's horse Ping Ball.

Chairman of Showjumping Ireland, Eamon Rice, said: "Mullingar held three days of excellent competition behind closed doors. Everyone stuck to the Covid rules and there were some great successes."

Mackenzie Healy (Omagh) galloped to victory in the 1m30 class ahead of Katie Conlon on Interpreter, but when the latter went on to finish fourth in the Premier Grand Prix behind Ger O'Neill, Captain Geoff Curran and Kevin Gallagher, the result ensured the Young Rider title was hers.

The Premier Grand Prix had 48 starters with seven reaching the jump-off and all eyes were on Conlon, who is soon to take up studies at Queen's University.

Katie's brother Matthew won the 1.10 qualifier with Bally Kingdom Clover, finishing second in the final behind Dungannon's Teaghan Eamonn Burns on board Mirdad's Jebreel. He also took the Children on Horses crown.

Erin Crawford (Omagh) was runner-up in the 1m20 final behind Ronya Benson, while Belfast's Joanne Blair stamped her mark on the 1m35 Mervue Equine class to win with the consistent Sandro Boy-sired Mon Ami.

Michael Pender claimed the seven-year-old HSI class on MHS Cardenta, with Templepatrick's Sam El Dahan the runner-up aboard WKD Toronto. Pender also took the overall final.

The Youngster Tour winners were Abigail Stafford (four-year-olds), Tara Dunne (five-year-olds), and Amy Smyth (six-year-olds).

The Youngster Tour moves to Portmore, Lisburn on Friday before the Ulster Region GP on Saturday.

Belfast Telegraph