Sophie's choice is Young winner
Belfast rider Sophie Dalm and her horse Unique jumped the only clear round of the Young Riders Showjumping class on opening day at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show.
Ulster's up and coming lady showjumper, who has excelled at home and abroad in the past few years, had the only northern showjumping win of the day as she took the red riband with a clear in 72.43.
Sophie, the daughter of Pim and Mandy Dalm, owners of Clandeboye Lodge and Navigator Blue PR, showed the other 15 riders a clean pair of heels to beat Anna Carway on Winner and Sven Hadley with Quanbell.
County Armagh's Conor McAneaney from Loughgilly was fighting glandular fever over the past week and, despite having a full team of horses in Dublin, he managed to finish ninth on his superb stallion Moonlite Cavalier.
Mayo show jumper Cameron Hanley, who has recovered from a serious leg injury which prevents him from running, won The Avery Crest Ski Chalets Speed Stakes.
Hanley, now based in Germany, won the Grand Prix of Chantilly two weeks ago, claimed the opening class with Newton du Haut Bois, a bay gelding by the former world champion stallion Cumano, in a time of 53.97secs.
He beat Irish colleague Thomas Ryan, clear in 55.14sec on the grey son of Cruising, Cruise on Clover, ahead of Michael Duffy and Westland Ruby.
Dutch rider Robert Vos and home rider Shane Breen were equal four in an identical time of 55.99. Jessica Springsteen – daughter of rock star Bruce – showed her talent to stay in the money with sixth place on her newly purchased French horse Davendy S, ahead of Co Down's Conor Swail in seventh with Grafton, a chestnut stallion by Calvaro.
Kilkenny's Eddie Moloney claimed the Horse Sport Ireland 6 Year Old 1.30m event on the Irish bred gelding A Touch of Caricello. From a massive 17-horse jump-off, Moloney took the red riband in 48.27, a fraction faster than Ger O'Neill, another Kilkenny rider, on Dondoctro Ryal K, clear in 48.36secs. O'Neill, a serious talent and highly consistent, also finished third on Castlefield Jess, owned by Jim O'Neill, in 48.99
Darragh Kenny can do no wrong at the moment having won twice in Aachen and in Chantilly two weeks ago. He returned to the RDS and excelled to take the Irish Sports Council Classic with the bay French berd Picolo by Diamant de Semilly.
Kenny, who is based in the United States, was one of 14 jump off riders and was untouchable to win in 35.22. GB rider Ben Maher with AristoZ, owned by American Janet Forbes Clarke, occupied runner up slot in 36.12 ahead of Swede Henrik Von Eckermann with For Sale 6 who also produced a brilliant clear in 36.40.
Avery Ski Chalet Speed Stakes: 1 Cameron Hanley IRE Newton du Haut Bois 0 53.97; 2 Thomas Ryan IRE Cruise on Clover 0 55.14; 3 Michael Duffy IRE Westland Ruby 0 55.35; 4 Robert Vos NED Carat 0 55.99; 4 Shane Breen IRE Ominerale Courcelle 0 55.99; 6 Jessica Springsteen USA Davendy S 0 56.16; 7 Conor Swail IRE Grafton 0 57.07.
The Irish Sports Council Classic: 1 Darragh Kenny IRE Picolo 0 0 35.22; 2 Ben Maher GB Aristo Z 0 0 36.12; 3 Henrick Von Eckermann SWE For Sale 0 0 36.40; 4 Pieter Devos BEL Dylano 0 0 36.42; 5 Timothee Anciaume FRA Padock du Plessis 0 0 38.43; 6 Johnny Pals NED Vignet 0 0 42.35; 7 Marlon Zanotelli BRA Ad Clouwni 0 4 34.82.
Horse Sport Ireland Six Year Olds: 1 Eddie Moloney, A Touch of Caricello 0 0 48.27; 2 Ger O'Neill, Dondoctro Royal K 0 0 48.36; 3 Ger O'Neill, Castlefield Jess 0 0 48.99; 4 Greg Broderick, Super Chilled 0 0 49.19; 5 Nicholas Butler Claricella 0 0 49.25; 6 Thomas O'Brien Mini Cruzano 0 0 49.34; 7 Capt Michael Kelly, Bonmahon Master Blue 0 0 49.55.
Gallagher Meller E 2 Showjumpers: 1 Sophie Dalm, Unique 0 72.43; 2 Anna Carway, Winner 4 69.74; 3 Sven Hadley, Quanbell 4 70.76; 4 Cormac Hanley, Queen Carola 4 71.95; 5 Van Amerongen Peig, Graf Red Dawn 4 74.4; 6 Philip Carey, Ton Soleil F 8 68.27; 7 Anna Carway, Ajaccio 8 76.04.