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Silver Spurs Finals 2015

Published: 29.07.2015

The Finals and Semi-Finals of this year’s Silver Spurs were held last week at Spruce Lodge, in Co. Wicklow.

The format of this competition was changed from previous years, and the traditional “ride off” between the three Finalists in each class was dispensed with. Instead, a larger number of the top-scoring Semi-Finalist’s progressed to the Final, which was judged solely on the rider’s seat, effectiveness and performance of the test.

Tredstep Ireland once again provided generous prizes for all Finalists, and the top three riders in each section won €400 training bursaries sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland. They also received membership for 2016 from Dressage Ireland.

From the 89 qualified to come through to the Semi Finals, 62 riders competed over the two days. On the Wednesday the Open Under 25s, the Under 25s and the Junior section and on the Thursday the Under 12s and the Pony Section.

In the Under 12s Section, league leader Killian Murphy was crowned Champion after his performance on Cullintra Gold. Trained by his mother Nadine, he was following in the footsteps of his sister Leah, a former bursary winner and now a member of the HSI Pony Dressage Development Squad. Another member of this squad, Bronte Collins, finished second on Reduster Martin, while local rider Ellen Creed took the third bursary with Miss Delilah.

Tara Hayes became the Silver Spurs Pony Champion in only her first year at this level, having scored a perfect 100% in the Semi-Final. Tara has benefitted from training with both the HSI Pony Dressage Development Squad and the Leinster Youth Development Squad. She now heads to the BYRDS Home International in the UK along with other Silver Spurs winners, Roisin Winters, Megan McGrath, Laura Dennehy and the reserve for the European Pony Squad Emily Kate Robinson. In the UK they will be joined by 2014 Silver Spurs Under 25s winner Rachel Coulter. Rachel has spent the summer months training with Maria Eilberg which should help the riders make a very strong team. Making her trip from the north worthwhile Victoria Campbell finished second in the pony section while Waterford Pony Club member Kate Lenihan was third.

Sandra Blake Farrell’s students came to the fore in both the Junior and Under 25s Sections, with her pupil Kevin Acres becoming Junior Champion on a mark of 91.60. Another to credit the role of the Leinster Development Squad in his success, Acres will now turn his attention to preparing his ride Little Miss Daydream for the National Championships. Lynn Clarke-Hearty and Roisin Winters finished second and third respectively.

Newly crowned Under 25 Champion Shannon Cussen also expressed her gratitude to Sandra Blake Farrell in helping her to prepare for this competition. With Varthago Van’t Kiezelhof, she finished over a mark ahead of Linda Murphy trained by former Silver Spurs winner Ruth Chadwick. Heather Murray-Good from Cork trained by Eimear White was third.

It was the turn of the HSI High Performance Pony Dressage Squad members to shine in the Open Under 25s Section, which is run for combinations who compete at medium level or above in Dressage Ireland and intermediate level and above with Eventing Ireland. Semi-final winner Sofie Walsh heads to Malmö next week to contest the Pony European Dressage Championships, as does third-placed Katie Burns.

Walsh was demoted to eventual second however, by Gransha Equestrian’s Courtney Stuart. With her international Small Tour campaigner Fanfarron, on whom she has enjoyed success in Compiegne, Hartpury and Hickstead this year, she became Open Under 25 Champion on a mark of 94.40.

Judges Rachael Hillier and Janet Horswill BD director of the BYRDS - the British Young Riders Dressage Scheme, commented on how the standard of riding has continued to improve since they last judged in Ireland some years ago, and said they had rarely if ever awarded such high marks for riding.

—Racel Dowley

Reports Archive

29.07.2015 - Silver Spurs Finals 2015

09.08.2013 - Silver Spurs Finals 2013

15.07.2013 - Final Assessment Days of 2013

08.06.2012 - Silver Spurs assessment day at Spruce Lodge

11.04.2013 - First Round of the 2013 Silver Spurs Assessment Days

22.08.2012 - Young Riders Display Their Talent And Quality at 2012 HSI Silver Spurs Finals

16.04.2012 - HSI Silver Spurs First Round Leader Board 2012

08.09.2011 - HSI Silver Spurs Finals 2011

05.04.2010 - HSI Silver Spurs Qualifiers - 30th March to 2nd April 2010

25.08.2009 - Silvers Spurs Finals
22 August 2009, Marlton Stud

25.08.2009 - Silver Spurs Semi Finals
21 August 2009, Marlton Stud

18.08.2009 - Final Silver Spurs Qualifier at Spruce Lodge

13.08.2009 - Leaderboard, August 2009

05.08.2009 - First Two Qualifiers