Galway riders prepare for Connacht showjumping league

Oranmore showjumper Olive Clarke will be among the leading challengers in the next round of the National Premier Series Grand Prix league which takes centre stage at the Claremorris Show this weekend.

The three-day action at Hanley’s equestrian centre kicks off tomorrow and will also host the opening round of the Connaught Grand Prix League on Saturday.

The Premier League series will be the highlight with the qualifiers taking place on Friday before Sunday’s final. A total of €12,000 in prize money is up grabs in the event which will see competitors jumping 1 metre 50. The leading contender will be two-time winner already this year, Alex Duffy from Knockmore. He will face a strong challenge from Olive Clarke who grabbed a sixth place finish, riding Butler’s Pantry Spitfield in last weekend’s Premier Grand Prix held at the Mullingar show.

The Connaught League makes a welcome return on Saturday with another big field expected. This will be the first event of the new season with a new format being introduced, where points will be awarded to rider/horse combinations rather than individuals this time around.

Last Sunday in Claremorris the pony classes were a great success. Headford’s Clodagh Lee capped a fine weekend with a victory in the 148 5, 6, and 7 year classes on board Dun Believable.

Galway city rider Cian Melia finished second to Lee in that event and won the 148 Grade A class on Arganiun Boy, while he maintained his consistent form to finish fifth in the Premier Series Grand Prix event.

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