Oranmore showjumper Olive Clarke took the major prize at the weekend’s successful Claremorris Grand Prix Show.
Clarke won the 1.5m Premier League Grand Prix with a stunning double clear on the Michael Duignan-owned Starboard.
Clarke’s victory came just a week after she finished fourth in Mullingar, having knocked the last fence in the opening round to miss the jump-off. However there were no such errors at the weekend as Clarke registered one of only three double clears in the fastest time, beating Tipperary’s Trevor Breen in the process.
Breen had won Saturday’s opening round of the Connaught Grand Prix league and would have been favourite to do the double on either the same horse, Adventure de Kannan, or Always Cullohill, but in the end had to settle for second and fourth on the respective horses.
Clarke also managed a fifth in the class with Butler’s Pantry Spitfield, but it was Starboard that had the poise to get round clean and the pace to beat the other two clears.
Starboard owner Michael Duignan said Clarke had done a superb job.
“Starboard is a very popular horse at all the shows. He is as calm as you could possibly hope for and really loves the big arena with the watching crowds. Olive Clarke has done a superb job with him and she played a key part in the win.”
Ballinasloe’s Damien Griffin, who finished second overall last year, came in a fine third on Lissy Egan Clover Diamond in the Connaught Grand Prix League.
Headford Show Next Week
The Connaught Grand Prix League will continue next weekend with action at the re-arranged Headford Show on Saturday, kicking off a bumper weekend for riders as round three will quickly follow on Sunday at the Crossmolina show.
The Headford show had been initially scheduled for last month but was cancelled due to some poor weather in the week leading up to the event. Hopes are high that Saturday’s new date will still attract the big crowd especially with the main attraction of the 1.40 metre Grand Prix.