A large contingent of New Zealand eventers will be hoping to turn the Millstreet International Horse Trials into a happy hunting ground for all.
Nine combinations are set to line up in the CCI4*-L including former winner Tim Price who has entered aboard Happy Boy and Coup de Coeur Dudevin. He and Falco won the class in 2021.
Happy Boy has had just one other 4*-L start while Coup de Coeur Dudevin, who was more recently ridden by Jonelle Price, is on debut at this level. Jonelle has Killbunny Andy on the card, who has also had a single 4*-L start. Clarke Johnstone has three of his heading to the start box in Menlo Park, Leopard’s Action and Aces High.
This is Aces High’s first international start since landing in the United Kingdom. He won the 4*-L at Puhinui (2019) and was second the year after. Menlo Park is on debut at 4*-L level but was top 10 in the 4*-S at his last start at Burnham Market. Leopard’s Action is a new ride for Clarke, having been previously campaigned by Christopher Burton (AUS).
Samantha Lissington is in aboard Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ. The combination have done a handful of 4*-L classes which includes a second place finish in Portugal (2020) and fourth in Italy (2019). Ginny Thompson is entered aboard Capitaine De Hus Z and Gladstone, both of whom are on debut at this level.
The class has attracted 33 combinations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, and host country Ireland, including Badminton winner Laura Collett. The first horse inspection is on Thursday (June 2) followed by dressage on Friday, Mike Etherington-Smith’s cross country on Saturday and showjumping Sunday afternoon.
Mike says much work has been done on the cross country over the winter, with a particular focus on the footing. There are several new fences and he promises the four water features will all make full use of the rolling grassland and natural features.
World no.5 Jonelle is the only Kiwi in the CCI4*-S with her stellar Faerie Dianimo, who was third in the same class last year, and is a previous winner in the 5* at Luhmuhlen (2018). The 4*-S has 27 combinations on the card, including a swag from Ireland. The dressage runs on Thursday with the showjumping Saturday morning and cross country in the afternoon.
There are six New Zealand combinations in the 49-strong CCI3*-L including Samantha Lissington with Ricker Ridge Ricochet, Senor Crocodillo and her new ride Bing Bong, Tim with Gurtera Jimmy Clover, Clarke on Domasco, and Amanda Goldsbury with Fernhill Inspector.
The first horse inspection for the 3*-L is on Wednesday (June 1) with dressage on Thursday, cross country on Saturday and the showjumping on Sunday afternoon.
Tim Rusbridge with Inception and Tim Price on Polystar I are the sole Kiwis in the 45-strong CCI3*-S, while Ginny Thompson on Katchafire, Jonelle with both Full Monty de Lacense and Fernhill Kankan, and Tim Rusbridge on Ballygriffin Cyril, will fly the flag high in the CCI2*-L which has attracted 38 entries.
The Millstreet venue was founded by Noel C Duggan in 1973 and is currently also a temporary home for 320-odd Ukrainian refugees.
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Happy Boy – owned by Susan Lamb and Therese Miller
Coup de Coeur Dudevin – owned by Jean-Louis Stauffer
Killbunny Andy – owned by Therese Miller and Constance Edmundson
Aces High – owned by Jean, Rob and Clarke Johnstone
Menlo Park – owned by Jean, Rob and Clarke Johnstone
Leopard’s Action – owned by Jean, Rob and Clarke Johnstone
Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ – owned by Pip McCarroll and Samantha Lissington
Capitaine De Hus Z – owned by David and Karie Thomson and Virginia Thompson
Gladstone – owned by Elaine Butterworth, Anthony Quirk and Virginia Thompson
Faerie Dianimo – owned by Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Ricker Ridge Ricochet – owned by Samantha Lissington
Senor Crocodillo – owned by Alexander and Joseph Giannamore
Bing Bong – owned by Alexander and Joseph Giannamore
Gurtera Jimmy Clover – owned by Michael McGrath
Domasco – owned by Clarke Johnstone
Fernhill Inspector – owned by Nicola Roden
Inception – owned by Tim Rusbridge
Polystar I – owned by Trisha Rickards
Katchafire – owned by Phillippa Levy, Ross Milne and Virginia Thompson
Full Monty de Lacense – owned by Jackie Oliver, Kate Holmes and Jo Pidduck
Fernhill Kankan – owned by Therese Miller and Julia Lukas
Ballygriffin Cyril – owned by Mark and Cassie Whitney and Tim Rusbridge
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ