Patricia Ryan (IRL) returns home this weekend (27-30 May) to defend her title at Tattersalls (IRL) at the halfway stage in the 2010 HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing series. Ryan and husband Michael, who scored a memorable one-two last year, have been based in England this spring, but will be doing their best to keep victory at Tattersalls, their country’s showpiece event, in Irish hands for the third year running.
Patricia withdrew her Olympic horse and Tattersalls winner Fernhill Clover Mist after the Dressage at Badminton and promises: “He is fighting fit and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.” There are 14 other Irish riders in the field of 33, including the very experienced Susan Shortt on Imperative. But the home side faces determined competition from five riders who already have HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing points from Chatsworth (GBR) a fortnight ago and will be keen to enhance their chances of sharing the US$180,000 prize fund that goes to the leading 15 riders in the series.
Mary King (GBR) who was best of the British visitors in 3rd on Imperial Cavalier at the Irish venue last year, is three-handed: she brings the striking grey Fernhill Urco, sixth at Tattersalls in 2009 and ninth at Chatsworth, plus her home-bred mare Kings Temptress, which she retired at Badminton (GBR) after a stop, and the veteran four-star horse Apache Sauce.
Ruth Edge (GBR), deputising for the pregnant Polly Stockton (GBR), rides Arthur Comyn’s Irish-bred and owned Westwood Mariner, sixth at Chatsworth; and Andrew Nicholson (NZL) has the brilliant Spanish-bred jumper Armada, seventh and fastest across the country at Chatsworth.
Lucy Wiegersma (GBR), the runner-up at Chatsworth, has most to gain as she is the highest placed of the Tattersalls entries on the HSBC FEI World Cup™ Eventing rankings in eighth. She rides the promising Granntevka Prince, winner of Blenheim CCI3* (GBR) and fourth at Pau CCI4* (FRA) last year.
British riders relish coming to Tattersalls, home of the premier bloodstock sales, where the US-based course designer Hugh Lochore (GBR) always has a proper old-fashioned galloping track with lovely big hedges in store. “It’s one of the best events in the world,” says Mary King. “All of us enjoy competing here because the facilities are so superb and the hospitality is second to none!”
Calendar of Events
1. Tallahassee (USA), 5-7 March 2
2. Kihikihi (NZL), 2-4 April
3. Sydney (AUS), 7-9 May
4. Marbach (GER), 7-9 May
5. Chatsworth (GBR), 15-16 May
6. Tattersalls (IRL), 27-30 May
7. Strzegom (POL), 24-27 June
8. Minsk (BLR), 21-25 July
9. Rebecca Farm, Kalispell (USA), 22-25 July
10. Malmö (SWE), 13-15 August
11. Haras du Pin (FRA), 18-22 August
12. Schenefeld (GER), 26-29 August
Standings (after 5 of 12 events)
1 Megan Jones (AUS) 138 points
2 Clarke Johnston (NZL) 128
3 Sonja Johnson (AUS) 119
4= Mara Dean (USA) 71
4 = Chris Burton (AUS) 71
4 = Michael Jung (GER) 71
4 = Sam Griffiths (AUS) 71
8 Lucy Wiegersma (GBR) 70
9 = Phillip Dutton (USA) 67
9 = Heelan Tompkins (NZL) 67
9 = Kai-Steffen Meier (GER) 67
12 Jenna Mahoney (NZL) 65