The sport of three day eventing is among the most demanding of all equestrian sports, with competitors looking for the perfect balance of control, power and precision from their horses. It is no surprise that many of the sport’s top riders choose Connolly’s RED MILLS as their feeding partner and the achievements of our ambassadors in 2015 have once again been spectacular.
Connolly’s RED MILLS are very proud to have been associated with Galway’s Cathal Daniels for a number of years and 2015 saw the young rider prove a real force on the international stage.
Daniels played a key role in helping Ireland to win their first ever eventing Nations Cup at Boekello in The Netherland’s, in what was an historic achievement for the sport in Ireland. In August, 18 year old Daniels, not only helped seal his team’s bronze medal position at the young rider European Championships in Poland, but also secured sixth place in the overall rankings on the Irish Sport Horse, Rioghan Rua.
Daniels also won the CIC2* class at Ballindenisk with Sammy David Junior, while the same pairing also won at Ballinamona and Lisgarvan.
One of the most experienced Irish eventing riders on the circuit, Austin O’Connor had another excellent year in 2015. He scored a podium finish at Camphire International Horse Trials in Co. Waterford with Kilpatrick Knight. He featured again as best of the Irish in the CCI2* at Camphire, finishing sixth with Day by Day.
In April, O’Connor finished best of the Irish at the Rolex Kentucky four star event in the US, while he was again the best placed Irish rider The Irish Field CCI3* class at Tattersalls International Horse Trials, finishing in sixth place on his dressage score of 50.00 with the Irish Sport Horse Kilpatrick Knight.
O’Connor was also part of the Irish team who finished fourth in the three star Nations Cup at Aachen in Germany, while he was one of three Connolly’s RED MILLS Ambassadors named on the Irish squad for the FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle in Scotland.
Camilla Speirs was another Connolly’s RED MILLS Ambassador who took on the tough Badminton Horse Trials this year with Portersize Just a Jiff, scoring an excellent top 40 finish.
Speirs landed a unique double in the Irish Sport Horse Eventing series at Ballinamona in July. She took the six year old trophy with Loughnavatta and also the five year old class with LEB Lias Jewel.
Speirs also travelled to the FEI European Championships in Blair Castle and despite several high profile eliminations on a demanding course, she managed an excellent top 30 finish. She rounded off an excellent season with selection for the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at Le Lion d’Angers (FRA) with BT Cloud Nine and Goldman.
Carlow’s Sam Watson is also part of the Connolly’s RED MILLS team of riders and among the Irish high performance squad. He was part of the Irish team who finished second in the Nations Cup at Ballindenisk. Watson was one of Ireland’s best performers at Badminton, coming home in 34th place aboard Horseware Bushman, while he landed a fifth place finish in the main feature class at Camphire International Horse Trials.
A superb year was crowned when Sam Watson and Horseware Lukeswell (ISH) competed as an individual for Ireland in the European Championships at Blair Castle, and took 12th place overall, the best of the Irish performances.
Elizabeth Power has represented Ireland at the European Championships at pony, junior, and senior levels and in 2015 managed to complete the demanding Badminton Horse Trials in the UK. The dual star also mixed it with the best show jumpers during the year, with some outstanding results at some of Ireland’s top shows.
Former double European Champion, World Champion and Olympic silver medallist, Britain’s Tina Cook is also part of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Ambassadors. Cook was best of the British riders at the world famous Burghley Horse trials in September, taking eighth place with Star Witness.
With the Irish team having already secured qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, several of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Ambassadors are on the shortlist of riders expected to be in contention for a place. Likewise Tina Cook’s experience will mean she will be among the favourites to be selected for the British team. It promises to be another exciting year for all our team of riders, who have been proving that Connolly’s RED MILLS is the perfect feed to meet the demands of the modern day event horse.