Galway born Catriona Fallon with the Nightfield Equestrian owned Nivitas Charge K, captured a very competitive third round of the Connnolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league, at the picturesque Ballinamona Equestrian Centre near Waterford City.
A nine year old son of Luidam, Nivitas Charge K has been a consistently sold performer at 1.35m level and finished third in the HSI/Connolly’s RED MILLS Spring Tour at Ballinamona earlier this year.
The Noel Phelan designed course included a selection of Munster Grand Prix league newly sponsored fences, which will feature at each of the league rounds throughout Munster and eventually 12 of the 37 starters made it through to the jump-off.
Third to go against the clock, Cork’s Brian Morrison, was the early leader with Wilton VDL, a clear in 39.21 seconds would eventually be good enough for seventh place.
Reigning Munster grand prix league champion Francis Connors shaved almost five seconds off the target time, to take the lead with Hilda Anthony’s Uskerty Diamond Lady, the ten year old daughter of Carrick Diamond Lad was in superb form posting a clear in 34.26.
Full of confidence following her win in the Mullingar International grand prix a week earlier, Joan Green was next to go clear with Clarequest Hill Cruise, their time of 36.83 seconds would see them take fifth spot at the finish.
Swiss rider Julie Jucker who is based with Miguel Bravo and Marion Hughes at Hughes Horse Stud, then posted a brilliant clear (35.26) with her own Nisis de la Cense and would hold on to finish fourth with the Hobby de la Cense 13 year old gelding.
Catriona Fallon and Ninitas Charge K then entered the arena and immediately showed their intensions with a super tight turn back to the Barry O’Connor Training and Sales sponsored third fence of the jump-off, before galloping to the treble combination where Nivitas Charge K stayed careful as a cat. A long gallop to the second last RED MILLS oxer followed before Fallon cleared the Munster Joinery last fence to stop the clock clear in 34 seconds flat.
Stephen Smith was next to go clear, his time of 39.13 with his own Goodwill VB would see them finish in fifth, while second last to jump, Peter Moloney from Coligan Dungarvan, was in excellent form with the very consistent Ribanbelle Tame going clear in 35.19 seconds to grab third place.
Last to jump was former Hickstead Derby winner Paul Beecher from Tallow and he opted for a steady clear (40.30) with the eight-year-old Captain Kelly to finish in eighth place and leave Catriona Fallon as a deserving winner and Francis Connors as runner-up.
This latest result sees Peter Moloney, who finished third overall in the series in 2013, move to the top of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league table on 14 points with Francis Connors in second on 12 ahead of a group of three riders (Seamus Hayes, Gerard Clarke and Catriona Fallon) on 10 points
The Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix league now moves to West Clare Show on 22 June before Charleville in Co Cork will host round five of the series on Saturday 28 June.
RESULT – Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix League – Round 3 Ballinamona Co Waterford 08 June 2014
1st Catriona Fallon/Nivitas Charge K 0/0 34.00
2nd Francis Connors/Uskerty Diamond 0/0 34.26
3rd Peter Moloney/Ribanbelle Tame 0/0 35.19
4th Julie Jucker/ Nisis de la Cense 0/0 35.26
5th Joan Green/Clarequest Hill Cruise 0/0 36.83
6th Stephen Smith/Goodwill VB 0/0 39.13
7th Brian Morrison/Wilton VDL 0/0 39.21
8th Paul Beecher/Captain Kelly 0/0 40.30
9th Lisa O’Sullivan/Castlequaid Diamond 0/0 41.07
10th Paddy O’Donnell/Done Crusing 0/4 32.99
12 Into Jump-off
Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix League-Table Following Round 3 Ballinamona
Peter Moloney 14
Francis Connors 12
Gerard Clarke 10
Seamus Hayes 10
Catriona Fallon 10
Brian Morrison 9