Let the battle commence!
Tattersalls International preview
The Tattersalls International Horse Trials and Country Fair takes place this June 1st-5th in Ratoath, County Meath. This year, the Jewel in the Irish eventing calendar is being used as part of the selection process for the Irish Olympic team for Rio and the big guns will be out in force hoping to boost their credentials ahead of final selection.
Padraig McCarthy heads to Tattersalls off the back of his first international win at Chatsworth with Mr Chunky. He has a busy weekend ahead of him,riding five horses across the classes. The ever popular Jonty Evans rides his wonderful horse Cooley Rourkes Drift in the CIC3*,they have enjoyed a good Spring together and will be hoping to achieve a noteworthy performance. Cornerstone of Irish International eventing, Joseph Murphy makes the journey south with three horses, fresh from a solid performance at Badminton. Of particular interest is Gorsehill Pearl, the former ride of Irish international rider and producer Luke Drea. The mare was sold at the Going For Gold Goresbridge sale in 2015 and looks a real team prospect in the future.
The ever consistent Rioghan Rua and rider Cathal Daniels have enjoyed an incredible career together so far,winning junior and young rider medals. At just 20 years of age, Cathal’s meteoric rise to success could be a big factor in potential team selection.
Camilla Spiers and her remarkable little horse Portersize Just A Jiff delivered the performance of a lifetime at Badminton this spring, finishing best of the Irish and putting in a final day performance to rival any top showjumper. Even after a difficult time at the London Olympics, it may prove hard to ignore this experienced and accomplished duo for Rio.
Sam Watson heads to Tattersalls with Horseware Lukeswell, a horse with no weaknesses and an abundance of strengths. Carefully produced by Sam to produce the goods when it matters most, this exciting horse is a true star with a wonderful future. Clare Abbott and her great friend Euro Prince will be hoping for a good showing, as will UK based Mark Kyle and Kanturk native Austin O’Connor. Michael Ryan and his wife Trish are making the journey up from Bandon, County Cork with several of their top horses and Aoife Clark makes the trip home with the former Carol Gee owned horse, Fernhill Adventure.
An influx of top international riders makes Tattersalls 2016 an eventing enthusiast’s paradise. Top New Zealanders Tim and Jonelle Price, Dan Jocelyn and Jock Paget are making the journey, along with Australian stalwarts Bill Levett and Sam Griffiths. British heroines Laura Collett, Zara Tindall, Emily King and Ruth Edge will be hoping for a good weekend, along with fellow notable British performers Holly Woodhead, Flora Harris and Mary King, amongst others. The British boys line up is just as impressive-William Fox-Pitt, Oliver Townend, Michael Owen and Tom McEwen will be putting their best hooves forward and hoping to take home the prizes on Sunday.
Tattersalls event is a true family occasion and this year the Country Fair is better than ever. With many top exhibitors in attendance, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping. Tractor Ted and the Tayto toddler zone will be there to entertain the children, and the finest selection in outdoors cuisine will keep everyone fed and watered. It is sure to be a fantastic occasion and a tremendous opportunity to see the very best horse and riders in the sport of eventing battling it out for the big prizes.
Photos courtesy of Louise O’Brien Photography.