Floody crowned Grand Prix League Champion while Damien Griffin takes the final leg at Cavan
Following a consistent performance in the the Gain/Alltech Grand Prix Autumn League, John Floody was crowned league champion Friday evening (6th November) at Cavan International CSI1*. Claiming the win on the night was Damien Griffin riding Pamela Donaghy’, ten-year-old, Captain Clover sired gelding, Tabby.
With points and a half on offer at the final round, all eyes were on John Floody and Cormac Hanley, who were two of the top three riders on the league going into the final. Going early with Captain Magic Touch, Hanley failed to book his place in the jump-off. Floody then tried his hand with Mise Le Meas, but suffered the same fate. Hanley returned with Captain Caruso, but once again had an unlucky four faults at the second oxer.
With both riders finishing outside the top ten placings, the league title was decided at this point. Taking the title on 34 points was John Floody, while Mise le Meas was crowned the leading horse of the league when also finishing on 34 points.
A previous winner of the league having taking the title in 2010 with the help of Larkhill Cruiser, Floody took home an overall prize fund of €3,000 for his efforts, while the owner of Mise le Meas, Mathew Birch walked away with a €1,000 as Mise Le Meas was crowned leading horse of the series. The eight-year-old gelding by Cruise On and out of Cissie Lass claimed the runner-up spot at the opening round at Ravensdale along with a win at the Meadows and then in penultimate round at Wexford Equestrian.
Cian O’Connor, who was on international duty took the league runner-up prize and €1,000 when finishing just two points ahead of Hanley on 30 points.
Delighted with the title win Floody said “It is a great achievement for Mise Le Meas as he is new to this level. He jumped fantastic throughout the league and was a bit unlucky towards the end, after being so consistent. I am delighted for his owner Mathew Birch and his breeder Michael Smith. When Larkhill Cruiser was sold, I had to concentrate on producing some of the younger horses. This takes time to get to this level again. I have now a nice few horses at this level to compete with and Mise le Meas is one of them”.
As expected the final round of the Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix attracted a large following, with 40 combinations going to post. From those, nine booked their place in the raised jump-off course.
Second to go, Kenneth Graham answered all the questions with Orbiting, delivering the first double clear in 44.13, to put it up to the rest. Despite Graham’s good start however, the target was reduced as next in, Michael G. Duffy and Bocello crossed the line almost four seconds faster in 39.94 to take the lead.
Kilkenny young rider Anna Carway didn’t hang about with Ajaccio and although she kept everything in place, a clear in 43.54 meant a fourth place finish for her and as a result dropped Graham into fifth place.
Jordan Coyle and VDl Cassius fell victim to the third vertical, but finishing as the fastest four faulters in 39.82 saw them slot into eventual sixth place in the line-up.
Next to take it on, Damien Griffin wasted no time from the off with Tabby. Setting off in a determined pace he was quick from fence one to two. The inside line to the double matched with a daring gallop to the last line saw him clock the winning time of 37.71, leaving Duffy to take the runner-up spot.
The penultimate combination, Francis Connors and Erne Lady Goldilocks looked set for the challenge. However, despite taking a similar path as Griffin with Erne Lady Goldilocks, a clear in 40.46 saw him finish in third place.
Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League final at Cavan International Show Result
1st Tabby (Damien Griffin) 0/0 37.71
2nd Bocello (Michael G Duffy) 0/0 39.94
3rd Erne Lady Goldilocks (Francis Connors) 0/0 40.46
4th Ajaccio (Anna Carway) 0/0 43.54
5th Orbitting (Kenneth Graham) 0/0 44.13
6th VDL Cassius (Jordan Coyle) 0/4 39.82