Tipperary’s Liam O’Meara ensured a home win at Clonmel Show on Sunday as he partnered the ever consistent Mr Coolcaum to victory in one of the most fiercely fought rounds of this year’s Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix League.
A high quality field of 39 horses and riders lined out in glorious summer sunshine and almost all of the league title contenders were among the 12 who made the jump-off to ensure a nail biting climax.
Liam O’Meara had previously won the Maryville round of the series with Mr Coolcaum and he made it a double of wins. when stopping the clock at 42 seconds flat and keeping all poles intact at Clonmel.
Speaking afterwards O‘Meara was delighted with his result, “It was a top class field at Clonmel and these Munster Grand Prix’s are as difficult to win as any National Grand Prixs. For such a big horse Mr Coolcaum is incredibly fast and hopefully I will keep picking up points and stay in with a chance of winning the league if possible”.
Such was the quality of the field at Clonmel that each of the top 4 finishers have already won a round of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Muster league this year and all of the top 8 finishers did so with double clear rounds.
League leader Francis Connors continued to add to his points tally when finishing in second place with Oilean Uno (43.54). Another Co Waterford rider Tadhg Beecher finished in third aboard Loughnatousa Blakeney Crannagh (43.62), this pairing having won the opening round of the league at Ballylawn.
Gemma Phelan, fresh from her win three days earlier at Tallow Gymkhana, produced another excellent performance to finish in fourth with GRC Tadmus (44.45).
Yet again Peter Moloney from Coligan, Dungarvan recorded at top 6 finish in this series, piloting Ribanbelle Tame to sixth place (47.80), just ahead of yet another Waterford rider Ian Cliffe, who finished in seventh place with Finnisk Decies and also filled eighth place with Finnisk Belle.
National Grand Prix league Champion Greg Broderick did record the fastest time of the jump off with Rincarina(40.18) but one fence on the floor saw them finish in ninth.
Last to go Francis Connors and Uskerety Diamond Lady also bettered Liam O Meara’s winning time but four faults dropped this pairing all the way down to tenth place at the finish.
The next leg of the Connolly’s RED MILLS Munster Grand Prix League promises to be equally as exciting, as Cork Summer Show plays host to round 9 of the series. Francis Connors continues to top the league table, but with seven rounds of jumping remaining, the overall title is still very much up for grabs.
CONNOLLY’S RED MILLS MUNSTER GRAND PRIX LEAGUE
CLONMEL SHOW, SUNDAY 07/07/2013
1st Liam O Meara/Mr Coolcaum C/C 42.00
2nd Francis Connors/Oilean Uno C/C 43.54
3rd Tadhg Beecher /Loughnatousa Blakeney Crannagh C/C 43.62
4th Gemma Phelan/GRC Tadmus C/C 44.45
5th Greg Broderick/Brickland C/C 44.54
6th Peter Moloney/Ribanbelle Tame C/C 47.80
7th Ian Cliffe/Finnisk Decies C/C 49.35
8th Ian Cliffe/Finnisk Belle C/C 49.83
9th Greg Broderick/Rincarina C/C C/4 40.18
10th Francis Connors/Uskerty Diamond Lady C/4 41.94
12 into Jump-off