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First-rate Final of the Stepping Stones to Success League 2023

TB League Winner – Charlotte Walshe (Gervada) pictured with Mark Ruddock (Flatwork Judge) and Anne O’Connor (Treo Eile)

The 26th of April brought us a wonderful climax to this year’s Treo Eile sponsored Thoroughbred Event Class of the Stepping Stones to Success League hosted by Wexford Equestrian Centre. 14 combinations were entered, with one withdrawn – Cathal Daniels on Audrey HC.  In the end, with a dressage score of 22.0 and a clear jumping phase, Charlie Walshe took the win of both the final, and the overall competition on her trusty 2018 gelding Gervada. The pair placed second in the first round of qualifiers, but didn’t appear at all in the top three of the following two qualifiers. This first place win overall, led them to also win the 1st raced IHWT award.

 

 

 

Lilymai Berry (Skylanna Scatman) receives the Tiggy Hancock Junior rider award from Ian Fearon

Walshe was closely contested by Lilymai Berry on Skylanna Scatman, who scored 25.2 on their dressage phase, and also went clear for their jumping phase. This has been an impressive duo throughout the competition, placing 1st, 4th, and 2nd in the three qualifiers, respectively. At age 17, Lilymai has made impressive waves on the Eventing circuit since acquiring her thoroughbred, and is ample evidence that thoroughbreds have copious talents to succeed in a second career. This pair’s success was suitably rewarded, by their receival of the Tiggy Hancock ‘Future Star’ Award.

Rounding up our top three for the final was outlier Alice Copithorne on her unraced 2016 mare Red Rossanna out of Born to Sea. She attended last week’s viewing day, placing 5th, but was not in the top 6 of any of the qualifying rounds. The pair produced a score of 29.2 in their dressage and yet another clear round in the jumping phase. 

Coming in at a close fourth place in the final were 16 year old Tekka Whelan and 7 year old Fortunate Max. This put them third place overall in the competition. The accolades did not end there however, as the pair received the Perpetual William Codd Trophy – awarded to  ‘budding three-day eventers’. They also won the Novice Bonus Prize, for being the highest placed Novice Thoroughbred.

Tekka Whelan (Fortunate Max) – Highest placed Novice Thoroughbred and receiving the William Codd perpetual trophy from Louise Codd

In 4th, 5th and 6th place overall, were Jo Andrews on Lucere, Gilly Crawford on her Unnamed 2018 mare, and Jessie Bates on Guns for Hire, respectively.

Unplaced in the overall competition, but fierce competitors nonetheless, were Sadbh Tormey and Cobb and Co, David Furlong and ‘Delboy’, Jimmy Quirke and Sissy that Walk, Jason Furlong and Tobias, Hayley O’Connor and Wyatt Earp, Heidi Brabazon and ‘Spring Step’, Susie Skelton and Dante’s Pass, Emily Acton and Sir Daniel, and last year’s winners Gerald Bloomer and Ballydrummond.

Treo Eile extends a massive congratulations to all thoroughbred riders who took part in the Stepping Stones League this year, as well as a thank you to Wexford Equestrian Centre for being incredible hosts for the Thoroughbred Event Class yet again.

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