TWO local showjumpers were in imperious form at the National Balmoral Championships last week where they earned a host of victories and accolades.
Victoria Bridge’s Jonathan Smyth was undoubtedly the start of the show during the three days of competition, winning the 150 New Heights Grand Prix, the Underwriting Exchange National Grand Prix, the Ballyward Equestrian 1.35m Class and the 6/7 Year Old Championship.
Drumquin girl, Olivia Roulston, meanwhile, wasn’t to be outdone and she won the 1.10 Championship on Novellent and the Charles Hurst 1.20 YR Championship on Avalent to receive the Linda Robinson Memorial Cup.
After such a successful few days at the prestigious event, 22-year-old Ireland international Smyth, who has enjoyed an impressive season thus far, believes it’s testament to the ability of local showjumpers.
“There are an awful lot of talented up and coming riders in this area, we’re very lucky,” he observed.
Smyth claimed the coveted TRM/HSI 150 New Heights Grand Prix on the highly regarded Mulvin Lui, just a short time after guiding Mulvin Lights Out to the 6/7 Year Old Championship.
Those victories followed his win on Carlton Clio in the Underwriting Exchange National Grand Prix and his triumph on Crystal Tom, owned by Ann Doherty, in the Ballyward Equestrian 1.35m Class, sponsored by Corick House Hotel.
“I had a great week,” Jonathan beamed.
“You always try to do your best in every class, but it’s not very often something like that would happen.
“The 150 New Heights Grand Prix is a class I’ve always wanted to win, it’s a really prestigious class. The who’s who in showjumping have won it, so it meant an awful lot to me to win it, especially at a show like Balmoral that’s so close to home.
“I’ve had a great season, a really nice string of horses, a couple in particular – Charlton Clio and Mulvin Lui – are going to win something every month, they are two great horses.
“And Crystal Tom is only a nine year-old who got hurt last year, so didn’t do much. He’s stepping up this year. He’s jumped four 135 Ulster Region Grand Prix this year and he’s won every single one of them.
“He’s a real winner and I think there’s a lot more to come from him at a higher level.”