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Dublin Horse Show - Smyth Wins Masters, O'Connor Joint Second In Puissance

OBVIOUSLY a rider to be watched, Peter Smyth from Omagh in Co. Tyrone today (Saturday) won the ebookers Masters on his first year at international level at the Dublin Horse Show.

Meanwhile, Kildare's 23 yr old Cian O'Connor came within a whisker of repeating his magic 2002 Puissance win, but his new mount <Irish Independent Absolon>, failed in the final three-horse jump-off, giving the win to Britain's veteran Michael Whitaker on <Da Capo>.

Smyth (33) took his former trotter, the Irish-bred <Zara's Pride> from national Grand Prix level to international status this week with a sixth in Thursday's Speed Derby and a convincing win today in the Masters. Taking second in the Masters, Clem McMahon raised his score in the Leading Rider category for Dublin and is now a point ahead of Harry Marshall, also from Co. Tyrone.

Marshall had a rapturous reception from the huge Dublin crowd who turned out to watch the Puissance on a hot, overcast afternoon, but although he twice smacked the coping on the giant wall, managed to stay in the running up until the very last round, when the height maxed out at 2m16, and his Irish-bred bay gelding <XL> finally dislodged the bricks.

The other two riders in the fourth round jump-off with Marshall, Britain's Michael Whitaker and crowd favourite, Ireland's Cian O'Connor, had both given every indication that they could take the competition to at least one more round, but O'Connor's final approach seemed a trifle rushed, and < Irish Independent Absolon> neatly took
out a whole section of the wall that seemed to collapse in slow motion long after the horse's hooves had hit the ground.

Whitaker took the 7000 euro prize on < Da Capo>, though the final height of 2m16 was significantly below O'Connor's 2m25 win of last year.

Tomorrow sees the final international competitions at Dublin, with the Speed Stakes at lunchtime, and what promises to be a hotly contested Samsung International Grand Prix in the afternoon.

ebookers MASTERS
International Jumping Competition
FEI Art. 238.2.2, Table A 1m40 with one jump-off
Saturday, August 9th 2003

1) ZARA'S PRIDE; Peter SMYTH (IRL) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 29.92
2) HERMES DE REVE; Clement MCMAHON (IRL) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 30.49
3) EQUITOP DE MOYON; Philippe LE JEUNE (BEL) Faults 0.00/0.00 Time 32.13

7) CAVALEVE; Linda COURTNEY (IRL) Faults 0.00/4.00 Time 33.57
9) BORNACOOLA; Capt Gerry FLYNN (IRL) Faults 1.00 Time 85.86
33 starters
ebookers PUISSANCE
International Jumping Competition
FEI Art. 262.2, Puissance
Qualification for Competition No 10
Saturday, August 9th 2003

1) DACAPO 157; Michael WHITAKER (GBR) Faults 0.00/0.00/0.00/0.00
=2) IRISH INDEPENDENT ABSOLON; Cian O'CONNOR (IRL) Faults 0.00/0.00/0.00/4.00
=2) XL ; Harry MARSHALL (IRL) Faults 0.00/0.00/0.00/4.00 10 starters


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