Thirty-two year-old Irish Olympian Aoife Clark swept to victory yesterday (Sunday) at the three-star Bramham event in England, climbing ten places from her opening dressage score.
Riding the Irish Sport Horse mare Fenya’s Elegance, Dublin-born Clark made up lost ground during Saturday’s cross country phase after trailing British rider Izzy Taylor’s remarkable dressage score of 28.1, and was in second place before the final show jumping phase in Yorkshire yesterday, where she narrowly snatched victory with a zero score against Taylor and Orlando’s four faults.
World No. 1, Britain’s William Fox-Pitt and Freddie Mac settled for third place.
Ireland’s Mark Kyle with the Irish Sport Horse Coolio, by Ghareeb (TB), also turned in a clear jumping round at Bramham today, lifting them from overnight 12th to a 7th placed finish.
Horse Sport Ireland’s Eventing High Performance Manager Nick Turner said: “This was another sterling performance from Aoife. She was remarkably consistent through all three phases at Bramham, and this was a great result for her, especially after her victory at Blenheim last year. The owners are very important to us, and it was great to see Fenya’s Elegance’s owner PJ Hegarty here to see her win today (Sunday). Irish riders all turned in very good performances at Bramham, and overall it was a great day for Irish sport.”
Fenyas Elegance is both bred and owned by PJ Hegarty from Bandon, Co. Cork. Sired by Ricardo Z, Fenyas Elegance is out of the mare Fenya, by Good Thyne (USA).
Last year Ricardo Z progeny featured prominently in international Eventing and as a result, the Kedrah House Stud owned sire took the number 3 slot in the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH) Eventing Sire rankings for 2013. With 1st going to Heraldik (TB) and 2nd to Master Imp (TB), this made Ricardo Z the highest-ranked living event horse sire of 2013.
“From a foal she stood out: strong, energetic and a very quick learner,” recalls PJ. Fenya’s Elegance enjoyed a diverse and successful upbringing. As a young horse she competed in the Young Irelander in Millstreet placing 5th overall and emerging as the top filly. The Future Event Horse League (FEHL) saw Fenya’s Elegance win two qualifiers before being crowned the overall 4 year-old champion with Rosemary Connors on board.
In 2011, Ireland’s Brian Morrisson and Fenya’s Elegance represented the Irish Sport Horse Studbook at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses in Le Lion d’Angers, France, where they placed 18th.
In 2013 – an incredible year – Ireland’s Aoife Clark and Fenya’s Elegance made their first international appearance together when they took 2nd in Chatsworth CIC3* before placing 8th in Gatcombe CIC3*. Most impressively, the pair made history by winning the Blenheim CCI3* in September – the first Irish rider to do so in modern-day Eventing.
PJ is very excited about the siblings of Fenya’s Elegance. The five-year-old Fenya’s Guidingstar, by the Thoroughbred sire Kris Kin (USA), began his Eventing career in late 2013. Fenya’s Garsun, a full brother to Fenya’s Elegance, will begin the training process this spring and possesses an identical jumping technique to his sister, according to his breeder PJ. Fenya last produced a foal in 2011 by Cavalier Royale, called Fenya’s Royale.
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