It was another successful year at the Royal Dublin Horse Show for Gilford Eventer Steven Smith.
The local man is well known for qualifying numerous Eventers for the prestigious show and this year was no different as he had three horses qualified for the Five Year Old Young Event Horse class.
Success came with his chestnut mount ‘Winchester’ who finished fourth in the two day class putting in a great performance to the delight of his new owner Texan woman Mimi Falb.
Steven explained: “The horse was bought as a three year old” by the Smith Bros Ballymac Stud “and produced slowly as a four year old”.
Steven remarked that it was a very impressive performance for such an inexperienced horse: “He has never seen a course like that in the Main Arena before. In fact the horse has never competed at an official event before. He has done a few schooling shows. He is definitely going to be one to watch in the future.”
Excited owner Mimi remarked that her goal for her new horse was to work with Steven at the Ballymac Stud where she has three other horses stabled to bring Winchester up to a three star horse hopefully taking him, and Steven, back to the States to compete in the Kentucky Rolex event in the next three years.
Steven supports Mimi’s plans and says the horse is definitely up for the challenge.
Not only had Steven brought home some winning ribbons but a number of his past and present employees including his daughter managed to get qualified for the RDS, putting in some excellent performances.
Current employee Tori Voller, took on the Intermediate combined training, dressage and show jumping class on ‘Juniper Hill’. Daughter, Holli Smith entered the same class in the open category on ‘Hill Dancer’.
Casey Webb, also currently employed at the Gilford yard, took home second place in the Irish Draft Performance Class on ‘Tully Baird Sasha’.
Past employee Katy Mckenzie had also qualified two horses up against her former boss in the five year olds Young Event Horse. Katy took fifth place on ‘Drumnaconnell Nico’.
Jonny Mulligan, another well known Banbridge rider and former employee at the Ballymac Stud, took home fourth position in the four year old Young Eventer class on ‘Randalstown Commando’.