|TRM National Grand Prix League Final - Sunday 11th September 2011|
Pictured: Raoul Masterson (TRM) and TRM National Grand Prix League Winner Peter Smyth
Going into Sunday's class, just five points separated Peter Smyth and Mervyn Clarke with Smyth leading on 68 points and both riders brought three horses to the Kildare venue for the Showdown. Unfortunately for Clarke, his fate was on paper early on when he didn't get any horses through to the Jump off. Smyth on the other hand, got all three mounts into the deciding round and as a result, he was assured of the league title for the second time, having won it previously in 2003. His mind was now firmly fixed on taking the class and although he brought half through to the jump off, Smyth's task was not all that easy with the quality of the other three competitors.
In the jump off, it was Neal Fearon riding Denis Flannelly's Espri that provided the toughest time to beat when they scorched around the Rathmore venue. Fearon, who is based in Kill International, completed a superb double clear in 41.44 to take the class. Espri, just a 9 year old, appears to a horse with an awful lot of talent and is one that Fearon is particularly excited about. ''I am delighted. He is a very nice horse that I hope we can move up to bigger classes next year."
Newly crowned TRM National Grand Prix League winner Peter Smyth took the bulk of the remaining places finishing second with Victoria Rose, fourth with Willem and fifth with Hermione Iv and he commented after class; '' I had a good day, all the horses jumped good and I'm delighted. Its been a long year with a lot of miles on the clock but its worthwhile now.''
The first year in a three year deal between TRM and ShowjumpingIreland now comes to a close with two of the most exciting finishes to both the Premier Series and the National Grand Prix League being witnessed this year. Both winning riders, Peter Smyth and Eddie Moloney, were winning the coveted leagues for the second time in their careers with Smyth taking the National Grand Prix League in 2003 while Moloney had previously won the Premier Series in 2009.
Looking ahead to next year and another fantastic outdoor season is sure to fill the Show jumping Calendar.