McEvoy leads the Plusvital Premier Series after stellar start

The first leg of this year’s Plusvital Showjumping Ireland Premier Series got off to a stellar start at Barnadown Showjumping over the weekend. Sunday’s 1.50meter Grand Prix saw forty six combinations declare to jump with many of Ireland’s young riders lining out to try for their chance at the €15,000 prize fund. The John Doyle designed course offered a fair testing ground in Barnadown’s grass arena as the competitors were gradually whittled down to fourteen clears that would make it through to the jump off. Franics Derwin Jnr lead from early on, setting a clear time of 41.50 seconds aboard Flexi K (Flex A Bill x Deeply Dippy) – his first of two rides to make it through to the second round. As challengers attempted to erode the seconds costly poles saw them slip down the leader board. The only female rider to make it through to the jump off, Niamh McEvoy showed her stellar determination from the start. Riding Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (Limerick x Go luckey), the pair gave a masterclass in composure taking the clever turns and economical lines to edge ahead of Derwin securing a winning time of 39.56 seconds. The 2023 Double European Young Rider Gold Medalist Seamus Hughes Kennedy rode for certainty  and a steady clear rewarded him with a third place finish aboard ESI Rocky (Stakkato Gold x Clonaslea) in a time of 44.94 seconds. Nicholas Connors and Fornett D’Emeraude (Cornet Obolensky x Tapass) finished just behind Hughes Kennedy with the fourth clear of the jump off in 45.16 seconds. While Patrick Hickey had a rapid time of 38.48 seconds aboard Casago II (Casall x Hodrina) a costly pole saw them settle in fifth.  Francis Derwin Jnr rounded out the top six places with his second ride, AHG Whiterock Cruise Down (Cruising Mickey Finn x Whiterock Touch), with one down in 38.68 seconds.

Presenting the top ten riders of the Grand Prix in the evening’s prize giving was Rebecca Watson, Chief Technical Officer for Plusvital & Melvyn Kennedy for Showjumping Ireland. Competitors first to third received a sport horse supplement prize pack including Plusvital Sport Syrup, Re Zest and Electrolyte Plus to help them support the recovery and performance of their horses for the duration of this series. Niamh McEvoy now leads the Plusvital Showjumping Ireland Premier Series ahead of the next leg in Mullingar Equestrian center on June 3rd where riders will continue to compete not only for the prize fund on the day but for two coveted Leading Rider spots to jump the International classes at this year’s Dublin Horse Show.

Stay up to date with Plusvital & Showjumping Ireland’s social channels for coverage of this year year’s series. Check out for all your equine supplement needs.


Imagery by Laurence Dunne/


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