An Irish teen came to the aid of an Egyptian showjumper last week, after answering a plea on Facebook.
Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier became the winner of the puissance at the Dublin Horse Show on Saturday (8 August), after his owner, Chris Megahey, responded to a call on social media for a horse.
At 17 Co. Antrim’s Chris Megahey was too young to compete in the class at the show, but when Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan needed a partner, Chris was quick to offer his star horse to the rider.
Chris, a former winner of the Emerald International Pussiance on the horse last year, was disappointed he was too young to take part.
However, when Joaane Sloan Allen at Sycamore Stables showjumping team put out the call ahead of the event, he was confident Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier could do it.
And Irish-bred horse, known as “Socks” because of his four white legs, was up for the job. The pair soared over 2m20 to take the top prize.
Sameh was the only competitor who successfully completed all five rounds of the puissance — and he had only ridden the horse twice before the main event.
“It was only the third time Socks had ever jumped a big wall. He jumped 1.85m with me on his first wall and 2.05 the second time,” Chris told H&H.
“it was a bit crazy to see Socks jump the wall as it was so high. I was standing directly in front of the jump and you couldn’t see the horse on the other side until he actually landed over. I knew he was jumping well though and thought that he could do it.
“The atmosphere in the arena was electric and Socks had never seen such a huge crowd. He looked a bit overwhelmed in the first round but every time he cleared the wall his confidence grew and he just got better and better – I think he loved the attention.”
Now back home in Templepatrick at the Megahey family’s Glenpatrick Competition Yard, there is great excitement about the future of Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier.
Socks was evented by Chris’s brother Harold at three-star level and was going to be sold before his younger brother started jumping him.
Chis plans to become an international showjumper and aims to compete Seapatrick Cruise Cavalier in the Dublin puissance next year, when he is 18.
He is currently competing on the Irish national circuit with a small string of young horses and Lenny (Rickamore Royal) his national grand prix partner
Last year H&H reported on Chris, when he cleared 2.05m in only his second ever puissance competition — the Emerald International — aged 16.
After winning that puissance, Chris had high hopes of going to Olympia — but feared his age might be a barrier.
Unfortunately for Chris, organisers told him the London competition was invitation only but that they would “keep an eye on him for future years.”
However, the teenager is undeterred and is keen to notch up more wins.
“I want to make showjumping my career which is why I left school so early, I just couldn’t really see myself going into further education and I wanted to focus on the horses,” Chris added.