It proved an all-Ireland finish as the top five riders contesting the fifth and final round in the Equitop Myoplast puissance at Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show (15 June) all have their roots in the Emerald Isle.

With the ‘big red wall’ standing at 2.20m (7’3”), a record height at Bolesworth, Shane Breen gave a masterclass demonstration of how the ‘big one’ should be ridden in every round. The Hickstead-based rider then produced the only fifth round clear riding Team 27’s Acorad 3.

Although this is the first time Shane has taken the puissance ride on Acorad, he believes five other Irish riders have previously ridden the Acorado 17-year-old to high jump victory.

“It’s incredible to have five in the final round, so to win with the only clear is very special. This horse has extraordinary scope and a super brain and he’s an expert at this job,” said Shane.

Nudging bricks out of the wall to share second place on four faults were Anthony Condon (Cavalier Rusticana), Mikey Pender (Hearton Du Bois Halleux), Richard Howley (CMS Tallulah) and Paul Kennedy (Luikan Q).

This ever-popular puissance again attracted great interest and spectators settled back in their seats when all 10-starters in the first round cleared the 1.80m wall.

However, frustratingly for Trevor Breen, although his ride soared over the wall, the Irish rider did not progress to the next round after Cycloon W lowered a rail from the second oxer.

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Over rounds two and three, with just two fences, the triple bar and wall remaining, two riders Amanda Millin (DJ) and Harry Wainwright (KBS Gruvy Q) dropped out of contention to leave seven combinations going through to the penultimate round.

In round four, Christie Pritchard and David Simpson also dropped out after Challenger and Doctor Proctor pushed the top brick off the wall to leave five Irish riders to contest the fifth and final round.

Don’t miss the full report from Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show in next Thursday’s Horse & Hound, on sale 21 June 2018.