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Show Jumping - Kerrygold Grand Prix League - Smyth Makes A Winning Return To Ballina

Peter Smyth made a winning return to Ballina today (Sunday) with Zara's Pride for the latest Super League Grand Prix, and erased the memories of taking a wrong course at the venue on his only previous visit as a pony rider twenty years ago.

A bumper crowd packed the stand at the sunny Co. Mayo venue and witnessed an intiguing finale as the lead changed hands three times during the jump-off.

Gerry Byrne's technical course provided a stiff test for the 27 starters, with just seven riders going clear first time around, and only three double clears being produced after the jump-off.

First to achieve a double-clear was Stephen Smith on Laraghlease Western Desert in a time of 43.49, a performance which turned out to be good enough for third place. Yesterday's Ennis winner Linda Courtney came next but had one down, leaving only Harry Marshall and Peter Smyth to challenge Stephen Smith's double-clear.

After racing the clock to his cost yesterday at Ennis, Marshall was understandby more cautious with Splendido, yet he still managed to take the lead by over three seconds, going clear again in 40.12.

Just Peter Smyth remained to jump, and throwing caution to the wind, the Strabane rider took Zara's Pride clear around the tricky course in a superb time of 36.37 to take first place and pick up 15 League points in the process.

Marshall had the consolation of collecting enough points to take the lead in the overall League table, as leader James Kernan again failed to make the jump-off.

Although having one down in the jump-off today, Belfast rider Linda Courtney did enough to land the bonus prize of 1000 euro as the leading points rider between today's event and yesterday's Super League Grand Prix at Ennis.

The sponsors of the event, Polar Construction Works, were on hand to present the prizes, and League sponsors Kerrygold were represented by Marty Dervan.

Delighted winner Peter Smyth said that he was looking forward to the rest of the season.

Sponsored by Polar Construction Works
Sunday 13th July 2003
Venue: Ballina
Prize Money: 5000 Euro

1) Zara's Pride (Owner Peter Smyth); Peter Smyth Faults 0/0 Time 36.37
2) Splendido (Owner Harry Marshall); Harry Marshall Faults 0/0 Time 40.12
3) Laraghlease Western Desert (Owner Robert Hancock); Stephen Smith Faults 0/0 Time 43.49
4) Who's Business As Usual (Owner Julie Pratt); Paul O'Shea Faults 0/4 Time 42.16
5) Cavaleve (Owner Linda Courtney); Linda Courtney 0/4 Time 43.89
6) Coille Mor Hill (Owner Michael McKeigue); Tom Slattery Faults 0/7 Time 46.19

27 starters, seven riders through to jump-off

Rankings after BALLINA Show, Super League Grand Prix 5000 euro
(Sunday 13 July)
1) Harry Marshall 60 points
2) James Kernan 56 points
3) Peter Smyth 55 points
4) Linda Courtney 50.5 points
5) Andrew Dunlop 36 points
6) Clem McMahon 35 points


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