ON July 9, The Meadows Equestrian Centre held the
finals of the Northern Ire-land Pony Club Area Show jumping, hosted by Iveagh Pony Club.
All three arenas were in action from early morning and they saw nearly 300 riders cross through the starting gates.
The pressure was high in many of the competitions as coveted places were on offer for the prestigious UK Pony Club Championships in England in August and the Regional Pony Club Finals in Scotland. Also up for grabs were two spots in the Mini Major competition at London Olympia this Christmas.
Arena 3 saw action from the Minis, jumping 60cm and the Juniors, jumping 70cm. The minis team competition was won by Iveagh team of Henry McCarthy, Taylor-Lee Doyle, Sienna Doherty and Lee Pike with an individual first place for Sarah McKenzie on her pony Norms Sparky.
The highly competitive junior competition saw riders placed, after two clear rounds of jumping, on their speed round. The top three places were divided by only hundredths of a second between Annabelle Betts, Scott McKnight and Sarah Pike, all Iveagh riders. The top spot went to Sarah Pike on her pony Daisy. The other two speedy riders helped their team claim the top team spot. Team of Lily Murphy, Ellie Murphy, Scott McKnight and Annabelle Betts.
In Arena 2, the competitions with the highest entries of the day was the 80cm Regional competition, with spots on offer at the finals in Scotland. Six teams ultimately qualified with an Iveagh team of Lydia Flanagan, Amy Burke, Una McClelland and Abbie Knox taking the top spot. The individual competition was won by a very quick speed round from Lucy Orr on Jazzy Susie.
The 110cm class, was a tight competition with some excellent horsemanship on display from these young riders. With only three team spots on offer for the UK championships, the pressure was high. A cool team from Iveagh took first place – Rory Osborne, Taylor McKnight, Victoria Lee and Zoe Daniel. Individual first place went to Taylor McKnight on Tassagh Sky Doctor who was on flying form for the day.
Arena 1 saw some exhilerating action from an early start with the very exciting Mini Major competition taking place first. This competition was for a place to ride with a professional show jumper at the prestigious London Olympia Christmas Show and places were hotly contested by these under 10-year-old riders. First place went to Julianna Nelson, with second going to Mebh Kinney and a spot for both girls at the London Show this year.
The 90cm class was a large and competitive class with some complex distances to challenge the riders. The top three teams qualified for the UK Championships with the winning team coming from Iveagh.
A skilful and experienced team of Kitty Cullen, Katie Robinson, Lexi Kerr and Charlotte Betts took the top spot, with three of these four riders having been to the championships last year, they knew how to win. The individual competition was won by a lightning speed round from Kate Millar of Seskinore Branch, on her pony Just Ruby.
The final class of the day, 1m class, did not disappoint, with many riders jumping beautiful clear rounds and through to the jump off. The winning team of Hannah Thompson, Kirstin Thom, Jessica Mark and Christopher Smyth from Mid Antrim Branch of the Pony Club proved their prowess to qualify in first place.
Individual places were hotly contested with four spots available for the championships. First place went to Lauren McGlennon of North Down on her pony Keeford Highrise.
Huge thanks must go to all the volunteers on the day who helped this very large competition to run smoothly.
Thanks to the Meadows Equestrian Centre for the wonderful facility and Tori Oc Photography for capturing the day.
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