EVERY year there is the same argument, is November too early to mention Christmas? Some people have had their decorations up for weeks, others are stalwartly refusing to give in until December is on the calendar. No matter which side of the fence you are standing, Ardnacashel Equestrian has a Christmas story for you. Cue dreamy memory-inducing sitcom music…
Sunday saw the fourth week of the Coastal Equine Vets Working Hunter League and another win for Jill Crawford on ‘WKD Little Gift’, aka ‘Lola’. Just like the original Christmas story, ‘Lola’s’ mum, appeared to fall pregnant on her own. When owner and breeder Joanne Sloan-Allen walked out to her field in Templepatrick early one morning, she was surprised to find a foal, lying as if in a manger, surrounded by the three wise mares, the young gelding shepherds and, who knows if it was early enough, maybe even a bright star in the sky. Thus ‘Lola’ came into the world, a little gift.
A happy accident, Joanne did manage to figure out who the sire was – luckily another home-bred, ‘WKD Aris Boy’, a highly successful 148 pony by ‘Machen Carwyn’ x ‘Secundus’ x ‘Kings Servent’, who has certainly passed on his magic genetics to ‘WKD Little Gift’. Due to Joanne’s daughter Tabitha being busy studying for her A-Levels, a neighbour took over the ride in the summer. Jill Crawford, part of the Crawford Brothers Racing family, took up the reins and has had a successful six months on the mare. Even though Jill herself is a busy full-time mum and physiotherapist, she still managed to rock out to Ardnacashel on Sunday and pick up a win in the 80cm class, qualifying the pair for the Northern Ireland Festival and a second place in the 90cm class. Can anyone say superwomen? The Sloan-Allen and Crawford families have always worked closely together, with the youngest Crawford brother Ben backing Joanne’s young stock for her. And no doubt Mummy Crawford is at home keeping them all on track.
Sunday kicked off with the cross-poles class, won by the fabulous Taylor-Lee Doyle on her pony ‘Oreo’, who also went on to win the 50cm class straight after. The 60cm class saw another successful week for Victoria McCurdy and her ‘Temple Bui’ and a second place for Taylor-Lee Doyle, who was on fire this week. Meanwhile, in the 70cm section, first place went to Karen Carnduff with ‘Lippy’ and the blue ribbon was taken by Victoria McCurdy to add another to her collection. There was separate 70cm section for Four-year-old horses, a great educational experience for them. This was won by Tara Lynn, who also came second in the 80cm class. Organisers have to offer Tara an apology, as she won the 80cm class last week and the results were recorded incorrectly and reported under another name – they are very happy to correct this mistake.
The 80cm section kicked off with Ian McCluggage winning the Irish Draught Qualifier on board the stunning ‘Shannagmore Ring Master’. Followed by the Christmas story ‘WKD Little Gift’ and Jill Crawford winning the NIF Horse and Pony Qualifier. Meanwhile, the M&M section was dominated by Emma Jackson, coming first and second on ‘Cassie’ and ‘Digger’.
Moving on up the classes, the 90cm Horse and Pony Qualifier was won by Amanda Telford on board ‘Ross Spring Hero’, this winning duo also claimed first prize in the 1m Qualifying class.
The 90cm Small Hunter section saw the red ribbon go to Max McDonnell riding ‘Knocklucas Chloe’, with ‘WKD Little Gift’ coming in second. The last class of the day was the 1.10m NIF Qualifier, which saw Chloe Lister-Henley take the honours and round up the event in style.
Huge thanks to the sponsors, Coastal Equine Vets, without whom Ardnacashel would not be able to run such a fabulous league. Thanks again to Black Horse Photography for capturing memories. Reminder that Ardnacashel Equestrian have ongoing Wednesday Evening Working Hunter training shows and next Sunday will see the continuation of the Coastal Equine Vets Working Hunter League. During the week there will be a fully dressed Working Hunter course available for hire. For all information, entries and booking go to www.ardnacashel equestrian.com
#equestrians supportequestrians #myunicornjourney
Wednesday Night Training Working Hunter
Cross-poles: Snowy, Wesley Cole; Snowy, Jorja Dickson; Snowy, Ella Dickson.
70cm: Bandit, Aine Harwood.
80cm: Crannard King of Hearts, Claire MacKay; Jack the Lad, Jas Hogg.
90cm: Dunross Ocean Mist, Laura McMaw.
Sunday, November 27
Coastal Equine Vets Working Hunter League
Cross-poles: 1) Oreo, Taylor-Lee Doyle; 2) Lily, Megan Burns.
50cm: 1) Oreo, Taylor-Lee Doyle; 2) Bea, Cushla McAlea; 3) Diesel, Gail Haddon; 4) Lily, Megan Burns; 5) Merlin, Megan Burns.
60cm: 1) Temple Bui, Victoria McCurdy; 2) Oreo, Taylor-Lee Doyle; 3) Ziggy, Karen Carnduff; 4) Roxy, Sienna Savage; 5) Diesel, Gail Haddon.
70cm: 1) Lippy, Karen Carnduff; 2) Temple Bui, Victoria McCurdy; 3) Horlix, Abbie Henry; 4) Joker, Connie Gray; 5) Bluebell, Holly Webber.
70cm Four-year-old: 1) Louis, Tara Lynn; 2) Financial Bouncer, Stephanie Wilding.
80cm Irish Draught NIF Q: 1) Shannagmore Ring Master, Ian McCluggage.
80cm NIF Q: 1) WKD Little Gift, Jill Crawford; 2) Louis, Tara Lynn; 3) Horlix, Abbie Henry; 4) Erik, Sophie Lister-Tinley.
80cm M&M: 1) Cassie, Emma Jackson; 2) Digger, Emma Jackson.
90cm NIF Q: 1) Ross Spring Hero, Amanda Telford; 2) Code Red Ruby, Danielle Connolly; 3) Shannagmore Ring Master, Ian McCluggage.
90cm Small Hunter NIF Q: 1) Knocklucas Chloe, MaxMcDonnell; 2) WKD Little Gift, Jill Crawford; 3) Archie, Emma Jackson.
1m NIF Q: 1) Ross Spring Hero, Amanda Telford.
1.10m NIF Q: 1) Ruby, Chloe Lister-Henley.
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