THIS year’s Pony Club tetrathlon competition, hosted by the East Antrim branch, took place in brilliant sunshine at Ballyvannon (Glenavy) and Antrim Forum over the weekend of July 17 and 18. The event comprised the Pony Club inter-branch area competition and qualifier for UK championships, and also the Lough Neagh Challenge, incorporating members of the Irish Pony Club – over 60 of whom made the journey north to take part.
The competition commenced on Saturday morning with the running phase at Ballyvannon, round a course designed and set out by Kenny McCullough and John Findlay and overseen by Running Steward, Johnny Williams. Run distances varied from 500m for the seven and under ‘Beanie’ class to 3km for the Open Boys class.
Conditions were already hot and all the runners performed well in testing circumstances. The fastest Open boy’s time was clocked up by William Verling of the Irish Pony Club (IPC) scoring an impressive 1060 points, and the fastest Open Girl was Sophia Williams of the Seskinore Harriers achieving 952 points.
On completion of the running phase, competitors travelled to Antrim Forum for the shooting. The Beanie class each threw 10 beanbags at a large target taped to the floor – a process overseen by Beverley McCullough and her team. There were some amazing performances in the bean bag throwing, with East Antrim’s Harvey Ross scoring 940 out of a possible 1000 points. Older competitors took 10 shots with an air pistol at a distance of either 7m or 10m at either static or turning targets, one-handed or two-handed, depending on their age. The shooting hall was set up and presided over by Shooting Steward, John Findlay and his team of Alan McKillen, Paul Sinton and Jasper de Montmorency. Samuel Staats-Howard in the Minimus Class (11 and under) achieved a very impressive maximum 1000 points in the shooting – the only competitor in the whole event to achieve a perfect shoot score.
Following on from shooting, competitors took to the pool under the watchful eye of starter Heather Williams and Swimming Steward, Wendy Findlay. Swimming duration ranged from two minutes for the younger competitors up to four minutes for the senior boys, with Daragh Phelan of IPC topping the leader board in the senior boys’ swim with an impressive 973 points.
Tetrathlon scoring is weighted in favour of the riding phase, so Sunday’s cross-country phase was eagerly anticipated by all. Open, Intermediate, Junior and Minimus competitors faced a varied and interesting course of fences across the whole Ballyvannon site, built by Danny and Paul Glendinning and overseen by Cross-Country Stewards, Stuart Stirling and Jasper de Montmorency. Younger riders in the Tadpole and Beanie classes competed over a separate course, designed and built by Penny Murphy. Optimum times were extended to take account of the very warm weather.
Both the senior and junior cross-country played a significant role in the competition, with problems spread across both courses, but thankfully very few riders parted company from their horse or pony. 64 riders brought home maximum riding scores of 1400 points.
Excellent prizes were presented on the day and East Antrim Pony Club are very grateful for the generous support of all their sponsors: Doagh Equestrian, NFU Mutual, Brookmount Grass Cutting Services, Shanaghan Veterinary, SVS Equine, TRI Equestrian and Bailey’s Horse Feeds. Additional prizes were provided by John Gibson of Sporting Images.
East Antrim Pony Club would like to express their profound thanks to the Glendinning family for hosting the running and cross-country phases and for the countless hours of work put in on the course. Organisers would also like to say a huge thank you to all the phase stewards, the run timers and marshals, shooting officials and helpers, swim lane judges, results runners, cross-country control, commentator, fence judges, call-up, tack check, lane stewards, Sporting Images photography, Cousins Catering and all the Pony Club members and parents who helped in any way.
East Antrim Pony Club secretary, Kathy Morrow worked tirelessly for many days on this event – taking entries, dealing with queries, producing programmes and running orders and setting up on site – all with a smile on her face! The scoring team of Claire Sinton, helped by Laura and Aimee McKillen, did an amazing job over two very hot days, keeping competitors constantly up to date with scores.
A special mention should also be made of the East Antrim catering team of Samantha Douglas-Brown, Beverley McCullough and Mary Dale, who looked after all the officials on cross-country day, providing what has been described by one visiting District Commissioner as ‘the best picnic service ever’!
East Antrim Pony Club would also like to thank the wonderful contingent of members of the Irish Pony Club for travelling so far to be part of the competition. They brought with them enormous enthusiasm and excellent sportsmanship and everyone greatly enjoyed their company.
Area 17 Tetrathlon
Open Boys: 1) Conor Findlay.
Open Girls: 1) Connie Crothers (Iveagh); 2) Sophia Williams (Seskinore); 3) Ellie Parkhill (East Down); 4) Sophie May Dunlop (East Down).
Intermediate Boys: 1) Callum Fitzgerald (Iveagh); 2) Robert Fitzgerald (Iveagh).
Intermediate Girls: 1) Elsa McCallum (North Down); 2)Charley Love (Seskinore); 3) Charlotte Keers (North Down); 4) Felicity Johnston (North Down); 5) Amy McLoughlin (Seskinore); 6) Claire Murnaghan (Seskinore).
Teams: 1) North Down; 2) Seskinore.
Junior Boys: 1) Patrick Williams (Seskinore); 2) Lorne Walsh (Iveagh); 3) Sam McElroy (Iveagh); 4) Callum McClory (Iveagh).
Team: 1) Iveagh.
Junior Girls: 1) Lauren Taylor (North Down); 2) Johanna Staats-Howard (Route Hunt); 3) Beth Phillips (Iveagh); 4) Alex Phillips (Iveagh); 5) Holly Ross (East Antrim); 6) Heidi Martin (East Down).
Team: 1) Iveagh.
Minimus: 1) Samuel Staats-Howard (Route Hunt); 2) Emma Stewart (Killultagh); 3) Jack Morrow (East Antrim); 4) Keeva McElhennon (Tullylagan); 5) Erin Han (East Down); 6) Emily Black (Fermanagh).
Teams: 1) Killultagh; 2) Tullylagan; 3) Iveagh; 4) East Antrim; 5) Fermanagh.
Tadpoles: 1) Harris Mathers (East Down); 2) Ted Geary (Iveagh); 3) Darcy-Henry McColl (Mid Antrim); 4) Fergus Lowry (Iveagh); 5) Georgia Storey (East Down); 6) Annie Morrow (East Antrim).
Teams: 1) Iveagh; 2) East Antrim.
Beanies: 1) Harvey Ross (East Antrim); 2) Emma Morre (Fermanagh); 3) Maia Rolston-McAuliffe (Fermanagh); 4) Tori Vetch (Fermanagh); 5) Catherine Beattie (Seskinore); 6) Jessica Clarke (Iveagh).
Lough Neagh Challenge
Senior Boys: 1) Daragh Phelan (IPC); 2) Caolan Costello (IPC); 3) William Verling (IPC); 4) Henry Seabach (IPC); 5) Callum Fitzgerald (Iveagh); 6) Simon Barrett (IPC).
Teams: 1) Outlaws (William Verling, Caolan Costello, Daragh Pheland and Henry Seebach); 2) Mad Dogs (Conor Findlay, Simon Barrett, Callum Fitzgerald, Robert Fitzgerald).
Open Girls: 1) Lucy Hogan (IPC); 2) Holly Hutchinson (IPC); 3) Erika Lowe (IPC); 4) Connie Crother (Iveagh); 5) Sophia Williams (Sekinore); 6) Ellen Collins (IPC).
Teams: 1) Red Wings (Ellen Colins, Erika Lowe, Lucy Hogan, Holly Hutchinson); 2) Blue Jays (Coonie Crother, Ellie Parkhill, Sophie May Dunlop, Sophia Williams).
Intermediate Girls: 1) Eva Marriot (IPC); 2) Flora Doran (IPC); 3) Ruth Barrett (IPC); 4) Elsa McCallum (North Down); 5) Sasha Doherty (IPC); 6) Charley Love (Seskinore).
Teams: 1) Lightning Cats (Eabha Toole, Ruth Barrett, Eva Marriot, Eliza-Jane Queally); 2) North Down (Elsa McCallum, Felicity Johnston, Lauren McGlennon, Charlotte Keers); 3) Turf Queens (Millie Doyle Ryan, Flora Doran, Emily Heather); 4) Seskinore (Amy McLoughlin, Charley Love, Claire Murnaghan); 5) Killer Bees (Hannah Hassett, Akysha Kelly, Sasha Doherty, Jane O’Donnell).
Junior Boys: 1) Patrick Williams (Seskinore); 2) Jamie Hargaden (IPC); 3) Jed Collins (IPC); 4) Peter Verling (IPC); 5) Sean Alfred (IPC); 6) Declan Carr-Robinson IPC.
Teams: 1) Storm Giants (Adam Hutchinson, John Asple-James, Jed Collins, Sean Alfred); 2) Sting Rays (Callum McClory, Lorne Walsh, Sam McElroy, Patrick Williams); 3) Team Vortex (Dechlan Carr-Robinson, Tristan Howard, Jamie Hargaden); 4) Wild Things (Tom O’Rourke, Max O’Reilly, Peter Galligan); 5) Young Guns (Darragh Walsh, Goerge Goor, Peter Verling).
Junior Girls: 1) Ruth Fogarty (IPC); 2) Molly Hennesey Murphy (IPC); 3) Sarah Kehoe (IPC); 4) Grace Quinn (IPC); 5) Caoimhe Keegan; 6) Aine Murray (IPC).
Teams: 1) Blue Angels (Aisling Marriott, Ruth Fogarty, Caolifhion Lawlor, Sarah Kehoe); 2) Unicorns United (Alex Phillips, Beth Phillips, Lauren Taylor, Johanna Stats Howard); 3) Alley Cats (Sahara Smith, Caimhe Keegan, Victoria Roche, Molly Hennesey Murphy); 4) Desert Flames (Sinead Greene, Grace Toole, Louisa Hussey, Heather Costello); 5) Crackerjacks (Annie Fogarty, Grace Quinn,Aine Murray, Hanora Brady); 6) The Zephyrs (Holly Ross, Ella Lindsay, Mary-Kate Rice).
Minimus: 1) Samuel Staats Howard (Route Hunt); 2) Amelie Henson (IPC); 3) Emma Stewart (Killultagh); 4) Tianne Kelly (IPC); 5) Harry Lowe (IPC); 6) Charlotte Goor (IPC).
Teams: 1) Electric Eels (Caroline Roche, Charlotte Goor, Tianne Kelly, Charlie Cairns); 2) The Heart Breakers (Amelia Henson, Harry Lowe, Isabelle Roche, Lucy O’Rourke); 3) Jim-Jam Jammers (Emily Black, Jack Morrow, Emily Stewart, Olivia Stewart); 4) The Cyclones (Olivis D’Arcy, Emmett Walsh, Emily Quinn, Margaret Verling); 5) The Infernos (Freddie Clarke, Jennifer Tate, Una McClelland, Samuel Staats Howard); 6) Adder Aces (Sophia Madely, Stewart Beattie, Eve Lindsay, Isabelle Irwin).
Tadpoles: 1) Harris Mathers (East Down); 2) Ted Geary (Iveagh); 3) Jack Hargaden (IPC); 4) Hannah Hennesy Murphy (IPC); 5) Darcy Henry-McCool (Mid Antrim); 6) Fergus Lowry (Iveagh).
Teams: 1) Boomerangs (Ava Phillips-Martin, Fergus Lowry, Ted Geary, Darcy Henry-McCool); 2) Hot Shots (Hannah Hennesy Murphy, Isabelle Galligan, Jack Hargaden, Summer Smith); 3) Bone Crushers (Maeve Rolston McAuliffe, Harris Mathers, Emily Bothwell, Georgia Storey); 4) East Antrim Apaches (Ana Goodrich, Annie Morrow, Ellie-Mae Kerr).