SATURDAY, October 19 saw the third leg of Hagans Croft’s five-week Working Hunter league taking place. The horses kicked off the morning session with their all weather riders on board to jump round the course of 12 rustic fences built by Toni Donnelly.
The first class of the day was the 60cm and four-year-old Working Hunter horse class. Keva Milligan and her new mount ‘Bannan Storyteller’ had nothing to be nervous about, as the pair jumped clear in phase one, setting themselves up well for the their ridden show in phase two, where they went on to win their class and take home the red ribbon.
Julie Donaghy Simpson had a change of ride this week, making her debut on Karen Millar’s beautifully turned out 16.2hh Draught mare ‘Meredith’. This pair have their sights sets on some Ridden Draught classes within the upcoming season, however, they certainly made their mark on Hagans Croft’s Working Hunter 60cm class, as they just missed out on the top spot by one point, leaving them in second place and securing a blue ribbon for their efforts.
Keva wasn’t giving up on her and ‘Bannan Storyteller’s’ top spot and went into the 70cm class determined to come home with another red rosette. With another positive clear round and ridden show, the pair finished on top marks and there was no denying them the red ribbon. This pair have a bright future ahead! Nicola Stuart had an unfortunate ‘sat nav’ issue on the day, which left them in second place.
As the course was adjusted to the 80cm class, a total of six competitors walked the course to make sure they were confident with their lines, striding and direction. Kathryn Knox and her 16.3hh dark bay mare ‘Braeview Codega’ made their debut at Hagans Croft and they certainly made their mark on the 80cm class. Clear through the jumping phase, the pair finished up with an overall score of 96/100, which saw them in the top spot and achieving a red rosette with the highest score throughout the day. Second place went to Jessica House, who rode Siobhan Holloway’s, 19 years young mare ‘Tully’s Rebel’. This pair have a great partnership and were worthy to be in the top placings on the day.
On followed the 85cm Small Hunter class, with a superb win for Kate Spence and ‘Umgall Bridge’, a fantastic combination. Jessica House and ‘Tully’s Rebel’ were hot on their heels to claim second place.
The 90cm class was more competitive, with six horses and riders vying to gain their qualification to The Northern Ireland Festival. Holly McGahan’s efforts on ‘Longwood Dollar Bill’ were certainly recognised, as they went through with the only clear jumping round. This pair went on to to be awarded the red ribbon, closely followed by Julie Donaghy Simpson and ‘He’s The Lad’ in second place. Congratulations to the top four competitors, who were awarded their qualification to the NIF.
For the second week in a row, Julie Donaghy Simpson once again took the top spot within the 1m class on ‘He’s the Lad’. This set them up well to head into the Championship class, where they went on to be awarded Horse Reserve Champion, while Champion Horse went to Kathryn Knox and ‘Braeview Codega’. Congratulations!
The afternoon session started back at 2pm, with the ponies taking on the technical course of 12 fences. Hagans Croft was pleased to welcome a few new faces to this venue, the first being Lauren Gordon from Ballinderry on her 14.2hh gelding ‘Sparrow’, who came second in the 60cm class and Sarah Brashaw riding ‘Tullynavin Bobby’, who came third in the 70cm class.
Kaitlyn Kearns came home in the ribbons with all her rides on the day – ‘Millhouse Henry’ was first in the 60cm class; ‘Tubbervale Jacob’ was fourth in the 70cm class and ‘Doohat Bandit’ was second in the 80cm class. What a super result for a Saturday out competing!
It was great to see Ellen McDonald back out on her beautifully schooled ‘Greenfield Apache’ mare, who jumped a faultless round and performed a seamlessly perfect ridden show – there was no doubt that this pair was coming home with the red rosette for the 70cm class.
Molly O’Connor was not giving up her 80cm red ribbon and, for the second week in a row, her and ‘Rossfad Runaway’ came home with the red ribbon. Moving on to the 90cm and 1m classes, Emily Hawe and ‘Crannard King of Hearts’ finished in first place in both classes – this pair set out to qualify for the NIF 153cm and were delighted that they had achieved that qualification.
The day came to a close with the Pony Championship show class, where the top two placings throughout all classes on the day are eligible. This class is judged solely on a ridden show, where horses and riders show off their horse’s paces as instructed by the judge. With such a high standard of pony and rider, judge David Wightman admittingly said it was the hardest decision on the day as to who was going to be awarded the overall pony champion and reserve champion. Nevertheless, out of the line up of six ponies, for the second week in a row Champion Pony was awarded to Molly O’Connor and ‘Rossfad Runaway’ and Reserve Champion Pony went to Emily Hawe and ‘Crannard King of Hearts’. Many congratulations!
Hagans Croft would like to thank everyone who supported the third leg of Hagan’s Croft’s five-week Working Hunter league and NIF qualifiers. This league is made possible with the following peoples help: judge, David Wightman; stewards, Carol and Harriett. Thanks also to Black Horse Photography for covering the event. All photographs can be viewed and purchased from the Black Horse Photography website.
This league runs every Saturday until November 2 and is open to everyone, especially those wanting to qualify for the NI Festival at Cavan. Entries are taken on the day at £15 or for more than one entry it is £14 each. Blackboard order will apply on the day.
To qualify for the final in week five, each horse/ pony and rider combination must compete in three out of the five weeks and within the same class. Competitors must compete in the final to be eligible for league placings, prizes and the overall league horse and pony Working Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion. Placings will be based on a points system. The final is open to everyone, with a separate prize giving taking place for competitors on the day and league competitors.
Toni Donnelly – HSI level 2 coach and credited show judge for the Irish Shows Association will be running a Working Hunter Master Class on Wednesday, October 30. Riders will be coached on show ring etiquette, the art of showing in hand and how to walk and ride a Working Hunter course. Everyone will finish with a mock show including written feedback. Spaces are limited and booking is essential. Please contact Toni Donnelly on 07764 786500.
To find out more about the league, please contact Gillian on 07849 106453 or go to the website: www.haganscroftequestrian.co.uk
Saturday, October 19
Working Hunter League
Horse Working Hunter Champion: Kathryn Knox, Braeview Codega; Reserve: Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s The Lad.
Class 1 – 60cm Working Hunter Horse & Four-year-old Working Hunter Horse (born 2015) NIF: 1) Keva Milligan, Bannan Storyteller; 2) Julie Donaghy Simpson, Meredith; 3) Holly McGahan, Maximus; 4) Holly McGahan, Pandora.
Class 2 – 70cm Working Hunter Horse: 1) Keva Milligan, Bannan Storyteller; 2) Nicola Stuart, Clonkeen Cheeky Charmer; 3) Kaiti McCann, Ronaldo.
Class 3 – 80cm Working Hunter Horse NIF: 1) Kathryn Knox, Braeview Codega; 2) Jessica House, Tully’s Rebel; 3) Karen Connolly, Olly; 4) Nicola Stuart, Clonkeen Cheeky Charmer; 5) Kaiti McCann, Ronaldo; 6) Ellie Johnston, The General.
Class 4 – 85cm Small Working Hunter Horse (not exceeding 158cm) NIF: 1) Kate Spence, Umgall Bridge; 2) Jessica House, Tully’s Rebel; 3) Tina O’Connor, Toffee Boy; 4) Emily Roney, April; 5) Alison Stewart, The Artful Dodger.
Class 5 – 90cm Working Hunter Horse NIF: 1) Holly McGahan, Longwood Dollar Bill; 2) Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s The Lad; 3) Gwen Scott, Arnold; 4) Emily Roney, April; 5) Tina O’Connor, Toffee Boy; 6) Eugene Milligan, Autumn.
Class 6 – 1m Working Hunter Horse NIF: 1) Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s The Lad.
Pony Working Hunter Champion: Molly O’Connor, Rossfad Runaway; Reserve: Emily Hawe, Crannard King of Hearts.
Class 8 – 60cm Working Hunter Pony NIF Cradle Stakes also M&M: 1) Kaitlyn Kearns, Millhouse Henry; 2) Lauren Gordon, Sparrow.
Class 9 – 70cm Working Hunter Pony NIF Starter Stakes & M&M: 1) Ellen McDonald, Greenfield Apache; 2) Molly O’Connor, Rossfad Runaway; 3) Sarah Brashaw, Tullynavin Bobby; 4) Kaitlyn Kearns, Tubbervale Jacob.
Class 10 – 80cm Working Hunter Pony NIF 133cm & M&M: 1) Molly O’Connor, Rossfad Runaway; 2) Kaitlyn Kearns, Doohat Bandit; 3) Ellen McDonald, Torreen Boy.
Class 11 – 90cm Working Hunter Pony NIF 143cm & M&M: 1) Emily Hawe, Crannard King of Hearts.
Class 12 – 1m Working Hunter Pony NIF 153cm: 1) Emily Hawe, Crannard King of Hearts; 2) Beth Taylor, Millyard Bobstar.