Chloe and ‘Paddington’ on top form at Hagan’s Croft Working Hunter

Hagans Croft WH BR Farm
DOUBLE: Julie Donaghy Simpson on ‘Hes the Lad’ won both the 90cm and 1m classes and secured the Reserve Champion title at Hagan’s Croft. (FW41-521NN)

SATURDAY, October 6 saw the sun shine on Hagans Croft’s third leg of their five-week Working Hunter League. The day started out with the pony section and the 60cm and 70cm classes, where all riders and their four-legged friends jumped out of their skins to bring home clear rounds all round! This meant competition was stiff going into the show phase, however, it was Katie Donnelly and ‘Cash’ who came out on top, claiming the red ribbon in the 60cm class and Kaitlyn Kearns on ‘Tubbervale Jacob’ who claimed the red ribbon in the 70cm class.

Zara Smyth took the top spot in the 80cm class, with Susie Thompson continuing her winning form from previous weeks to gain top spot in both the 90cm and 1m classes. Susie’s steadfast determination lasted through to the Pony Championship, where the pairing went on to claim the overall Pony Champion, followed by Kaitlyn Kearns and ‘Tubbervale Jacob’ receiving Reserve Champion. Superb result!

CHAMPION: Chloe Rooney on ‘Paddington’ won the 80cm Small Hunter class and went on to claim the Horse Championship at Hagan’s Croft. (FW41-520NN)

Saturday afternoon saw the horses take on the course of rustic fences. Hagan’s Croft was pleased to welcome back those returning competitors, as well as many new faces to this venue, even those from as far as Dublin! This journey was well worth it for Susan Fanning and her chestnut gelding ‘Homegrown Marx’, who were placed first in the 70cm class, followed by Katie Lyttle and her bay mare ‘Dickson’s Rose’ in second place.

The largest class on the day was the 80cm class, with a total of 10 competitors taking on the challenging course designed by Toni Donnelly. Five of whom finished their jumping phase clear, cementing their place within the top six placings and setting them on a solid footing going into their show phase. The marks for phase two were based on the horse’s manners and performance, conformation and movement, all whilst showing off the horses four paces. Katie Lyttle made it red this time, placing first with her mare ‘Dickson’s Rose’, followed by Claire Smyth on ‘Tilly’s Comet’ in second and third was Eithne O’Hanrahan on ‘Kilmurray Admiral’ from County Louth.

On followed the 80cm small hunter class with a superb win for Chloe Rooney and ‘Paddington’, a fantastic combination. Antonia Donnelly and her home bred mare ‘Majestical Fox’ were hot on their heels to claim second place.

The 90cm class was highly competitive with nine horses and riders vowing to gain their qualification to The Northern Ireland Festival. Their efforts in the jumping phase were certainly recognised, with a total of seven clears going through to phase two. However, it was Julie Donaghy Simpson and ‘He’s the lad’ who shone through to be awarded the red ribbon, closely followed by Chloe Rooney and ‘Paddington’ in second place. Congratulations to the top four competitors, who were awarded their qualification to the NIF.

Julie Donaghy Simpson once again took the top spot within the 1m class on ‘He’s the Lad’, followed by Louise Watt and her new mount – ‘The Spin Doctor’. Very well done!

The day came to a close with the Horse championship class, where only the top two placings in each class are eligible. Two competitors really shone out for judge David Wightman due to their grace and style throughout the day and ultimately the horse champion was awarded to Chloe Rooney on her pocket rocket bay gelding ‘Paddington’, followed by Julie Donaghy Simpson on ‘He’s the Lad’. What a successful day these two competitors had – congratulations!

Hagans Croft would like to thank everyone who supported the second leg of their five-week working hunter league and horse NIF qualifiers. This League is made possible with the following peoples help: course builder – Toni Donnelly; Judge – David Wightman; Scribe – Caroline; Stewards – Carol and Lindsey. Thank you to the league sponsors: The Ainseed Lounge, The Spoilt Horse Company and Black Horse Photography for covering the event.

This league runs every Saturday until October 20 and is open to everyone, especially those wanting to qualify for the NI Festival at Cavan. Please note there is an Early Bird pre-entry fee of £12 per class, with an On the Day entry fee of £15 per class (on the day, competitors entering two or more classes will receive £2 discount). Pre-entries close on the Thursday at 12 noon prior to Saturday’s event. 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.

To find out more about the league, please contact Gillian on 07849 106453 or go to the website:


Saturday, October 6

Ponies / Juniors

Champion: Susie Thompson, Dun Surprise; Reserve: Kaitlyn Kearns, Tubbervale Jacob.

Class 1 – 60cm: 1) Katie Donnelly, Cash: 2) Kaitlyn Kearns, Doohat Bandit; 3) Sarah Craig, Jasper.

Class 2 – 70cm: 1) Kaitlyn Kearns, Tubbervale Jacob; 2) Zara Smyth, Killucan Boy; 3) Katie Donnelly, Cash; 4) Sarah Craig, Jasper.

Class 3 – 80cm: 1) Zara Smyth, Killucan Boy; 2) Ellen McDonald, Toreen Boy.

Class 4 – 90cm: 1) Susie Thompson, Dun Surprise; 2) Ellen McDonald Torreen Boy.

Class 5 – 1m: 1) Susie Thompson, Dun Surprise.

Horses / Seniors

Champion: Chloe Rooney, Paddington; Reserve: Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s the Lad.

Class 2 – 70cm: 1) Susan Fanning, Homegrown Marx; 2) Katie Lyttle, Dickson’s Rose; 3) Lynne Forbes, Harry; 4) Una Megoran, Ace; 5) Barbara Kearns, Kitty; 6) Nicola Jellie, Comanche Craft.

Class 3 – 80cm NIF WH qualifiers 2018: 1) Katie Lyttle, Dickson’s Rose; 2) Claire Smyth, Tilly’s Comet; 3) Eithne O’Hanrahan, Kilmurray Admiral; 4) Barbara Kearns, Kitty; 5) Roisin Murray, Coolodge Murray; 6) Susan Fanning, Homegrown Marx.

Class 4 – 80cm NIF Small Hunter qualifiers 2018: 1) Chloe Rooney, Paddington; 2) Antonia Donnelly, Majestical Fox; 3) Liz Cherry, Monty; 4) Emily Roney, Lisnisky Midnight View; 5) Eithne O’Hanrahan, Kilmurray Admiral; 6) Nicola Jellie, Comanche Craft.

Class 5 – 90cm NIF WH qualifiers 2018: 1) Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s the Lad; 2) Chloe Rooney, Paddington; 3) Louise Watt, The Spin Doctor; 4) Claire Smyth, Tilly’s Comet; 5) Emily Roney, Lisnisky Midnight View; 6) Caroline Hunter, Colour Me Clover.

RUNNER UP: Ellen McDonald on ‘Torreen Boy’ was runner up in both the 80cm and 90cm pony classes at the Hagan’s Croft Working Hunter. (FW41-519NN)

Class 6 – 1m NIF WH qualifiers 2018: 1) Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s the Lad; 2) Louise Watt, The Spin Doctor.


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