ON Saturday, April 30, Ardnacashel Equestrian in Comber were delighted to host their annual pre-Balmoral show. After a week of glorious weather, the rain didn’t appear to dampen spirits as all competitors enjoyed a day filled with ridden, in hand showing and working hunter for horses and ponies.
With four rings in action, the day was certainly packed full for competitors, with classes ranging from working hunter cross-poles for the most junior riders, a large Racehorse to Riding Horse class and a range of in hand classes to suit all.
Competitors travelled from over Northern Ireland and further afield to polish their skills before their big day at Balmoral Show, which is fast approaching. Showing the best animals and riders, the judges had the difficult task of deciding who should take the coveted red ribbon in each class.
In the Working Hunter Horse ring, under the watchful eyes of judge Mr Alister McDonald and ride judge Miss Chloe Thompson, classes started at 60cm and madetheir way to 1.10m. There was a plethora of fabulous horses taking first place in their respective classes, however, at the end of the day it was the winner of the Small Hunter class Kerry Finlay on ‘Shanbally Ronaldo’ who took the coveted Working Hunter Champion sash, with Rosie Alcorn on ‘Goodwins Whoopi’ in Reserve.
Over in the horse ridden ring, judge Mr Brian Lusk and ride judge Miss Amanda Telford also had the difficult task of making choices in large, well supported classes. Their first Championship, the Hunter Championship, which included such classes as Ladies Hunter and Light Weight Hunter, went to Leah Chambers on ‘Cloonieran Silver Knight’, who took first place in the Small Hunter ridden class. In reserve was Chloe Rooney on ‘Willows Wonderly Fox’, who took the win in the Ladies Hunter class.
The show ring then moved onto the Cob classes and, in a hotly contested Cob up to 155cm class, James Smyth riding ‘Colour Spectrum’ took first place. However, in the cob championship, it was the lovely maxi cob ‘Cobability Brown’, ridden by Shawlene Leebody, who took the sash, with James Smyth taking reserve.
The final few classes included the Racehorse to Riding Horse class and, in a large field of beautifully turned out Thoroughbreds, all of whom have previously raced, one horse was the stand out winner. Felicity McConnell, a young rider with the four-year-old ‘Easy Pleased’ took the red rosette with a comment from ride judge Amanda Telford that he was one of the easiest, lightest and well mannered horses she’d ridden and how unbelievable it was that he was only four years old, a real credit to his rider.
It was without surprise then that this combination then went on to take the Riding Championship, with James Smyth on ‘High Thyme Ringmaster’, winners of the Coloured Horse class, in Reserve.
In the Show Pony ring, under the watchful eye of judge Mrs Violet Jackson, the day started with the Tiny Tots Lead Rein, always a popular class, mostly with the children who much prefer the sweetie cone they get with their rosette! This class was won by Zak Fletcher on the lovely grey ‘Hope Quint’.
The first pony Championship after classes including Family Pony won by Amelia Logan on ‘Sycamore Fairytale’, was won by Cameron Barry on ‘Rhydygrug Peter Pan’. Cameron had previously taken first place in M&M Lead Rein pony; Reserve was taken by Ollie Gordon on ‘Greendown Mandarin’, who were the winners of the Lead Rein Pony class.
After this Championship, the pony classes moved on to Connemara and M&M ridden classes. The Novice Ridden Connemara was won by Katie Crozier on the lovely bay ‘Lough Derg Star’. Katie then went on to win the Novice Large Breed M&M and, not content with these superb results, took the Championship with Abi Gardner on ‘Dirion Elwyn’, winners of Novice Small Breed M&M, taking Reserve.
The Pony Working Hunter ring, under the watchful eye of judge Joanne Harper, started with the cross-poles class, with Tara Hanna Kerr taking first and second with her ponies ‘Strawberry’ and ‘Blueberry’. After the 60cm class, a Mini Championship was held, with sisters Cayleigh and Paige Erwin taking Champion and Reserve with their ponies ‘Henry’ and ‘Ballyhill Boy’.
Moving on up the classes, there were successes from Jocelyn Hutchinson on ‘Langwedh Miss Saigon’ in the 70cm NIF Q for 133cm Starter Stakes and M&M Small Breeds; Cormac Murtagh on ‘Shanaghy Star’ in the M&M Working Hunter pony and Lauren McGlennon on ‘Wishful Willow’ in the 1m class.
Finally, there was the In Hand Ring, with regular judge Mr Tony Bell providing his expertise! The first class, Potential Hunter (Age 1-3) was won by David Kirkpatrick with ‘Redwood Sky’ – this combination then went on to win Part Bred Youngstock.
Connemara Youngstock was taken by Sylvia Henry with ‘Annie’, while Connemara Pony four years and over went to Emma Jackson with her stallion ‘Ashfield Casanova’. Champion in this ring went to Lynne Erskine, winner of the Traditional Cob class with ‘Ballywatt Summer’, Reserve to Sylvia Henry with ‘Annie’.
The day concluded with the Supreme Championship, which ultimately went to Katie Crozier on the bay Connemara ‘Lough Derg Star’, with Felicity McConnell on her young Thoroughbred gelding ‘Easy Pleased’ taking Reserve. Very well done to all the competitors, who braved the elements to make this day the success it was.
Organisers would like to extend their thanks once again to all the judges on the day, Mr Alister McDonald, Miss Chloe Thompson, Mr Brian Lusk, Miss Amanda Telford, Mrs Joanne Harper, Mrs Violet Jackson and Mr Tony Bell. Their expertise and knowledge was invaluable, as was their time spent standing in a damp field!
Finally, organisers would like to thank their team of helpers, without whom these shows would not run as smoothly as they do.
Saturday, April 30
WORKING HUNTER HORSES
Class 1a 70cm Four-year-olds: 1) Sammy Weston, Imperial Wonder.
Class 2 70cm Amateur NIF Q: 1) Ava Stubbs, Lucy; 2) Danielle McKeown, Lisnahilt Tilly.
Class 3 80cm Performance: 1) Rebecca Murdock, Animation; 2) Ava Stubbs, Lucy; 3) Sonia Graham, KSH Princess Ester.
Class 5 80cm NIF Q: 1) Emma Jackson, Brymars Universal Time; 2) Emma Jackson, Western Warrior; 3) Rosie Alcorn, Fintan’s Dory; 4) Elaine Gardner, What’s it All About.
Class 6 Cobs 80cm: 1) Victoria Thompson, Derrylough Bay Bandit; 2) Gwen Scott, The Vicar; 3) Nat Wilton, Emily May; 4) Megan Matthews, Rocky.
Class 7 Irish Draught 80cm: 1) Elaine Gardner, What’s It All About; 2) Rosie Alcorn, Priory Rose.
Class 8 Smalls 90cm NIF Q: 1) Kerry Finlay, Shanbally Ronaldo; 2) Helen Faulkner, Derrivane Danny; 3) Rosie Alcorn, Fintan’s Dory.
Class 9 90cm NIF Q: 1) Lauren McGlennon, Keeford Highrise; 2) Rosie Alcorn, Goodwins Whoopi; 3) Emma Leathem, Drumcill Touch of Class; 4) Sammy Weston, Glenoran Lad.
Class 10 1m NIF Q: 1) Zara Sharvin, LGS My Echo; 2) Sophie Ennis, Rainbow; 3) Lauren McGlennon, Keeford Highrise.
Class 11 1.10m NIF Q: 1) Zara Sharvin, LGS My Echo; 2) Rosie Alcorn, Crysanthos; 3) Heather Steele, CSH Chanel.
WORKING HUNTER CHAMPIONSHIP
CHAMPION: Kerry Finlay, Shanbally Ronaldo; RESERVE: Rosie Alcorn, Goodwins Whoopi.
SHOW HORSE RING
Class 12 Four- and Five-Year-Old Show Horse: 1) Victoria Mullen, The Lady’s Choice; 2) Hannah Whittle, Hi Mr Red; 3) Emma Jackson, Brymars Universal Time; 4) Sammy Weston, Imperial Wonder.
Class 13 Amateur Show Horse: 1) Aimee Torrens, Tullybraden Boy; 2) Kerry Dickson, A Stolen Star; 3) Rachel Davies, The Outlander; 4) Jessica Kelly, Kalanisi Shadow.
Class 14 Light Weight Hunter: 1) Catherine Patterson, Ballycurrane Liath; 2) Karen Connolly, Ardnacashel Casanova; 3) James Smyth, Monarch of the Mist.
Class 15 Middle / Heavy Weight Hunter: 1) Caoimhe O’Hare, Miss Mourne; 2) Rachel Simons, Tollymore Lass.
Class 16 Small Hunter: 1) Leah Chambers, Cloonieran Silver Knight; 2) Emma Connolly, Mullaghdrin Cointreau Lady; 3) Caroline Chambers, Fionn; 4) Christine McBride, NEH Flagmount Diamond Clover.
Class 17 Ladies Hunter: 1) Chloe Rooney, Willows Wonderly Fox; 2) Ava Stubbs, Lucy; 3) Stephanie Scroggy, Hello Ginger.
RIDDEN CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES 12 – 17
CHAMPION: Leah Chambers, Cloonieran Silver Knight; RESERVE: Chloe Rooney, Willows Wonderly Fox.
Class 18 Cob: 1) James Smyth, Colour Spectrum; 2) Rachel Moore, Horton’s Brown Eyed Boy; 3) Eileen Jones, The Vicar; 4) Kathryn Knox, Springvale Ella.
Class 19 Maxi Cob: 1) Shawlene Leebody, Cobability Brown; 2) Judith Watt, Ellie Mae.
Class 20 Traditional Cob: 1) Anne Regan, Dreamer IV; 2) Katlyn McFadden, Bella.
CHAMPION: Ryan Anderson, Colour Spectrum; RESERVE: Shawlene Leebody, Cobability Brown.
Class 21 Small Riding Horse: 1) Jessica House, Khalasar.
Class 22 Large Riding Horse: 1) Felicity McConnell, Easy Pleased; 2) Sophie Donnell, Rock Expression; 3) Philip McAteer, Candy’s Hero; 4) Allison Matthews, Ardoyne.
PONY WORKING HUNTER
Cross-Poles: 1) Tara Hanna Kerr, Strawberry; 2) Tara Hanna Kerr, Blueberry.
Class 28 50cm Performance: 1) Paige Erwin, Ballyhill Boy; 2) Harry Campbell, Molly; 3) Mia Dickson, Dechomet Alfie Blue.
Class 29 60cm (NIF Q for 122cm Cradle Stakes): 1) Cayleigh Erwin, Henry; 2) Harry Campbell, Molly; 3) Eimear Kinchin, Coolnakilla Carlsberg; 4) Holly Savage, Mountjoy Lad.
CHAMPION: Cayleigh Erwin, Henry; RESERVE: Paige Erwin, Ballyhill Boy.
Class 30 70cm Performance: 1) Lily Brown, Rosevale; 2) Jocelyn Hutchinson, Langwedh Miss Saigon; 3) Mia Dickson, Dechomet Alfie Blue.
Class 31 70cm (NIF Q for 133cm Starter Stakes & M&M Small Breed): 1) Jocelyn Hutchinson, Langwedh Miss Saigon; 2) Eva Kennedy, Casey; 3) Cayleigh Erwin, Henry; 3) Charlotte Nelson, Reggie; 4) Holly Savage, Scarletts Multipla.
Class 32 80cm Performance: 1) Leah Rogan, Alfie.
Class 34 M&M Working Hunter Pony: 1) Cormac Murtagh, Shanaghy Star; 2) Emma Jackson, Ashfield Casanova; 3) Megan Houston, Western Ocala; 4) Charlotte Glenn, Chequerhill Water Lilly.
Class 35 90cm Performance: 1) Charlotte Glenn, Chequerhill Water Lilly; 2) Leah Rogan, Alfie; 3) Megan Houston, Western Ocala.
Class 37 1m NIF Q for 143cm & M&M Large Breeds: 1) Lauren McGlennon, Wishful Willow; 2) Cormac Murtagh, Shanaghy Star.
WORKING HUNTER PONY CHAMPION
CHAMPION: Lauren McGlennon, Wishful Willow; RESERVE: Cormac Murtagh, Shanaghy Star.
SHOW PONY RING
Class 39 Tiny Tots Lead Rein: 1) Zak Fletcher, Hope Quint; 2) Lucy Hammond, Muffin; 3) Jorja Dickson, Sky Fall; 4) Libby Leathem, Silver Jubilee.
Class 40 Lead Rein Pony: 1) Ollie Gordon, Greendown Mandarin; 2) Seth Houston, Amesbury Queen Bee; 3) Clara Corry, Nordy Tinkerbell; 4) Tara Hanna Kerr, Strawberry.
Class 41 M&M Lead Rein Pony: 1) Cameron Barry, Rhydygrug Peter Pan; 2) Zak Fletcher, Hope Quint; 3) Pippa Leathem, Silver Jubilee; 4) Tara Hanna Kerr, Blueberry.
Class 42 Family Pony: 1) Amelia Logan, Sycamore Fairytale; 2) Lucy Hammond, Muffin; 3) Sienna Savage, Rocky; 4) Erin Gordon, Maypole Stargate.
Class 43 First Ridden Pony: 1) Paige Erwin, Ballyhill Boy; 2) Abi Gardner, Ravara Tiger Lily.
Class 46 Show Hunter Pony up to 153cm: 1) Nicole Peoples, Ballyhindon Boy; 2) Ellie Annett, Wyndham Who Dun it; 3) Abi Gardner, Dirion Elwyn; 4) Eva O’Neill, Duke of Down.
Class 47 Coloured Pony up to 158cm: 1) Evie McMullan, Ronnie; 2) Paige Irwin, Bobo.
CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSES 39 – 47
CHAMPION: Cameron Barry, Rhydygrug Peter Pan; RESERVE: Ollie Gordon, Greendown Mandarin.
Class 48 Novice Ridden Connemara: 1) Katie Crozier, Lough Derg Star; 2) Sophie Ennis, Rainbow; 3) Charlotte Smylie, Cregduff Ranger; 4) Eve Adair, Ballygarris Robe.
Class 49 Open Ridden Connemara: 1) Hannah Morrison, Ballagh Rebel; 2) Sophie Donnell, Lusmagh Echo.
Class 50 Part Bred Pony: 1) Ben Cousins, Moluccas King Kaffir; 2) Mia Dickson, Dechomet Alfie Blue.
Class 51 Novice Small Breed M&M: 1) Abi Gardner, Dirion Elwyn.
Class 52 Novice Large Breed M&M: 1) Katie Crozier, Lough Derg Star; 2) Finn Doherty; 3) Robyn Catterall, Wyreway Malcolm; 4) Alison Stewart, Drummin Fly Mulligan.
CHAMPION CLASSES 48 – 53
CHAMPION: Katie Crozier, Lough Derg Star; RESERVE: Abi Gardner, Dirion Elwyn.
IN HAND CLASSES
Class 57 Potential Hunter (Age 1-3): 1) David Kirkpatrick, Redwood Sky; 2) David Hamilton, Dundrum Symphony; 3) Kevin Quigg, Lisnaclea Castor; 4) Nigel Coulson, Pure Gold.
Class 58 Welsh Youngstock (Age 1-3): 1) Katie White, Lynbrie Lilibet.
Class 59 Welsh Pony (Age 4 and over): 1) Sarah Allen, Steve.
Class 60 Connemara Youngstock: 1) Sylvia Henry, Annie; 2) Denver Logan, Bunowen Countess.
Class 61 Connemara Pony (4 years and over): 1) Emma Jackson, Ashfield Casanova; 2) Patricia Martin, Hazelwood Prince; 3) Caroline Chambers, Clooneen Paedar; 4) Caroline Chambers, Ballylee Ali.
Class 62 Irish Draught Youngstock: 1) Kevin Quigg, Lisnaclea Castor.
Class 63 Irish Draught Four and over: 1) Rebecca Millar, BGS Ready Teddy Go.
Class 65 Coloured horse/pony aged Four and over: 1) Kirsty Haynes, Red Willow.
Class 67 M&M aged Four and over: 1) Sarah Allen, Steve; 2) Robyn Catterall, Wyreway Malcolm; 3) Ella Dickson, Sky Fall.
Class 69 Miniature Horse Mares: 1) Amy Black, Tanzanite Black Magic.
Class 70 Miniature Stallion/ Gelding: 1) William Girvin, Glenrose Tobias.
Class 72 Traditional Cob: 1) Lynne Erskine, Ballywatt Summer; 2) Megan McQuat, Galway Girl.
Class 73 Part Bred Youngstock: 1) David Kirkpatrick, Redwood Sky; 2) Nigel Coulson, Pure Gold.
Class 74 Part Bred aged Four and over: 1) Anthea Steele, Brookllan Dream Boy.
IN HAND CHAMPIONSHIP
CHAMPION: Lynne Erskine, Ballywatt Summer; RESERVE: Sylvia Henry, Annie.
SUPREME CHAMPION OF SHOW
CHAMPION: Katie Crozier, Lough Derg Star; RESERVE: Felicity McConnell, Easy Pleased.
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