THE SJI season leapt into action at Connell Hill, Randalstown, the very historic village on the outskirts of Antrim, on Saturday, with the first leg of the Spring Horse League. This league will run each Saturday at 10am, until April 27, with the May league commencing on May 4.
This will prove to be a most exciting year, as a host of young horses embarked upon their future career with a most natural amazing talent captured by photographer Lyndon McKee. This was an awesome opportunity to introduce these future stars jumping highly professionally designed tracks by Colm Quinn and judged by Nicola Tang. Not only did young horses steal the attention of the spectators, but also new combinations, which everyone knows only too well may take a few months to gel together.
Amongst these new combinations was Laura Doherty, from Eglinton, who took the 90cm challenge on her dad Gerald Doherty’s mare, ‘Legaland Courge Z’ jumping not only double clear, but the first of the class. Another new combination was Ruth O’Brien from Larne, who again took the first double clear of the 1.0m class on her mare ‘Diarado Royale’.
Not to be outdone by her sister, Claire Doherty took the 1.10m class by storm, taking first place on her dad’s gelding ‘Krypton DV’ by moving her dad’s mare ‘Hylight’ into third place after holding poll position until Jodie Creighton entered the arena on Kathryn Smiley’s gelding from Carrickfergus, ‘Newmarket Alloy’, who slipped into second place. Alistair Barr from Ballymena, the took the honours of the 1.20m class on his gelding ‘Colt Forty Five’ with Barry McCormack taking victory of the 1.30m class on ‘CJO Max A Million’, owned by Carla Leitch from Ballymena.
This Spring League will continue at Connell Hill until the end of April, contact Grace on 07765 884254 or Gillian on 07803 178009 for information.
80cm: =1) Keeford Joy, Noel McKee; Clovers Girl, Marie Fallon O’Kane.
90cm: =1) Caltra Leader, Elaine Morrow; Derg Bonnie Rose, Kathryn Watt; Garryduff Diamond Mine, Ben Maybin; Zebidee, Lynn Lowry; Legaland Courage Z, Laura Doherty.
1m: =1) Diardo Royale, Ruth O’Brien; Laraghlease King, Jenny Campbell.
1.10m: 1) Krypton DV, Claire Doherty; 2) Newmarket Alloy, Jodie Smiley; 3) Hylight, Claire Doherty; 4) Quality Irish Princess, Jodie Creighton; 5) Elf Queen, Sarah Kinnear; 6) Captain Cashell, Robbie Topping.
1.20m: 1) Colt Forty Five, Alistair Barr.
1.30m: 1) CJO Max A Million, Barry McCormack; 2) Moyleview Dancer, Barry McCormack.