THE curtain came down on the Northern Region events for the current season following a very successful visit to Knockany, courtesy of Harold and Jenny Lusk. The popular County Down venue was bathed in sunshine and the magnificent smell of cooking from the White Horse Restaurant only served to whet the appetites of the 120 competitors and the very large gathering of spectators.
Visiting Cross-Country Course Designer, Luke Drea, made a number of interesting changes to the courses which, this year included an EI 80 Training class. Nigel Jess built two strong show jumping tracks in the large outdoor arena, which were certainly influential to the overall results.
Once again, Steven Smith made his presence felt, with a very worthy win in the EI 110 Open class on board ‘Mike of Mourne’, the John McBride bred gelding by ‘Ringfort Cruise’, which also won on its last outing at Castle Irvine, Necarne. They finished on their first phase mark, almost five points clear of Gerald Bloomer riding Jinny Webb’s nine-year-old gelding, ‘Shannondale Icarus’.
Later in the day, Catherine Abbott, Chair of Northern Region, presented Steven with a beautiful crystal vase in recognition of his outstanding achievement of 1,000 runs since official Equirating statistics began in 2011. Steven also received products from Connolly’s Red Mills.
Meantime, Ella Boyle created quite a stir in the EI 110 class with ‘Denali’ where her impressive performance in the first phase led dressage judge, Rosie Gomes, to award a score of 89.5 %, which resulted in a penalty mark of 10. To this, she just added two time faults cross-country, giving her a very significant margin over second placed Alison Baird with her ‘OBOS Quality’ mare, ‘TMS Freya’. This combination have had two successful forays into International eventing, with recent runs at Blair and Kilguilkey.
Just two riders contended the EI 110 Amateur class where, unsurprisingly, Denis Currie and ‘Arodstown Aramis’ brought home the spoils with their fourth win this year.
Liam Moran from Dublin, a wonderful supporter of Northern Region events, made his journey worthwhile by claiming the red rosette in the EI 100 Amateur class with his 14-year-old ‘Cult Hero’ gelding, ‘Timpany Flight Hero’. They kept both jumping phases clean, as did second placed Philip Swann, who has been trying hard to maintain the high standards set by his daughter, Rachel, last month.
All three starters in the EI 100 P class finished on their dressage score, with Alex O’Hare claiming the win on her mother’s 11-year-old mare, ‘Greylands Diamond Girl’, with which she made her eventing debut at Knockany last year. Katie Robinson, a newcomer to the sport this year, served up her third consecutive runner up placing with ‘Duncarbery Cascade’.
Sarah O’Shea led from the outset in the EI 100 J class with her mother’s ‘Cruising’ gelding, ‘Youngstars Cheetah’, replicating a result back in March at Lightsource BP Tyrella 2. Anna McCaldin slipped into second place, with the very accomplished ‘Rum Jumbie’, adding nothing to their flatwork mark.
Steven Smith picked up his second win of the day in the EI 100 class with his six-year-old gelding, ‘Jaguar Blues’, where he finished 1.7 points clear of Jonathan Steele riding Graham Duncan’s Dutch-bred gelding, ‘Western Johnny’ and Suzanne Hagan with John Kehoe’s six-year-old mare, ‘Killeshin Vintage Swatch’. In the end, the advantage for second place, based on proximity to optimum time, went to ‘Western Johnny’.
County Meath based rider, Amanda Goldsbury, well-renowned for her production of young horses, claimed a one-two in the EI 90 class. She took the win with a four-year-old, ‘Hale Athena’, on just its second outing and runner up with Christine O’Donnell’s ‘Ramiro B’ four-year-old, ‘Red Hot Chilli Filly’ on its third appearance under Eventing Ireland rules.
There was a much smaller than normal EI 90 Amateur class with just four runners, two of whom delivered clear cross-country performances. The win was taken by Beth Toner on her six-year-old ‘Cobra’ gelding, ‘Cavalier Cobra’, followed by Barbara Johns and ‘John Rambo’.
Lauren McGlennon took centre stage in the EI 90P class on board her mother’s pony, ‘OMS Lady Esquire’ and, despite lowering two coloured poles, they still maintained an advantage over second placed, Adam Booth and ‘Melview Chester’, who are just completing their first eventing season.
The addition of an EI 80 Training class to a number of Northern Region venues this year has proved very popular and attracted 20 entries at Knockany. One such protagonist, Rowena McCormick, had her efforts rewarded when she took top spot with ‘Indigo Rose’, finishing on her first phase score, just ahead of Sarah Gilchrist and ‘Hazeldene Mighty Max’, who also kept a clean sheet across all jumping phases.
Northern Region extends a huge thank you to Harold and Jenny Lusk for hosting the event and to their team of workers, who built and dressed the fences.
Thank you, too, to all the volunteers, who have worked tirelessly all year in so many roles to keep the show on the road – organisers are deeply indebted to you all.
Northern Region would also like to extend sincere thanks to the very loyal sponsors: Baileys Horse Feeds, Horse First, Lightsource BP, Metal Technology, Orthoderm and Sporting Images, who have been so generous over the years and, particularly, in the current climate.
Northern Region looks forward to seeing everyone with them next season.
Saturday, September 18
EI Northern Region at Knockany
EI 110 Open: 1) Steven Smith, Mike of Mourne; 2) Gerald Bloomer, Shannondale Icarus; 3) Davina Gray, Balief Clover; 4) Kathryn McGafin, Ferros Diablo; 5) Robyn McCluskey, Suirvalley Little Monkey; 6) Anna Maher, Erin.
EI 110: 1) Ella Boyle, Denali; 2) Alison Baird, TMS Freya; 3) Colin Halliday, GHS Calexico; 4) Rosie Alcorn, Chrysanthos; 5) Roan Gallagher, Rathory Roanfly; 6) Sara Glynn, Granny Jeans Unicorn.
EI 110J: 1) Amelia McCarthy, Tillystown Girl.
EI 110 Amateur: 1) Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis; 2) Sadhbh McGrath, Bridgemans Cocoa Malt.
EI 100 Amateur: 1) Liam Moran, Timpany Flight Hero; 2) Philip Swann, Tignabruaich; 3) Tracey McKeown, Ardeo Chocolate.
EI 100J: 1) Sarah O’Shea, Youngstars Cheetah; 2) Anna McCaldin, Rum Jumbie; 3) Lucy Kayes, Slievernisky Shamrock; 4) Kate McLaughlin, Bocade Renaissance; 5) Sarah O’Shea, Laura’s Imp; 6) Ellen Douglas, Rock Phoenix.
EI 100P: 1) Alex O’Hare, Greylands Diamond Girl; 2) Katie Robinson, Duncarbery Cascade; 3) Sorcha Hanly, My Seafield Romeo.
EI 100: 1) Steven Smith, Jaguar Blues; 2) Jonathan Steele, Western Johnny; 3) Suzanne Hagan, Killeshin Vintage Swatch; 4) Rosie Alcorn, Goodwins Royalty; 5) Suzanne Hagan, Karolita O; 6) Hannah Blakely, Lougherne Bellissima.
EI 90: 1) Amanda Goldsbury, Hale Athena; 2) Amanda Goldsbury, Red Hot Chilli Filly; 3) Kaiti McCann, Boyher Cookies N Crème; 4) Clodagh McBride, Barnfield Indian Sky; 5) Jake Rawlinson, Knockaleery Legacy; 6) Christopher Whyte, Golden Frankfort.
EI 90 Amateur: 1) Beth Toner, Cavalier. Cobra; 2) Barbara Johns, John Rambo; 3) Emma Wallace, Elamo Little Diamond; 4) Amy Anderson, Casadh na Taoide.
EI 90P: 1) Lauren McGlennon, OMS Lady Esquire; 2) Adam Booth, Melview Chester; 3) Molly O’Connor, Ballyard Echo.
EI 80 T: 1) Rowena McCormick, Indigo Rose; 2) Sarah Gilchrist, Hazeldene Mighty Max; 3) Anna Morrow, Ballyvarry Ripple; 4) Hazel Hilland, November Kate; 5) Jonathan West, Monmurry Sovereign; 6) Katie Forbes, Doctor Pepper.