ON Monday, January 9, 2023, Eventing Ireland Northern Region held their AGM. Everyone was delighted to be back in person, as this was the first AGM held without the use of a virtual meeting platform since Covid restrictions began in 2020. However, jet setter and Event Co-Ordinator, Dora Beacom, did join the meeting via Facetime from her ‘Place in the Sun’! She just couldn’t bear to miss all the ‘craic’ and was indeed carried round the room on the phone to speak to various people!
For many years, La Mon was the venue of choice for the AGM, but this year the meeting was held in The Function Room at Gourley’s Bar in Ballygowan, County Down. With more than 40 members in attendance, the new venue was well received and definitely a great success!
Chairman Catherine Abbott wel-
comed everyone and commenced the official business.
The 2021 Minutes were acc-epted and Treasurer John McBride presented the financial report for 2022.
Unfortunately, John reported a loss, however a lot of this expenditure went towards cross-
country course building at Necarne, laying the infrastructure for future events and for the Northern Region to host the Eventing Ireland National Ch-ampionships in September 2023.
John reminded members that
they need to support the Northern Region events, as the revenue generated from entries is vital for cashflow. Some of the senior riders present commented on the number of Internationals that now take place in Ireland and how in some cases they end up having to choose between supporting a National event and taking horses to Internationals for qualification purposes or to satisfy owners. It was widely agreed by those present that the current volume of Internationals in Ireland definitely has an adverse effect on National en-tries; it takes horsepower away, as riders tend not to run their horses for several weeks after an International competition.
Catherine Abbott gave her Chairman’s address, thanking all present for taking the time to attend the evening and welcoming some new faces to the Eventing family. After a review of the 2022 events, Catherine mentioned the new event to be held in 2023, by kind permission of the Cullen family. To have a new event in such difficult financial times is a credit to the Cullen family and the Northern Region committee; Catherine thanked Declan and Becky for all their hard work in getting their new event off the ground, it is certainly one to look forward to!
Catherine congratulated all those who competed on teams and represented Ireland on the international stage in 2022 and thanked all the land owners, sponsors and volunteers that make the events possible.
Sadly, the Northern Region lost several members and friends in 2022 and Catherine passed on her condolences to the families and friends of those affected. Mental health issues are very prevalent in society and the eventing community have not remained immune to these troubles. Catherine reminded members of their responsibilities to fellow members and competitors, es-pecially with regards to social media posts and how they behave towards one another both at events and online.
It is OK not to be OK and it’s OK to ask for help, Catherine asked everyone to look out for each other and remember to, above all, be kind!
Denis Currie, Elizabeth Ham-ilton, Ronnie Beggs, Georgia Stubington and Jean Mitchell were all retiring from committee but eligible for re-election.
They were duly re-elected, with David Lowry proposing their re-election and Nicky Nesbitt seconding.
There were no new nominations to committee.
The floor was opened for Any Other Business and members took the opportunity to ask the committee questions and float new ideas for fundraising, course design and how the Northern Region can move forward during these financially difficult times. Peter Quirke was very vocal in his support for the Northern Region and urged members to support their local Northern Region events.
The annual committee awards were presented at the conclusion of official business.
John Martin Award (someone who contributes to the ad-vancement and promotion of our sport): Catherine Abbott presented to Richard McCracken.
Pooler Trophy (for international performance): Caroline Keatley presented to Callie Berry, on behalf of Susie Berry.
Stinson Award (someone who contributes to the sport by Effort, Endeavour and Example): Helen Pannell presented to Eamon and Karen O’Flynn.
Catherine Abbott brought the meeting to a conclusion, thanked everyone for their attendance and wished everyone well. She announced that the 2023 Northern Region Awards Ball will take place on November 18, 2023 at a new venue, namely The Stormont Hotel, Belfast and reminded everyone about the Flexi Eventing league, which starts on January 14, 2023 at the Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan.
Office bearers for 2023 are as follows:
Catherine Abbott – Chairman
Jean Mitchell MBE – Vice Chairman
Event Organiser – Dora Beacom
Honorary Secretary – Catherine McDowell
Treasurer – John McBride
Committee Rider Rep – Jonathan Steele
Committee members are:
Denis Currie; Ronnie Beggs; Vina Buller; Elizabeth Hamilton; Nicky Nesbitt; David Lowry; Lawrence Patterson; Stuart Stirling; Georgia Stubington; Carole Young.
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