Great start to Downshire Dressage at Mill Yard

Downshire dressage BR Farm
IN THE RIBBONS: Christine O’Neill took first place in Class 4 and third in Class 3 at the Downshire Dressage League. (FW46-574NN)

THE rain stopped and the arena was in great order for the first of Downshire’s three-week Dressage League at Mill Yard Equestrian Centre, by kind permission of Lucy McGuinness. This is open to both members and non-members of Downshire Riding Club and, to qualify for prizes at the final, the same horse/ rider combination must compete at one qualifier plus the final. So there is still another chance next Saturday to get qualified for prizes!

First to strut their stuff down the centre line were Sara McComb and her lovely cob ‘Texas Lone Star’, who was delighted to compete in the innovative Warm Up Class with the relaxed dress code. Pam Fox and ‘Bonnie Foxy Lady’ were certainly dressed to impress and produced a lovely test in Class 2 DI Novice 23.

INTRO: Sharon Cowan placed second in Class 4 on ‘Rose of Mourne’ at the Downshire Dressage League. (FW46-573NN)

Zena Martin and her ever-eager grey ‘Inishcara’ had a successful day in claiming first place in both Class 1 Warm Up and Class 3 DI Prelim 4. Christine O’Neill and ‘Primrose’ took the red rosette in Class 4 DI Intro A and Sharon Cowan was delighted with how her new partner ‘Rose of Mourne’ behaved on the day.

The competition was completed in a very friendly, relaxed atmosphere, with encouragement for all riders and tests were called if needed to those who were just a wee bit unsure. Thanks go to judge Laura King – who had helpful comments for each rider – and to scribe Elaine Martin. James Hepburn was on hand to do call up and helped set up the arena with Pam Fox. Kerry Buchanan was able to accommodate everyone with their times for the tests and both she and Hilary Sloan did a super job in getting the test scores totted up in good time. A big thank you also goes to John Rymer of Nomad Photography, who captured all the action.

Next week sees the second leg of the League and full details of the tests involved can be found on Downshire’s website: www.downshireriding All are welcome.

Membership is now open for the new Downshire club year and forms can be downloaded from the website. Claire Sedgeman will be taking the next Club lesson at Danescroft on Thursday, November 15 and it will be a flatwork one – so all those dressage divas can perfect their tests for the competition on Saturday!


Saturday, November 10

Class 1 Warm Up: 1) Zena Martin, Inishcara; 2) Sian Ogle, Texas Lone Star; 3) Sara McComb, Texas Lone Star.

Class 2 DI Novice 23: 1) Pam Fox, Bonnie Foxy Lady.

Class 3 DI Prelim 4: 1) Zena Martin, Inishcara; 2) Kathleen Clarke, Holly; 3) Christine O’Neill, Primrose; 4) Sian Ogle, Texas Lone Star.

RUNNER UP: Right, Kathleen Clarke on ‘Holly’ took second place in Class 3 at the Downshire Dressage League. (FW46-572NN)

Class 4 DI Intro A: 1) Christine O’Neill, Primrose; 2) Sharon Cowan, Rose of Mourne.


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