THE excitement at The Meadows on Saturday was palpable for week five of the Baileys Horse Feeds Flexi Eventing, which took place in much improved weather conditions.
Once again, there has been a change on the leader board, with Zara Reid gathering maximum points across all phases to take her and ‘Lola’ into pole position, two points clear of last week’s leader, Nikki Cullen and ‘Gemstone Ruby’.
13-year-old Dromore High School pupil, Zara, and ‘Lola’, whom she has just partnered since December, were awarded a super score of 74.3% by Janet Hall in the first section of the Intro class. The combination has been in the top six on all but one of their five outings and are looking forward to starting eventing at the start of the season. Another combination for whom 2023 was their first foray into the Baileys Flexi Series was Amelia Wheeler, who also broke the 70% barrier with a mark of 71.3% riding ‘Midnight Minty’. They have also made their presence felt in the course of the League with two wins, one second and a fourth placing. ‘Midnight Minty’ is a piebald gelding, who has already created an impressive CV with Dressage Ireland, clocking up Trailblazer wins at Necarne and Portmore.
Another partnership showing very consistent form is Nicola Martin with her Irish Draught mare, ‘Misty’, who took the win in the Intro ‘B’ section on a score of 73% awarded by Vanda Stewart. This was their second win with two seconds also to their credit during the five weeks. Gail McIlwaine slotted into second place with her 13-year-old skewbald mare, ‘Miss Ballyrolly’, who was a week two winner.
It was a trio of consecutive wins for 18-year-old Castlewellan rider, Kaiti McCann with her incredible mount, ‘Cookie’ (‘Boyher Cookies N Crème’), with whom she has enjoyed two years of competing under Eventing Ireland rules with a clean cross-country jumping record. This week, Janet Hall awarded her a score of 75% in a class of 18 in the Pre Novice ‘A’ section. Gemma Esler came in just under three points adrift with Norma Wilkinson’s six-year-old ‘Ramiro B’ mare, ‘Remember Bea’, who had five Eventing Ireland runs in the Spring season last year, which included wins at Lightsource BP Tyrella 2 and Glenpatrick.
Jessica Knipe, who works in her family Electronics store in Ballymoney, was absolutely delighted with her win in the Pre Novice ‘B’ section on her inaugural outing with her 14-year-old ‘Cyrano’ gelding, ‘Shanaghan Timothy’, whom she describes as her ‘horse of a lifetime’. She hopes to return to eventing later in the year, but is currently concentrating on her wedding plans for April. Second place in the Angeline Nicholson-judged class went to 13-year-old Maya Constable riding ‘Duncarbery Cascade’, her mother’s 13-year-old Connemara pony, on whom she completed two events last season. Maya is a dedicated rider, who trains twice weekly with Gilford trainer, Trevor Smith.
The Novice class of 12, judged by Vanda Stewart, saw a runaway victory go to last year’s Baileys Champion, Denis Currie and his Irish Sport Horse gelding, ‘Arodstown Aramis’, an 18-year-old bay gelding by ‘Shannondale Sarco St Ghyvan’, who gained 75%. They were followed by Glastry College teacher, Claire Ireland, and her ‘all rounder’ ‘Goin’ For Gold’. Denis doubled up with a win in the six starter Intermediate class, judged by Angeline Nicholson, where he gained a score of 73%, just over two points clear of Suzanne Hagan and ‘OBOS Take Two’, an 11-year-old gelding by ‘OBOS Quality’, who has twice been centre stage on the podium during the 2023 series.
Next week is the final Qualifying day, although Flexi will continue on February 25, after which all the prizes will be presented in a ceremony compered by Raymond Bready.
As always, huge thanks go to the Title Sponsor, Judy Maxwell of Baileys Horse Feeds, as well as Treo Eile and Christine McBride of Equine Performance Solutions Ireland for their generous support of this League.
Thanks, too, to the merry band of helpers, who work so hard on these long, busy days to keep all three phases running smoothly.
Intro ‘A’ – Judge: Janet Hall: 1) Zara Reid, Lola; 2) Amelia Wheeler, Midnight Minty; 3) Wendy Anderson, Elusive Clover; 4) Anne Killen, Alf; 5) Nikki Cullen, Gemstone Ruby; 6) Karina McVeigh, Cococabana.
Intro ‘B’ – Judge: Vanda Stewart: 1) Nicola Martin, Misty; 2) Gail McIlwaine, Miss Ballyrolly; 3) Abi Gardner, Hillside Nicely Dun; 4) Catherine O’Hanlon, Thomas; 5) Keeva McElhennon, Sundance 111; 6) Shana Martin, Peasedown Bobby Brown.
Pre Novice ‘A’ – Judge: Janet Hall: 1) Kaiti McCann, Cookie; 2) Gemma Esler, Bea; 3) Claire Ireland, Goin’ for Gold; 4) Sharon McKeever, Hemmingway; 5) Bethany Smith, King; 6) Rachel Ferres, Benny.
Pre Novice ‘B’ – Judge: Angeline Nicholson: 1) Jessica Knipe, Shanaghan Timothy; 2) Maya Constable, Duncarbery Cascade; 3) Katie McKee, Summit; 4) Robyn McFadden, Zephyr; =5) Janie Cairns, Pixie; Michaela Donnelly, Bluebird.
Novice – Judge: Vanda Stewart: 1) Denis Currie, Troy; 2) Claire Ireland, Goin’ For Gold; 3) Bethany Smith, Dun Surprise; 4) Anny Cummiskey, Jacob; 5) Anita Doherty, Goldiva; 6) Rachael Broome, Nature’s Blossom.
Intermediate – Judge: Angeline Nicholson: 1) Denis Currie, Troy; 2) Suzanne Hagan, Obi; 3) Janie Cairns, Kevin; 4) Suzanne Hagan, Mando; 5) Alison Baird, Freya; 6) Lisa Allen, B.
Show Jumping (double clears)
70cm: Susan Glover, Willow; Tilly Ham, Lily.
80cm: Janie Cairns, Tina; Katie Scott, Duke; Charlotte Nelson, Sugar; Nikki Cullen, Gemstone Ruby; Isaac McCarthy, Hollywood Pippin; Ellie McDowell, Peplow Dancing King; Katie Niblock, Star; Olivia Rodgers, Tommy; Lauren Madine, Lear Lady; Gwen Scott, Norman; Charlie Watson, Socks; Zara Reid, Lola; Amelia Wheeler, Midnight Minty; Shana Martin, Peasedown Bobby Brown; Orlaith McCarron, Woodhill Star; Karina McVeigh, Cococabana; Anna Goodrich, Chief; Megan Dumigan, Marvel; Sean Farren, Misty; Emma Jackson, Otis; Sorcha Hanly, Cherry; Jodie Creighton, Goldilocks; Arlene Greenaway, Warrior Bob; Sean Farron, Misty.
90cm: Robyn McFadden, Zephyr; Catherine O’Hanlon, Thomas; Rowena McCormick, Indigo Rose; Ella Rose Sands, Rosie; Elaine McCullough, Slieve Rushan Bawn; Jessica Finlay, Georgina’s Boy; Charlotte Nelson, Sugar; Charlotte Nelson, Reggie; Hazel English, Pepper; Nikki Cullen, Danske Coevers Lass; Marina Stewart, Troy; Sara Gauley, Benny Boy; Jessica Byrne, Buck Rogers; Suzi McLean, Butter; Zoe Connolly, Millie; Tilley Tumilty, Wee Fella; Nicola Martin, Misty; Ellen Douglas, Yogi; Jonny Hagan, Axle.
1m: Holly Ross, Ech Feirin; Ruth Lyttle, Taylortown Timeless; Jessica Nelson, Tai; Bethany Smith, King; Darren Irwin, Andy; Denis O’Brien, Jipp; Jodie Creighton, Joker; Gail McIlwaine, Miss Ballyrolly; Lisa Allen, B; Kathryn Graham, So Dignified; Nicci Hall, Casper; Eimhear Donaghy, TMS Freedom; Daisy Gillespie, Jasper; Ellie West, Magherard Celtic; Tom Hearne, Sandro; Keeva McElhennon, Sundance 111; Gemma Esler, Punters Dream; Andrew Farren, Horse; Emma Jackson, Horse; Robyn McFadden, Johnny; Sarah McLean, Lisnawhiggle Happiness; Bethany Smith, Teddy; Katie O’Reilly, Dreamer; Stephanie Wilding, Pearl; Ellie McDowell, PGS Little Ferro; Jodie Creighton, Nina; Victoria Mullen, Fun Time Frankie; Maya Constable, Cloud; Gwen Scott, Theo; Gemma Esler, Bea; Ava Stubbs, Tullyhill Lucy Diamond; Victoria Mullen, Kilcolman Curlew.
1.10m: Robyn McFadden, Pyper; Lucia McNamee, Kiki; Sian Parkes, Albert; Alison Baird, Freya; Tilley Tumilty, Millbar Phynix; Fergus Reid, Horse; Suzanne Hagan, Flossie; Andrew Farren, Nevada.
1.20m: Janie Cairns, Charlie; Janie Cairns, Kevin; Robbie Collins, Henry; Sian Parkes, Albert; Ellen Douglas, Dory; Anita Doherty, Goldiva.
Cross-Country (clear rounds)
70cm: Tilly Ham, Olly; Elizabeth Smith, Rocky; Susan Glover, Thunder; Leah Turkington, Arken Arizona; Louise Anderson, Ozzie; Sharon Maughan, As You Wish Cavalux; Charlie Watson, Socks; Amelia Wheeler, Midnight Minty; Orlaigh McCarron, Woodhill Star; Abbie Harkness, Melody.
80cm: Sorcha Hanly, Cherry; Sophie Ham, Lucy; Louise Reid, Norris; Katie Niblock, Star; Lauren Madine, Lear Lady; Arlene Greenaway, Warrior Bob; Lynsey Kennedy, Izzey; Leah Turkington, Arkle Arizona; Anne Killen, Alf; Sharon McKeever, Hemmingway; Shane McKeever, Caprio; Ruth Lyttle, Taylortown Timeless; Karen Pearson, Cora; Gill McAreavey, Marley; Nikki Cullen, Gemstone Ruby; Katie Clarke, Sue; Isaac McCarthy, Hollywood Pippin; Claire Mackay, Crannard King of Hearts; Zara Reid, Lola; Tara Lynn, Finnebrogue Fortview Mermus; Karina McVeigh, Cococabana; Megan Dumigan, Marvel; Ellie Rose Sands, Rosie; Leah Turkington, Arkle Arizona; Suzi McClean, Butter; Orla Sheehan, Bear.
90cm: Millie Mulvena, Taylor; Megan Stewart, Troy; Marian Tennyson, Sensations Bay Rum; Holly Ross, Ech Feirin; Holly Ross, Star of Hollymount; Robyn Rice, Holiday Kruising; Yvonne Whiteside, Daisy; Nikki Cullen, Gemstone Ruby; Nikki Cullen, Danske Coevers Lass; Sophia Madeley, Bainrion Alainn; Yvonne Whiteside, Leah; Yvonne Whiteside, Finn; Oonagh MacOscar, Russell; Julie Wallace, Hello Ginger; Cayleigh Erwin, Island Beauty Seventh; Ellie West, Magherard Celtic; Jessica Byrne, Buck Rogers; Wendy Anderson, Elusive Clover; Eimhear Donaghy, TMS Freedom; Kaitlyn Mallaghan, Mr Pitt; Michaela Donnelly, Blue; Kaiti McCann, Cookie.
1m: Hannah Thompson, Jemeela Charm; Victoria Mullen, Fun Time Frankie; Keeva McElhennon, Sundance 111; Zara Smyth, Charlie; Victoria Mullen, Kilcolman Curlew; Keeva McElhennon, Balnashallog Goldfinch; Rosie Mullen, Twix; Jackson Laing, Wesley; Robbie Collins, Archie; Claire Smyth, Tilly; Stephanie Wilding, Pearl; Heather McMillan, Rock Carnival.
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