NECARNE Castle is a magical venue. The constant stream of
locals with their joyful canine com-panions who explore the well-worn paths and leafy grandeur of the estate attest to the draw that it holds. Four-legged friends of a different kind descended on the Irvinestown venue on Saturday, June 18, as it played host to the third leg of the The Hive and ESI Pony Premier and Boomerang.ie Starfinder competitions.
The Walled Garden has to be one of the most beautiful arenas in the country and the well-presented Alan Lynch designed courses presented the challenge for the country’s top pony riders.
The Children on Horses field was depleted due to the draw of Teams and Hagen, but Harry Rush and ‘Beach Buggy’ took the win here with the fastest four faults.
15 combinations made it through to a hotly contested Under 10s 85cm jump off. Edward Walsh continued his family’s good run of form, with the Mayo native taking the win on ‘Carra Pepper’. Lucy Kent made the long trip from Waterford worthwhile taking second with the evergreen ‘Grantstown Snoopy’, while third place went to local girl, Elsie Tunney with ‘In It To Win It’.
Just seven riders managed to make it into the jump off in the 128 1.05m Premier class, with the win going to Ulster’s Elizabeth McCracken and ‘Uquam d’Emery’, who produced the only double clear in the class. Robbie Sheehan and ‘Hes A Touch Of Magic’ followed up on their win in Ard Chuan when finishing second, with Charlie Flynn and ‘Im A Starboy’ finishing third.
The 138 1.15m class saw the McCracken family doing a double when older sister, Charlotte, expertly steered ‘Drumcaughey Diamond’ to the win. Ruben Foley and ‘Mayfly Green Peter’ were second, with fellow Leinster rider, Lauren Adams and ‘D Drim’ De Brixia’ finishing close behind in third.
Lauren Murphy riding ‘Cor-beagh Legend’ took the win in the 148 1.25m Premier class. Alexandra Kiernan followed up on her win in the previous leg with a second place riding ‘Sweet Renees Girl’, while another Ulster rider Lucy McCann and ‘Trendy Blue’ rounded off the top three.
The final class of the day in the Walled Garden was the Boomerang.ie Starfinder for Six/ Seven-year-old ponies. It was a Leinster one-two-three here, with Aine Shortall with the ultra-consistent ‘Bungi’ following up on their win in the Ard Chaun equivalent and the Meadows RDS qualifier. Second place went to a relatively new combination, with Lauren Adams riding ‘Correlli Clover’, while Jack Kent and ‘W.P-B.R Machno Diamond Edition’ were close behind in third.
The Rose Garden hosted the Mullingar ISH Auctions Young Pony Qualifiers and the Bob Sweeney Future Champions series.
The winner of the 148 1.20m Bob Sweeney class was Zoe Keys riding ‘Victory Day II’. Charlotte Foley and ‘Castlequarter Katie Bee’ won the Under 10 85cm class; Eunan Kelly and ‘Sparkling Miss Leglands’ won the 128 1m class, while Nicole Brennan and ‘Shenandoah Sadie’ won the 138 1.10m class.
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