New faces travel from far and wide to Hagans Croft Working Hunter competition

Hagans Croft WH BR Farm
RESERVE: Gemma Chambers and ‘Diamond Mountain’ was named Horse Reserve Champion at Hagan’s Croft. (FW40-588NN)

SATURDAY, September 29 saw the second leg of Hagan’s Croft’s five-week Working Hunter league, where competitors travelled from far and wide to take on the challenging course of fences built by Working Hunter aficionado, Antonia Donnelly. The course featured Hagan’s Croft’s newest fence ‘Bruces Cart’, a distinctive jump and a real head turning addition to the rustic course of fences.

The day started out with the pony section, where Katie Donnelly and Kaitlyn Kearns dominated the 60cm and 70cm classes, both competitors riding clear within the jumping phase to go on to ride very polished shows. It was Katie and her mount ‘Cash’ who picked up the red ribbon within the 60cm class, followed by Kaitlyn and ‘Doohat Bandit’ in second place. This was then swapped around in the 70cm class, where Kaitlyn and ‘Tubbervale Jacob’ rode into first place and Katie on ‘Cash’ were second. Two very worthy winners and ones to watch throughout the league!

HORSE CHAMPION: Beth Murray and ‘Val De Mazcroy’ on their way to claiming the Horse Championship at Hagan’s Croft. (FW40-587NN)

Ellen McDonald on her new grey gelding, ‘Torreen Boy’ took the top spot in the 80cm class, followed by Meave McKeown on her colourful gelding ‘Rock the Boat’.

Susie Thompson was once again on winning form this week, as she won both the 90cm and 1m classes on her fantastic ‘Dun Surprise’. This secured her place within the Championship, in which she was awarded the overall Reserve Champion. Overall Pony Champion was awarded to a delighted Kaitlyn Kearns on ‘Tubbervale Jacob’. Well done to both competitors!

Judges Chloe Thompson and Alistair McDonald were in for a treat in the afternoon, with a superb turnout of horses. Hagan’s Croft was delighted to see lots of new faces competing at this venue, with competitors travelling from as far away as Dundalk! Leah Chambers, a new face to Hagan’s Croft, certainly made her mark in the 70cm class, where both her and her gelding ‘Fernville Sir Melody’ picked up the red ribbon for their efforts, followed by Nicola Stuart on ‘Clonkeen Cheeky Charmer’.

The 80cm Northern Ireland Festival qualifier was highly competitive, with a total of 11 competitors jumping the course of 12 fences in front of judges, Chloe and Alistair. A total of seven competitors jumped clear, which set them up nicely for phase two, the Show section. This allowed competitors to show off their horses four paces and onlookers were delighted to see those horses extending out into gallop down the long side. First place was awarded to Antonia Donnelly on her home bred ‘Majestical Fox’, followed by Ella Kinkaid on ‘Sport of King’s’ in second place.

The small hunters rose to the occasion within the 80cm class, with a superb win for Sophie Cowan on ‘Tempo Quick Step’. Hot on Sophie’s heels was Alice Wilson and ‘Grace’ and, with the only two competitors gaining clear rounds, Alice was sure to claim the blue rosette.

The 90cm NIF qualifier saw Beth Murray on her flashy bay gelding ‘Val De Mazcroy’ take the top spot, followed by Clare Orr and ‘Arnie’ in second place. The 1m class saw a total of six out of seven competitors ride home with a clear round in their jumping phase. This set them up for a competitive show phase, with the overall top six placings all within a whisker’s grasp of each other! However, on the day, it was Laura Napier and ‘Margie Mac’ who claimed first place, with Gemma Chambers on ‘Diamond Mountain’ in second. All top four placings gained their qualification for The Northern Ireland Festival.

The day came to a close with the Horse Championship Show. This class was made up of the top two placings from each class on the day and was judged as a separate class. Chloe and Alistair had an extremely hard decision to make, however, Reserve Champion went to Gemma Chambers and ‘Diamond Mountain’ and it was Beth Murray and ‘Val De Mazcroy’ who claimed overall Horse Champion. Congratulations!

Hagan’s Croft would like to thank everyone who supported the second leg of their five-week Working Hunter league and horse NIF qualifiers. This League is made possible with the following people’s help: course builder – Toni Donnelly; judge – Chloe Thompson; scribe – Alistair McDonald; steward – Kathryn. Thank you to the league sponsors: The Ainseed Lounge, The Spoilt Horse Company and Black Horse Photography for covering the event.

This league runs every Saturday until October 20 and is open to everyone, especially those wanting to qualify for the NI Festival at Cavan. Please note there is an Early Bird pre-entry fee of £12 per class, with an On the Day entry fee of £15 per class (on the day, competitors entering two or more classes will receive £2 discount). Pre-entries close on the Thursday at 12 noon prior to Saturday’s event. Blackboard order will apply on the day.

To qualify for the final in week five, each horse/ pony and rider combination must compete in three out of the five weeks and within the same class. Competitors must compete in the final to be eligible for league placings, prizes and the overall league horse and pony Working Hunter Champion and Reserve Champion. Placings will be based on a points system. The final is open to everyone with a separate prize giving taking place for competitors on the day and league competitors.

To find out more about the league, please contact Gillian on 07849 106453 or go to the website: www.haganscroft


Saturday, September 29

Ponies / Juniors

Champion: Kaitlyn Kearns, Tubbervale Jacob; Reserve: Susie Thompson, Dun Surprise.

Class 1 – 60cm: 1) Katie Donnelly, Cash: 2) Kaitlyn Kearns, Doohat Bandit.

Class 2 – 70cm: 1) Kaitlyn Kearns, Tubbervale Jacob; 2) Katie Donnelly, Cash; 3) Ellen McDonald, Torreen Boy; 4) Josh Knox, Ballydoo CoCo; 5) Emmalee Turley, Dooey.

Class 3 – 80cm: 1) Ellen McDonald, Torreen Boy; 2) Meave McKeown, Rock the Boat; 3) Emmalee Turley, Jasper; 4) Emmalee Turley, Dooey.

Class 4 – 90cm: 1) Susie Thompson, Dun Surprise; 2) Josh Knox, Take That; 3) Meave McKeown, Rock the Boat.

Class 5 – 1m: 1) Susie Thompson, Dun Surprise; 2) Meave McKeown, Rock the Boat.

Horses / Seniors

Champion: Beth Murray, Val De Mazcroy; Reserve: Gemma Chambers, Diamond Mountain.

Class 2 – 70cm: 1) Leah Chambers, Fernville Sir Melody; 2) Nicola Stuart, Clonkeen Cheeky Chamer; 3) Barbara Kearns, Kitty; 4) Una Megoran, Ace; 5) Nicola Tellie, Comanche Craft.

Class 3 – 80cm NIF WH qualifiers 2018: 1) Antonia Donnelly, Majestical Fox; 2) Ella Kinkaid, Sport of King’s; 3) Barbara Kearns, Kitty; 4) Clare Orr, Arnie; 5) Kirsty Bates, CHE Banoffee French; 6) Una Megoran, Ace.

Class 4 – 80cm NIF Small Hunter qualifiers 2018: 1) Sophie Cowan, Tempo Quick Step; 2) Alice Wilson, Grace; 3) Leah Chambers, Fernville Sir Melody; 4) Nicola Tellie, Comanche Craft; 5) Eithne O’Hanrahan, Kilmurray Admiral; 6) Antonia Donnelly, Majestical Fox.

Class 5 – 90cm NIF WH qualifiers 2018: 1) Beth Murray, Val De Mazcroy; 2) Clare Orr, Arnie; 3) Emma Cochrane, Cali; 4) Caroline Hunter, Indie; 5) Sophie Cowan, Tempo Quick Step; 6) Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s the Lad.

CHAMPIONS: Pony Reserve Champion, Susie Thompson on ‘Dun Surprise’ and Pony Champion, Kaitlyn Kearns on ‘Tubbervale Jacob’ pictured with judge Chloe Thompson at Hagan’s Croft. (FW40-586NN)

Class 6 – 1m NIF WH qualifiers 2018: 1) Laura Napier, Margie Mac; 2) Gemma Chambers, Diamond Mountain; 3) Beth Murray, Val De Mazcroy; 4) Lynsey Napier-Sneddon, Carsonstown Porche; 5) Julie Donaghy Simpson, He’s the Lad.


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