NORTHERN Ireland hosted its own ‘Burghley’ on Saturday, as the masses from the island of Ireland travelled to Loughanmore, by kind permission of Mr Wilson Dennison, for the penultimate Northern Region event.
The weather gods were not in their favour, as there was heavy overnight rain plus the heavens opened just after 6am, which meant that the tractor drivers were working hard to ensure that everyone got parked as swiftly as possible.
However, bright sunshine followed mid-morning and this served to show the fabulous 17th century demesne off to maximum effect.
The new layout, which was trialled last year, meant that the show jumping and start of cross-country took place in full view of the magnificent house, which provided a photographer’s paradise.
The extensive acreage of the estate allowed for four top class, bold, strong, galloping courses, designed by Adam Stevenson, which provided plenty of technical challenges across the board.
Steven Smith and Jonathan Steele dominated the Open 115 class, taking five of the top six places between them. Steven took the win on June Burgess’s 11-year-old ‘Clover Echo’ gelding, ‘Galwaybay Echo’ on their first National partnership, although they did pick up an eighth placing at Camphire International in July. They finished two points clear of Terry Johnston’s ‘Porsh’ gelding, ‘Hi Happy Harry’. Jonathan Steele slotted into third place on ‘Bikini’ and fourth on ‘Bluestone Ice’.
Ashbourne’s Sadhbh McGrath repeated her performance at Finvoy, when she claimed victory in the EI 110 Open class with Emer McGrath’s ‘Bridgeman’s Cocoa Malt’, having climbed one place from dressage, following the withdrawal of Izzy Riley and ‘Versace Biscuit’. Johnny Mulligan took the runner up spot on ‘Tynan Forever’, a seven-year-old gelding owned by Marshall Jenkinson.
The birthday girl, Emily Corbett, rose to the fore in a well subscribed EI 110 class with ‘Ianamorka’, a six-year-old mare owned by Christina Turley. The partnership completed on their first phase mark, fractionally ahead of Jonathan Steele riding the Tattersalls six-year-old winner, ‘Rockfall’, owned by Harold Lusk.
In the Junior 110 class, Mullingar teenager, Chloe Fagan, took top honours on Amy Parson’s eight-year-old gelding, ‘Quick Step Up’, who recorded a double clear jumping, giving them a three point margin over Rose de Montmorency and ‘Rickamore Notion’, by the Connemara stallion, ‘Gevaudan’.
Aibhe McGrath claimed back to back victories with her 11-year-old gelding, ‘Tredstep Renaissance Man’, who had also gained a red rosette last week at Ballyvannon.
Sadly, the early leader, Dave Collins, picked up 20 penalties at the Haha fence, which relegated him to third place and opened up the runner up spot for Denis Coakley and ‘Prince Louis’.
Kat Butler-Ward, partnering ‘The Spin Doctor’, took centre stage in the EI 100 Amateur class where, despite lowering a coloured pole, they finished with a one point advantage over the Finvoy winner, Claire Liddle and ‘Ballytrim Molly’.
Seven ponies took on the challenge of the EI 100 track where Co. Waterford’s Jess Widger, claimed the spoils with her mother’s Connemara pony ‘Gortnalea Dun’. Ballyvannon winner, Felicity McConnell, took the reserve position.
Chloe Fagan certainly left her mark on the Loughanmore results, as she claimed her second victory of the day in the Junior 100 class with Carol Gee’s ‘Fernhill Candy Crush’, where they kept both jumping phases clean and finished one and a half points clear of Hugo O’Neill on the lovely ‘Luidam’ gelding, ‘Pulldoaran’.
Meantime, a very large EI 100 entry meant a class division.
Lucca Stubington picked up top marks in the ‘A’ section with ‘Xanthe Green’, the six-year-old home-bred mare by ‘Sir Shutterfly’, owned by Pat MacKean and Georgia Stubington, who was actually just having its fifth eventing outing and finished on its dressage score. Trevor Smith and ‘Mike of Mourne’ took the runner up spot for the second successive week.
David O’Connor led all the way in the ‘B’ section on Jenny Nixon’s seven-year-old gelding, ‘Coolmount Cruise’ with a 2.5 point lead over Robbie Collins and his ‘Financial Reward’ gelding, ‘Dunrath Reward’.
Nicola Martin, who has been clocking up impressive results with ‘Butter’, had a sub-30 dressage test in the EI 90 Amateur class, where Aaron McCusker’s show jumping was exceptionally influential. Unfortunately, she lowered three fences, but was happy to settle for third place, leaving the path to success open for a delighted Bronagh Stevenson with ‘Cnocandubh Status’. Megan Hamill took second place on Gary Lowry’s six-year-old gelding, ‘Chesterfield Rock Power’, on just their second outing.
There was also a class split in the EI 90, where the ‘A’ section was won by Hollie Woods on her maiden outing with her lovely five-year-old gelding sired by ‘Capri Van Overis Z’. They rode an impressive dressage test for which they gained a mark of 22.5 and gave them a three-point margin over second placed Gwen Scott riding Rosi Gomes’s home-bred gelding, ‘Ballydavey Sundance’, by ‘OBOS Quality’, out of ‘Calypso Sea Star’.
Grace Kehoe claimed back to back victories in the ‘B’ section on John Kehoe’s seven-year-old grey mare, ‘Killeshin Fifty Shades of Grey’. It has certainly been a successful few weeks for Grace, as she has been accepted by Jordanstown to study Speech and Language. Rumour has it that her father plans to make an eventing comeback on the mare, while Grace is at University.
Conor Savage was just a fraction behind on Barry Griffin’s ‘Miami Blue’.
The final class across the country was the EI 90 Ponies, where Katie Haire made it two in a row on board ‘My Galway Girl’, adding nothing to her first phase mark and finishing over one point clear of the Vesey winner, Rachael Broome on her super little pony ‘Boyher Cookies N Crème’. It was lovely to see Wilson Dennison’s granddaughter, Anna McCaldin getting another top six finish on just her second outing with Fran Rowlatt-McCormick’s ‘Mon Ami Tonnerre’.
Northern Region extends a massive thank you to the Dennison family for opening the gates of their estate to accommodate the event. Thanks also to their team who helped before, during and after with machinery etc.
As always, organisers pass on their sincere thanks to all volunteers, who had a very long day covering the various duties and also to Roberta and Emma Brown, as well as Lilian McCammond for their excellent hospitality.
Next week sees the Northern Region move to Knockany, courtesy of the Lusk family, for the final 2019 event.
Saturday, August 31
EI 115 Open: 1) Steven Smith, Galwaybay Echo; 2) Steven Smith, Hi Happy Harry; 3) Jonathan Steele, Bikini; 4) Jonathan Steele, Bluestone Ice; 5) Caitie Slater, Grand Marnier; 6) Steven Smith, Newferry Jagermeister.
EI 110 Open: 1) Sadhbh McGrath, Bridgemans Cocoa Malt; 2) Johnny Mulligan, Tynan Forever.
EI 110: 1) Emily Corbett, Ianamorka; 2) Jonathan Steele, Rockfall; 3) Casey Webb, Freddie Fox; 4) Justine Harding, Charissma; 5) Suzanne Hagan, Tax Break; 6) Hannah Blakely, Lougherne Quintessential.
EI 110 J: 1) Chloe Fagan, Quick Step Up; 2) Rose de Montmorency, Rickamore Notion; 3) Tom Rowlatt-McCormick, MJI Cabernet; 4) Holly Micklem, Smart Spirit; 5) Tara Dixon, Master Smart; 6) Jodie O’Leary, My Ballintoghers Cracker Jack.
EI 110 Amateur: 1) Aibhe McGrath, Tredstep Renaissance Man; 2) Denis Coakley, Prince Louis; 3) Dave Collins, Coolboy Camden; 4) Denis Coakley, Shannondale George; 5) Holly McClenaghan, Blacklaw Pelorus.
EI 100 Amateur: 1) Kat Butler-Ward, The Spin Doctor; 2) Claire Liddle, Ballytrim Molly; 3) Lesley-Anne Lyons, Rupert Bear; 4) Christine McVeigh, Keeford Elamo; 5) Morgan Hirst, Sumas El Greco; 6) Nichola Wray, Lady Grey V1.
EI 100 P: 1) Jess Widger, Gortnalea Dun; 2) Felicity McConnell, Finding Nemo; 3) Sarah Moore, Kilgarvin Morning Misty; 4) Tori Jewiss, Carraigoir Blaze; 5) Amy Tubman, Corha Delight; 6) Mark Eames, Enfield Shadow.
EI 100 J: 1) Chloe Fagan, Fernhill Candy Crush; 2) Hugo O’Neill, Pulldoaran; 3) Chloe Fagan, Loughnavalley; 4) Ella Kilfeather, Battenburg; 5) Sam Carey, SCSH Barnaby; 6) Tara Dixon, Quick Step Diamond.
EI 100 ‘A’: 1) Lucca Stubington, Xanthe Green; 2) Trevor Smith, Mike of Mourne; 3) Lesley Webb, Cairnview Redwood Guy; 4) Leah Knight, Aghagallon; 5) Casey Webb, Chinouk Van De Heihoek Z; 6) Sarah Sproule, Ballyneety Rainbow.
EI 100 ‘B’: 1) David O’Connor, Coolmount Cruise; 2) Robbie Collins, Dunrath Reward; 3) Bethany Burton, Esi By Design; 4) Laura McKillen, Henry of Dallas; 5) Casey Webb, The Cherokee Flight; 6) Kirstin Thom, Slemish Rio Grande.
EI 90 Amateur: 1) Bronagh Stevenson, Cnocandubh Status; 2) Megan Hamill, Chesterfield Rock Power; 3) Nicola Martin, Butter; 4) Margery Warnock, Butterfly Charm; 5) Jenny Beggs, Maggie Moo; 6) Scott McIvor, Oke Secret Girl.
EI 90 ‘A’: 1) Hollie Woods, Caprio; 2) Gwen Scott, Ballydavey Sundance; 3) Edgar Boggs, Camiro de Clover; 4) Naomi Buchanan, Hermes Revelation; 5) Jill Revill, Lislan Beth; 6) Matthew Johnston, Ardoyne.
EI 90 ‘B’: 1) Grace Kehoe, Killeshin Fifty Shades of Grey; 2) Conor Savage, Miami Blue; 3) Victoria Clarke, Supreme Rusticana; 4) Kiara Malcolmson, OSH Atero; 5) Victoria Clarke, Pinecroft Fleet; 6) Lara McRobb, Carrickaduff Dame.
EI 90 P: 1) Katie Haire, My Galway Girl; 2) Rachael Broome, Boyher Cookies N Crème; 3) Poppy Moore, Crecora Angel; 4) Simone Leathem, Knockjames Jedward; 5) Anna McCaldin, Mon Ami Tonnerre; 6) Abby Cummiskey, CSC Apache Dove.