ONCE again the Turley and O’Connor families worked miracles to have Tullymurry ground conditions perfect for their second ‘back-to-back’ event.
Heavy rain mid-week and overnight on Friday helped their efforts and it was lovely to hear so many compliments and social media accolades paid to the efforts of the hard working Tullymurry Team.
History was made this week as the Northern Region added a 80cms class to their schedule to accommodate riders wishing to learn about Eventing Ireland as well as Pony Club members wishing to get a proper run out before their own Area Trials next week.
The response was phenomenal with the class having to be split due to large numbers. Entries reached maximum numbers with an unfulfilled wait list.
In acknowledgement of the fact that this was the maiden outing for the majority in the class, Ronnie Beggs held a rider briefing to explain the protocol and main EI rules. This was well attended and certainly helped to make fewer issues during the third phase.
Steven Smith repeated his last week’s performance in the EI 1110 Open class where he claimed victory with Shannador, a 10-year-old Vechta gelding which has just very recently come under his tutelage.
Kathryn McKibbin had a terrific run in the EI 110 class with her nine-year-old Mickey McCann-bred gelding, Seapatrick Murphy. A clean jumping sheet moved them up one
place from the first phase to claim the spoils and finish over three points clear of Steven Smith riding Virginia Maguire’s Handsome Starr.
County Louth’s Millie-Jane Bell was the best of the three starters in the Junior 110 class where she finished on her first phase mark with her mother’s OBOS Quality gelding, Hillview Quality Control, over six points clear of Hannah Morrow and My Good Thyne Girl.
Caoimhe Crozier clocked up her first victory in the EI 110P class on board her Connemara bred gelding, Kildromin Banjo, having benefitted from some showjumping issues and cross-country time penalties by the
early leader, Keelan Murray and Lough Fadda Rudi.
Sadly, there was just one finisher in the top Amateur class where the red rosette was claimed by Denis Coakley and Shannondale George, his 11-year-old gelding by Shan-nondale Sarco St Ghyvan.
Steven Smith had his second victory of the day in the EI 100 class with Mimi Falb’s MMF Churchill, replicating his performance at Glaslough 1 last month. They added nothing to their first phase mark and finished fractionally ahead of stablemate, The Cherokee Flight, ridden by Casey Webb who has just graduated in Actuarial Science & Risk Management from Queen’s University.
The EI 100 Amateur class was won by Anthony Fox from Navan, on his first pairing with Oj, previously campaigned by Amy Parsons. They pipped last week’s winner, Christina Turley and Ann’s Bob, to the post by a margin of 0.8.
There were just three starters in the EI 100 P class where Charlotte Keers and Western Ocala, a seven year old Connemara gelding, moved up one place from last week to take a well deserved win.
The Junior 100 class had a much healthier start list and saw Connie Crothers and Estella Great Expectations finish top of the leaderboard over two points clear of second placed Tara Dixon and Master Smart.
Optimum time was the deciding factor in the EI 90 Amateur class with the top placing going to Helen Sawey from Newcastle, riding Gannon Star who made their first appearance at this venue last year. Emily Morris came home a very close second with her faithful companion, Florida Bud, a gelding by Florida Son.
Rachel Rendle rose to the fore in a very competitive EI 90 class with Jackie Harris’s five year old gelding, Rubane Oldtown Cruise on just their third outing. They led from the outset and finished almost two points clear of Hannah Thompson on Rachael Thompson’s Jemella Charm, a mare by Loughry Lad.
Consistency is certainly the trade mark of 14-year-old Banbridge rider Poppy Moore and Crecora Angel who continue to be in the top two every week. This week they finished on the same score as an equally consistent rider, Abby Cummiskey with Cindy Cunningham’s lovely Appaloosa mare, CSC Apache Dove.
Meantime, there was plenty of excitement and first time jitters as the EI 80 class prepared themselves for their cross country run.
Top of the ‘A’ section was Ralph Robinson, who was making his EI debut on the fabulous little Connemara horse, Powder Day, who is
no stranger to Eventing, having been successfully campaigned for a year with Anita Doherty. They added nothing to their dres-sage mark and finished over one point clear
of Anna McErlean on another Connemara-bred gelding, Raford Jack, owned by Jenny Rollins.
Unfortunately the ‘B’ section did not fare as well cross country but talent was certainly not lacking in the prize winners. Claire Ireland from Portaferry took the win on her 14-year- old palomino gelding, Mission Ambition, who is no stranger to success in the Pony Club competitions. Second place went to an absolutely delighted Alison Crothers (Baird) with her five year old chestnut mare, TMS Freya, bred by Tanya Smith. They just added a few time penalties to their first phase mark which is an amazing achievement on their debut outing.
Massive thanks go to the Turley family for hosting two fabulous events and for the warm, welcoming hospitality. Thanks, too, to David O’Connor, Johnny Hagan and Toni McManmon for the Course Design and build and, as always, many, many thanks to all our wonderful volunteers who make the jobs look so easy.
Particular thanks to Alexa Grudgings for covering the Office so efficiently and Richard and Karen McCracken for keeping the Scoring up to date while Dora and Claire were at the Burghley Young Event Horse Qualifier at Tattersalls.