THE weather gods had the final say for the completion leg of the Baileys Horse Feeds Flexi Eventing League at The Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan. After a sunny start, the weather turned rather inclement before brightening up again later in the afternoon.
However, it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of Shane McKeever and ‘KHS Impact’, who really caught the eye of Dublin-based FEI Judge, David Lee, who awarded the combination a score of 79.8 to take the red ribbon. Shane started competing this 14-year-old bay gelding by ‘Master Imp’ at the latter end of 2014 and has delivered some impressive results since, including a win at Tullylish in two consecutive years. They also clocked up some great results at the Flexi Eventing, collecting ribbons in big classes on four occasions, which has certainly set them up well for the season ahead. As well as winning the dressage phase, this partnership also delivered a double clear show jumping and a clear cross-country round.
Susan Cummiskey got a very unexpected call up to the saddle after her daughter, Abby, leader of the League going into the final leg, sustained a broken collarbone after a very unfortunate accident last Sunday while cross-country schooling. Organisers wish Abby a speedy recovery and hope she’ll be ready for the start of the season. Undoubtedly, she would have been pleased that her mother gave a good account of herself, finishing in the runner up spot with ‘CSC Apache Dove’. Fortunately for Abby, she had built up a very commanding lead over the previous seven weeks and wasn’t overtaken, so she will be crowned the 2019 Champion.
Another partnership going from strength to strength is Grace O’Shaughnessy and ‘Cooper’, who finished third.
FEI Judge, Vanda Stewart, who was allocated the Pre-Novice Arena this week, was most impressed by the performance of Lucca Stubington and ‘Xanthe Green’ who, incidently, won the first leg of this series too. ‘Xanthe Green’ is home-bred by ‘Sir Shutterfly’ and is a fourth generation of ‘Juniper Green’s’ family. Joanne Jarden, who had a double victory two weeks ago with ‘Quarryhill Calypso’, came in just over one point behind Lucca on a score of 71.3 and then completed the day with a win in the Lucy Adams’ judged Novice class. Kathryn McKibbin slotted into second place on her nine-year-old grey gelding, ‘Murphy’.
Unfortunately, a series of mishaps ranging from lost shoes to broken down jeeps meant Louise Nicholson had no competition in the Intermediate class with ‘Jake’, where she was awarded 56.9% by Lucy Adams.
The mid-morning rain appeared to take its toll on the show jumping phase, where there was a higher than normal ratio of faults. However, that wasn’t the case in the cross-country arena, where the number of clear rounds was impressive.
As this series of the Flexi Eventing draws to a close, organisers must say a huge thank you to each and every person who supported the league, which has been the most successful one to date. 750 combinations completed almost 800 dressage tests, 2,000 rounds of show jumps and 500 cross-country rounds, which is phenomenal by any standard.
The success of the League is due in no small measure to the excellent facilities at The Meadows, which resulted in competitors travelling from North and South to participate in what they described as a unique educational programme for them and their horses at the start of the season.
Sincere thanks to the enormous team of helpers, who braved all weathers week after week to ensure that all three disciplines ran smoothly and dovetailed for the convenience of all.
However, the biggest ‘thank you’ is reserved for Judy Maxwell of Baileys Horse Feeds, who very generously sponsored the League and made herself available each week to offer advice and support to riders and officials.
The presentation of prizes will take place at the Two-Phase Event at Tyrella on March 9.
Saturday, March 2
Flexi Eventing final
Arena 1 – Intro – Judge: David Lee: 1) Shane McKeever, KHS Impact; 2) Susan Cummiskey, CSC Apache Dove; 3) Grace O’Shaughnessy, Cooper; 4) Gillian Smyth, First Choice Robbie; 5) Lucca Stubington, Xenophon’s Honour; 6) Nicky Nesbitt, Carrickview Saratoga.
Arena 2 – Pre Novice- Judge: Vanda Stewart: 1) Lucca Stubington, Xanthe Green; 2) Joanne Jarden, Quarryhill Calypso; 3) Christina Turley, Bob; =4) Tola Thompson, Crackerjack; Holly Wray, Romeo’s Dream; 6) Rachel Moore, Country Strong.
Arena 3 – Novice – Judge: Lucy Adams: 1) Joanne Jarden, Quarryhill Calypso; 2) Kathryn McKibbin, Murphy; 3) Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis; 4) Tori Dixon, Arnie; 5) Maeve Lunny, Okee Dokee; =6) Louise Nicholson, Jake; Kerry Magill, Toffee.
Arena 3 – Intermediate – Judge: Lucy Adams: 1) Louise Nicholson, Jake.
Show jumping (double clears)
70cm: Matthew Wilcox, Drumcaughey Lucky; Katie Clarke, Mulvin Blue Moon; Carly Douglas, Archie; Sophie Nesbitt, Sky.
80cm: Edward Little, Brian; Katie Clarke, Mulvin Blue Moon; Diane Scott, Rosie; Cathryn Hutchinson, Missy; Charlene Little, Sapphie; Rachel Redmond, Foxy; Katie Watson, Lissyegan Bay News; Ruth Lyttle, Classic Centrefold.
90cm: Victoria Clarke, Jack; Shane McKeever, KHS Impact; Heather Smith, Kai; Lucy Toombs, Suzie; David Taylor, Penny; David Taylor, Ernie.
1m: Margaret Creighton, Dolly; Meabh McIlduff, Dalsown Done & Dusted; Emma Forbes, Izzy; Darren Irwin, Nelly; Rachel Moore, Blossom; Edward Little, Bella; Sheena Kerr-McNally, Pegasus; Edward Little, Bosco; Eimear O’Neill, Gypsy; Brooklyn Edwards, Katie; Charlotte Robinson, Black Phantom; Alex Turley, Rosie; Lara Kelly, Drumcaughey Diamond.
1.10m: Darren Irwin, Adam; Rose de Montmorency, Ozzy; Katie O’Reilly, Dreamer; Kerry Magill, Toffee; Darren Irwin, Thunder; Joe Harris, Concorde; Emily Corbett, Valley; Edward Little, Sandie; Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis.
1.20m: Victoria Clarke, Red C; David Taylor, Cruising For Pleasure.
Cross-Country (clear round)
80cm: Carly Douglas, Mars; Holly Wray, Milo; Edward O’Neill, Gypsy; Catherine McQuade, Rosie; Neil Morrison, Miss Marple; Katie Clarke, Mulvin Blue Moon; Carly Douglas, Armpit; Rachel Moore, Katie; Carly Douglas, Grace; Nicola Martin, Butter.
90cm: Margaret Creighton, Dolly; Nicky Nesbitt, Carrickview Saratoga; Tracy McKeown, Chocolate; Susan Cummiskey, CSC Apache Dove; Aislin Captain, CSC Apache Feather; Tara Emmett, Diamond Girl; Wendy Kirk, Bear; Barbara Johns, John Rambo; Carly Douglas, Grace; Shane McKeever, KHS Impact; Rachel Craig, Harry.
1m: Meabh McIlduff, Dalsown Done & Dusted; Nicky Nesbitt, Ringfort India; Nichola Wray, Lady Grey V1; Sheena Kerr-McNally, Pegasus; Vicki Henry Potter, Lily; Rose de Montmorency, Archie; Olivia Johns, Lagan’s Peter; Holly Wray, Springhill Summ-
er; Joanne Jarden, Quar-
ryhill Calypso; Neil Morr-ison, Queenie; Emily Corbett, Zambabwi.
Final League Placings
BAILEYS HORSE FEEDS FLEXI EVENTING FINAL LEADERBOARD:
1) Abby Cummiskey, CSC Apache Dove 77; 2) Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis 75; 3) Joanne Jarden, Quarryhill Calypso 63; 4) Nicky Nesbitt, Carrickview Saratoga 62; =5) Katie Clarke, Mulvin Blue Moon 59; =5) Shane McKeever, KHS Impact 59; 7) Nicola Martin, Butter 51; 8) Meabh McIlduff, Dalsown Done & Dusted 48; =9)
Robbie Collins, Dunrath Navigator 44; =9) Grace O’Shaughnessy, Cooper 44; 11) Olivia Johns, Lagan’s Peter 43; 12) Jenny Nixon, Harley 40; =13) Nichola Wray, Lady Grey VI 38; =13) Sheena Kerr McNally, Pegasus 38; 15) Aislin Captain, CSC Apache Feather 35.