THE setting was just perfect for the second opportunity this year to compete at Lightsource BP Tyrella event on Saturday, April 10.
The snow-capped mountains, glistening in the glorious sunshine, made it a day to remember for competitors, officials and volunteers alike. It was a case of four seasons in one day as a short sharp hail shower battered the first few riders out cross-country. However, this gave way to a shower of rain followed by glorious sunshine.
Adam Stevenson had ‘beefed’ up the four tracks but all rode extremely well with few issues and, again, there was great praise for the excellent ground conditions for all three phases. Some riders praised the ability to test their horses’ balance on the superb undulating ground while also, having the opportunity to conduct a good, open gallop.
Paul Nolan, commentator extraordinaire, conducted a two minute silence before the start of cross-country as a mark of respect for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. This was preceded by a short but very appropriate eulogy outlining the Duke’s equestrian achievements.
Steven Smith had a very successful day winning both sections of the 115 class.
He claimed the spoils in the EI 115 Open class on board June Burgess’s ‘Clover Echo’ gelding, ‘Galwaybay Echo’, which led from the outset and finished on a score of 20 points awarded by Rosie Gomes. Adam Haugh came in 3.5 penalties behind on ‘Van Thee Man’.
Steven also headed the leaderboard in the EI 115 class with the Terry Johnston-owned, ‘Fredie Fox’, which was the combination’s fourth consecutive win. County Meath’s Sarah Ennis, who was competing four horses, slotted into second place with ‘Stellor Quick Change’, an eight-year-old gelding by ‘Olympic Lux’, bred by Niki Potterton, out of the Thoroughbred dam, ‘Notsoholy’.
Stephanie Stammschroer, who had a few issues the previous week with ‘Brownstown Remi’, moved down a class and secured a well deserved victory in the EI 110 Open. They finished 1.5 points clear of the previous week’s winner, Molly Evans with her own ‘Grafenstolz’ mare, ‘Wellan Graffiti’.
Adam Haugh gave a fabulous account of himself in the EI 110 class on Mandy Boyle’s eight-year-old Hanoverian mare by ‘Dubarry’, ‘Denali’, having led the field of 32 from the start. This partnership moved up from the EI 100 class the week before, when they also claimed a red rosette. Clare Abbott was just half a point adrift on the Cormac McKay bred gelding, ‘Mr Mighty’, also finishing on their flatwork mark.
Because of the current restrictions on ‘Underage’ riders, there were just three starters in the EI 110 Junior class, where the top two were neck and neck across the first two phases. However, cross-country time penalties provided the demarcation, with Lucy McIlroy taking the win with ‘Imperial Black Pearl’ and Caoimhe Crozier picking up second place with ‘Kildromin Banjo’.
The EI 100 class was contested by 30 athletes, with Rosie Alcorn of Coastal Equine Vets, rising to the top with her eight-year-old ‘Centre Stage’ gelding, ‘Centre Fold Belle’. They finished on exactly the same score as Leah Knight and ‘VSI Hendricks’, but took the win by being closer to the optimum time.
Once again, Sarah O’Shea was competing against herself in the EI 100 Junior class, where there was a reversal of results from last week with ‘The Cherokee Flight’ taking the honours, ahead of ‘Youngstars Cheetah’.
The winner of the EI 90 class was never in doubt as Janie Cairns led from the start on Ailsa Martin’s 17-year-old mare, ‘Grateful For Gold’, who was making her first appearance since Knockany last September.
David Kirkpatrick’s five-year-old ‘Nazar’ gelding, ‘Redwood Tzar’ claimed the runner up spot, piloted by Johnny Mulligan on just their second outing.
Northern Region is deeply indebted to David Corbett for the use of his excellent estate at Tyrella, which lends itself perfectly to getting horses properly prepared for the season ahead, both nationally and internationally.
Thanks also to the amazing sponsors, Lightsource BP, Orthoderm, Baileys Horse Feeds, Horse First, Metal Technology and Sporting Images, without whose generosity and support Northern Region certainly could not operate in the current restrictive climate.
As always, organisers extend a HUGE thank you to the many volunteers, who have been very generous with their time, covering the wide range of duties required to keep the event fully compliant and functional.
Next week sees the Northern Region make their final appearance at Tyrella for 2021 but, sadly, without spectators.
Saturday, April 10
EI 115 (Open):
1) Steven Smith, Galwaybay Echo; 2) Adam Haugh, Van Thee Man; 3) Sarah Ennis, Horseware Stellor Rebound; 4) Joseph Murphy, Choclat; 5) Suzanne Hagan, Candy 737; 6) Sarah Ennis, Grantstown Jackson.
1) Steven Smith, Fredie Fox; 2) Sarah Ennis, Stellor Quick Change; 3) Steven Smith, Mike of Mourne; 4) Alex Houston, Minty Imp; 5) Declan Cullen, Grand Marnier ‘Pb’; 6) Rachel Rendle, Ballyvally Bay.
EI 110 (Open):
1) Stephanie Stammschroer, Brownstown Remi; 2) Molly Evans, Wellan Graffiti; 3) Adam Haugh, Major Black; 4) Jim Newsam, Dunrath Wellington; 5) Suzanne Hagan, WKD Cooley; 6) Steven Smith, Handsome Starr.
1) Adam Haugh, Denali; 2) Clare Abbott, Mr Mighty; 3) Johnny Mulligan, Western Johnny; 4) Sarah Ennis, Tullabeg Buzz; 5) Clare Abbott, Arthalent; 6) Katie O’Sullivan, Cooley Rules.
EI 110 J:
1) Lucy McIlroy, Imperial Black Pearl; 2) Caoimhe Crozier, Kildromin Banjo.
1) Rosie Alcorn, Centre Fold Belle; 2) Leah Knight, VSI Hendricks; 3) Emily Corbett, Elpaso Rising Storm; 4) Michael McGaffin, Greenhall Rock N Roll; 5) Neil Morrison, Slievenisky Shamrock; 6) Sarah Ennis, Greenhall Granuaile.
EI 100 J:
1) Sarah O’Shea, The Cherokee Flight; 2) Sarah O’Shea, Youngstars Cheetah.
1) Janie Cairns, Grateful For Gold; 2) Johnny Mulligan, Redwood Tzar; 3) Alex Houston, Atlantic Rockstar; 4) Johnny Mulligan, Redwood Diamond Jack; 5) Rosie Alcorn, Chrysanthos; 6) Ian McCluggage, Carrigshawn Blue Imp.