ON Thursday, July 1, Tullylish near Gilford, was the venue for the first leg of the Young Event Horse series qualifiers this year, kindly hosted by the Stephenson family. Competitors were blessed with the weather and 90 horses were tasked with the well manicured track.
The format was different this year due to Covid restrictions and all Young Event Horses, Connemaras and Irish Draughts were run on one day rather than the usual two.
Course builder, Adam Stephenson designed a very inviting and flowing course, which achieved worthy qualifiers for the RDS and an educational experience for all animals. The track comprised of six knockable fences, followed by a flowing cross-country, which included water, ditches, and chase fences.
The large entry of Performance Connemaras and Irish Draughts gave rise to a very competitive class, with the water element proving an eye opener for some animals.
The day ran smoothly thanks to the experienced volunteers and judges on the day.
There are three more qualifiers remaining before the final – Scarteen, Co. Limerick on July 8 (entries close July 3); Forth Mountain, Co. Wexford on July 15 (entries close July 10) and Rincoola, Co. Longford on July 22 (entries close July 17). Due to Covid restrictions, the RDS Performance final will be hosted in Lambertstown, Co. Meath this year on August 17.
Thursday, July 1
Young Event Horse Series
Four-Year-Olds – 11 participants: 1) Nicola Ennis, MBF Silver Bridge 301.6; 2) Jonathan Mulligan, WSH Quality Venu 288.4; =3) Emily Corbett, Tyrella Delboy 275.6; =3) Jonathan Mulligan, Kilmanahan Cool Star 275.6; 5) John Bannon, Chance Given 273.4.
Five-Year-Olds – 9 participants: 1) Janie Cairns, Lady Ferro 270.2; 2) Ian McCluggage, Drumnaconnell Kobie 268.4; 3) Emily Corbett, Happy Vision 266.5; 4) Sara Glynn, Granny Jeans Unicorn 264.6; 5) Orla Cassidy, Avalon Romulus 262.4.
Junior Young Rider – 5 participants: 1) Bryan Bourke, Killea Quality Cruise 306.0; 2) Amy Lambert, Murphs Legend 298.5; 3) Clodagh Jackman, My Imperial Lady 267.5.
Connemara Performance Hunter (five to seven years) – 19 participants: 1) Kate Horgan, Kinnamara Laura 235.5; 2) Gemma Murphy, Carraun Ferdy 232.5; 3) Edel Whyte, Sleehaun Ninja 226.0; 4) Caoimhe Eivers, Achadh an Luir Rainbow Mirah 225.5.
Connemara Performance Hunter (eight to 15 years) – 11 participants: 1) Alicia Devlin Byrne, Blackwoodland Breeze 237; 2) Talitha Diamond, Sea Storm 232; 3) Carole Smillie, Shanbo Bay Lady 230.5; 4) Isabelle Nally, Benny Liath 221.5.
Performance Irish Draught (four to five years) – 16 participants: 1) Sammy Weston, Tullys Cherry 243.0; 2) Lisa Talbot, B E Calidia 239.5; 3) Marie Finegan, Eponastables Legaun Prince 234.5.
Performance Irish Draught (six+ years) – 10 participants:
1) Marie Finegan, MHF Sea Ice 246; 2) Claire Liddle, Ballytrim Molly 242.5; 3) Tegan White McMorrow,
Carrabeg Liberty 238.