NORTHERN Region was delighted to make its second visit to Finvoy this year. The Campbell family always extend a hearty welcome to officials, competitors and spectators.
This time round, Jamison Landrover of Dervock came on board as the Title Sponsor and made a very generous donation to Air Ambulance, a charity recognised by everyone involved in equestrianism as vital to their sport.
The grounds at this popular Co Antrim venue looked resplendent and pristine in the sunshine which enveloped most of the day.
Adam Stevenson made significant changes to the course which were met with fulsome praise by competitors. These changes included a totally new starting point which created four very pleasing, flowing courses.
It was wonderful that the Northern Region’s most recent bronze medallist, Caoimhe Crozier, had returned to compete following her success last week at the Pony European Championships in Strzegom, Poland. She won a bronze medal with Kildromin Banjo as part of the team competition and came ninth individually. Caoimhe gave a brief interview to Peter Quirke outlining her experience in Poland. Northern Region is very proud of her and her team’s performance on the European stage.
A delighted Conor Savage picked up his winnings in the EI 110 Open class where he headed the leaderboard with Emily Corbett’s fourteen year old gelding, Leapfrog, having led from the outset and finished on their first phase score. They had close to a five point advantage over second paced Robyn McCluskey, riding Dawn Carlisle’s Suirvalley Little Monkey who knocked just one coloured pole.
Local veterinarian Rosie Alcorn, who does so much for Northern Region, had plenty to celebrate on Saturday night after a very successful day with all four rides.
She galloped to victory in the EI 110 class on board her eight year old mare bred by John Reid from his stallion, Centrestage, picking up just two time penalties in the process. This was good enough to retain a marginal lead over second placed Steven Smith and the six year old Mr Big Cat gelding, Urneypark Big Cat, who occupied this position for the second consecutive week.
Lucy McIlroy was competing against herself in the two-starter EI 110J class where the win went to the eight year old mare Imperial Black Pearl who secured a quartet of consecutive wins in the Spring season.
Dublin based Symone Brown was victorious in the EI 110 Amateur class where there were just four starters. Symone, partnering her eleven year old Dutch bred gelding, Merlot, was the only combination to keep a clean sheet across both jumping phases and they finished five points clear of Jayne Moore who was making her debut at this level with her High Roller sired mare, Laylas Way.
The past three weeks have seen great excitement and exhilaration in Crumlin as Philip and Jeannie Swann hosted their daughter Rachel and her two sons on a vacation from Cyprus.
However, that excitement reached fever pitch on Saturday as the results of the 100 Amateur class were announced. Rachel, who had secured the ride of her father’s beloved Tignabruich, left the other competitors in her wake as she romped home to finish on her amazing dressage score of 26 to take the win. Second place went to Emily Morris and Florida Bud who were making their first outing since Glenpatrick.
Fifteen year old Downpatrick girl, Lauren Madine, gave an excellent account of herself with her mother’s gelding, Moonshine Melody, finishing on a ‘personal best’ of 26.3 with Lucy Knight and VSI Dakota taking second place.
Anna McCaldin claimed her first victory with her mother’s Rum Jumbie in the 100J class where just two of the four starters finished. Anna lowered one coloured pole and finished almost five points clear of Ralph Robinson riding his mother’s nine year old Puissance gelding, Lanigan O.
Steven Smith was the only rider of the seventeen starters in the EI 100 class to obtain a sub thirty dressage score and he added nothing to that mark across the other two phases with Susan O’Shea’s King-Paola, a six year old gelding by Starpower which has amassed a phenomenal record since it first competed under Eventing Ireland rules just four months ago. The combination finished just short of three points clear of both Rosie Alcorn and her very special gelding, Chrysanthos, bred by Rosie from Jaguar Mail out of her own mare, Fiorella.
The other combination finishing on equal penalty points for second was Jonathan Steele on the home bred six year old mare by Centrestage. Rosie eventually claimed second on the basis of proximity to optimum time.
Donn Boy, a full Connemara owned by Fiona McMillan by Black Shadow out of Miss Middilli, is certainly making a name for himself. He came third last week at Necarne while piloted by Emily Black and, this week, finished best of the nine starters in the EI 90 Amateur with Fiona on board. They led from the outset and finished almost four points clear of second placed Christina Sterling-Berry and her Clover Brigade gelding, Tyrella Whiskey on just their fourth appearance.
Twenty great combinations took on the challenge of the EI 90 class where the Rider Representative, Jonathan Steele’s super per-formance powered him to the top of the class with Alfred Buller’s five year old gelding, Lyons Legacy on its maiden outing.
The combination finished on their dressage score, marginally ahead of Gemma Goodrich riding Carole Young’s, Doubt Me Now, a six year old mare by Mountain High out of Old Promises.
Fourteen year old Comber student, Adam Booth, was the sole competitor in the EI90P class but he gave a great account of himself and his pony Melview Chester adding just four show jumping penalties and 3.2 cross country time penalties to their flatwork mark.
Meantime, a huge entry in the EI80 T meant a class division. Many of those entered were getting prepped for the Pony Club Home Championships next week. With this in mind, Denis Currie conducted a Course Walk for a number of competitors who were ‘newbies’ to eventing.
Standards were high and competition was intense. The ‘A’ section was headed by Poppy Moore on her mother’s Cyrano mare, Silver Button, who finished almost five points clear of Emily Maneely riding Rosie who had clear jumping in both phases.
The final result in the ‘B’ section came down to the wire with the top two neck and neck all the way. In the end the winner was decided by proximity to optimum time which fell the way of Ian McCluggage on his first outing with his five year old mare, Gold Spirit. The runner up was Aine Clancy riding Claire Brennan’s grey gelding, Keenaghan Commander.
Congratulations to all of the EI 80 competitors, the majority of whom were making their eventing debut.
Northern Region would like to thank Alan and Muriel Campbell, Chris and Kim for hosting the second event this year. It’s always a pleasure to visit Dirraw Farm and to experience the genuine hospitality.
Thanks, too, to all the helpers who never cease to amaze the Committee with their dedication and commitment to our sport.
We wish all our members who are competing at Millstreet and Blair over the coming weekend the very best of good luck and we look forward to following their progress.