THE stage was set, the podium in place, it could only mean one thing… An Ulster Region Final! Last Saturday, August 24, the Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan, played host to the final of the 2019 Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour. With enhanced prize funds, donated by the Ulster Region, the arenas were set for some hot competition.
With time becoming a deciding factor for all classes on the day, there was nowhere to hide. Competition was fast and furious in each arena, with nearly 300 entries on the day.
In Arena 1, the morning started with the 1.10m class, over 80 tickets entered to take their chance at pocketing the prize fund on offer. Keeping a cool head under pressure it was Sheikh Samir Mirdad that would seal the win on the day, with his ever consistent ‘Mirdads Freeedat Alrahmaaan’, owned by Samir. The chestnut mare stopped the clock on 39.07; 0.30 of a second ahead of her closest rival Mackenzie Healy, who picked up the highest placed Young Rider in the 1.10m class.
The 1.20m class was a reversal of fortunes for the riders, as the fastest round this time came from Young Rider Dylan Ward with Quality Sport Horses’ ‘Hard Times’. Hot on the heels of the ‘Darco’ bred bay gelding was Emma Jackson on board her own stallion ‘Creevagh For Sure’, just 1.03 seconds behind Ward. On the day, both picked up the lion’s share of their respective £1,000 prize funds on offer.
Drumquin’s Olivia Roulston and ‘Erico’, owned by Keonan Stables Ltd, claimed victory in the final round of the 2019 Ballyward Equestrian Summer Grand Prix Series. Of the 28 starters, 14 made it through a technical track designed and built by International Course Designer, Aaron McCusker to the jump-off. Riding as one of the final riders in the second round, a clear in a time of 30.76 seconds saw her take the winner’s prize. Runner-up spot went to Dungannon native, Frank Curran guiding Heffron Equine Ltd’s ‘Oliver Twister’ to a clear in 31.97. In total, there were four double clear rounds – Curran also placed third with Cliodhna Breen’s ‘Ardragh Chekoff’, whilst Shannon Robinson completed the quartet with ‘Chardonnay’ in 36.36.
In the first class of the day in Arena 2, Sharon Junk was the runaway winner of the 90cm class. Piloting her own ‘Hollypark Toes’ to victory, Junk stopped the clock in 32.60, nearly six seconds ahead of Justine O’Hara, who finished in second place with ‘Sally’.
The 1m final was a much tighter affair and, with over 60 entrants, the class could have been won by anyone! Breaking the beam in 32.61 seconds was Jane Clarke, who with her own ‘Delton’, took home the winner’s share of the £450 on offer. Closely followed by Fiona Thompson, just less 0.40 seconds slower with ‘Curolea Roni’ in second.
Thompson went one better in the final class of the day in Arena 2, the Amateurs. On board her ever-consistent ‘Curolea Roni’, Thompson this time took the win as the only double clear of the class. Regular Amateur competitor, Joe Harris had to settle for second place on this occasion after lowering one fence to complete on four faults.
Saturday, August 24
90cm Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour Final: 1) Sharon Junk’s Hollypark Toes, Sharon Junk; 2) Robert & Diane Lowry’s Sally (Pet-ID), Justine O’Hara; 3) David Gibson’s Ashfield Red Ginger, David Gibson; 4) Conrad McGuinness’s Coolrock Dark Angel, Conrad McGuinness; 5) Keith McDonald’s Springburn Shutterfly, Keith McDonald; 6) Helen Pannell’s Crafty Guy, Helen Pannell; 7) Louise Early’s Pilgrims Girl, Louise Early; 8) Ellen McCollum’s Trendsetter (HSI), Ellen McCollum; 9) Maeve Lunny’s Okee Dokee, Maeve Lunny.
1m Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour Final: 1) Jane Clarke’s Delton, Fionn Clarke; 2) Fiona Thompson’s Curolea Roni, Fiona Thompson; 3) Karen Pearson’s Hanley News, Karen Pearson; 4) Eavan White’s O’Harabrook, Fiona Thompson; 5) Philip G L White’s Kinnego Bay (UR), Philip G L White; 6) Sheikh Samir Mirdad’s Mirdads Mekkkah, Sheikh Samir Mirdad; 7) Patrick Ward’s Ardnaglass Lizzy, Patrick Ward; 8) Laura Ervine’s White Hawk Shakara, Laura Ervine; 9) Amy Wilson’s Vagabond, Amy Wilson; 10) Bethany Murray’s Val De Mazeroy, Bethany Murray; 11) Robert McKee’s Lady of Honour, Robert McKee; 12) Ronan McLaughlin’s Carrado, Kirsten Farr.
1.10m Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour Final (Senior): 1) Sheikh Samir Mirdad’s Mirdads Freeedat Alrahmaaan, Sheikh Samir Mirdad; 2) Heather Denholm’s Warrington, Heather Denholm; 3) Sarah Curran’s Bonmahon Paprika, Sarah Curran; 4) Sarah Burns’s Georgies Star, Sarah Burns; 5) Sarah Kinnear’s Dstud Midget Gem, Sarah Kinnear; 6) Norman Townley’s The Clover Pledge, Norman Townley; 7) Marcus Buser’s Solsboro Gold Flake, Beverley Irwin; 8) Kathryn O’Hagan’s CHS Bondo Beach, Kathryn O’Hagan; 9) Lisa Smyth’s Je T’aime Le Fantome, Lisa Smyth; 10) Gerald Doherty’s Kryton DV, Claire Doherty; 11) Judy Murphy’s Javas Keltic Freedom, Liam McGarry.
1.10m Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour Final (Young Rider): 1) McFadden Equine’s Lajgardens Casandro, Mackenzie Healy; 2) Tom Treanor’s Zentus T, Lauren McCabe; 3) Rachelle Harding’s Crossmaglen Bandit, Charlotte Harding; 4) Patrick William’s Fivonia G, Patrick John McWilliams; 5) John English’s Longfiled Trinity, Charlotte Greer; 6) Gillian Johnston’s Cadence Dreamer, Elle Johnston.
1.20m Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour Final (Senior): 1) Emma Jackson’s Creevagh For Sure, Emma Jackson; 2) Gerry Marron’s Absolutely Kinmar Z, Dermott Lennon; 3) Markus Buser’s Bolero du Clochet, Markus Buser; 4) Tracey Woods’ Without Permission, Zoe Woods; 5) Kathryn O’Hagan’s Waltham Abbey, Kathryn O’Hagan; 6) Lawerence Patterson’s Drumnaconnell Beach Babe, Emma Jackson.
1.20m Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour Final (Young Rider): 1) Quality Sport Horses’ Hard Times, Dylan Ward; 2) McFadden Equine’s Epinal, Mackenzie Healy; 3) Rosemary Bothwell’s Always on my Mind, Nicholas Bothwell; 4) Rosemary Bothwell’s HHS Cheers, Nicholas Bothwell; 5) Roughan Farms’ Viarada Dree Boeken, Darryl Somerville; 6) Cariad McAlpine’s Cyrano Du Boisquillon, Hugo McAlpine.
1.35m Ballyward Equestrian Grand Prix Final: 1) Keonan Stable’s Erico, Olivia Roulston; 2) Heffron Equine Ltd’s Oliver Twister, Frank Curran; 3) Cliodhna Breen’s Ardragh Cheoff, Frank Curran; 4) Joy Robinson’s Chardonnay, Shannon Robinson; 5) Ann Doherty’s Crystal Tom, Jonathan Smyth; 6) Rebecca McGoldrick’s Duco, Dermott Lennon.
Amateurs: 1) Fiona Thompson’s Curolea Roni, Fiona Thompson; 2) Joe Harris’s Coppindell Concorde, Joe Harris; 3) Laura Sloan’s Cornascriebe Quida Diamond, Laura Sloan; 4) Catherine Lundy’s Aces Delight, Cerys Lundy; 5) Bethany Murray’s Val de Mazeroy, Bethany Murray; 6) Sheikh Samir Mirdad’s Mirdads Maaa Shaaa Allah, Sheikh Samir Mirdad.