THE Ulster Amateur Cup moved to Kernan Equestrian Centre on Saturday and attracted almost 60 competitors. While the new indoor surface received countless compliments, the challenging course put most to the test with only four combinations jumping double clear.
Of those double clears, Ruari Holmes on ‘Figaro IV’ was the only A rider in the line up and led the way with the fastest time from the start of 29.85 seconds.
Sheikh Samir Mirdad on ‘Mirdads Maaa Shaaa Allah’ were close behind. The talented gelding rose to the challenge and stopped the clock in 30.65 seconds taking second place. Caitriona Cody and ‘Killagriff’ rode a tactical clear in 32.28, picking up the valuable qualification and a third placed rosette with ease.
Catherine McLaughlin made the trip from Eglinton with her bay gelding and feared a fruitless trip when he spread a shoe while travelling. However, luck would have it that a farrier (Graeme Carlisle) was also jumping in the same class and she was able to secure a qualifying place with a foot perfect double clear. It was unlucky, however, for Graeme, as after he did his good deed, he finished in first reserve – missing out on qualifyinghimself by one place!
Ian Moore and his faithful chestnut ‘Triple C’ meant business, taking no chances on time and finished on 31.67.
Fiona Thompson and her own grey mare ‘Curolea Roni’ rode a stylish and fast second round to finish just seven hundredths of a second behind Ian to finish sixth.
It was ‘Urban Cowboy’ and Fergus McGirr who claimed the final qualifying ticket for Balmoral on Saturday.
As everyone looks forward to cheering these competitors on at Balmoral Show, congratulations must go to Caitriona Cody for joining Nicci Hall at the top of the AA leader board. Catherine McLaughlin joins Sarah Kinnear with five points. The A leaderboard sees Taryn McClurkin expand her lead to steer two points clear, Beth Murray now moves to second place on seven points, with Ruari Holmes into third due to his six points received on Saturday.
Lastly, just to note – to help raise funds for the 2019 National Amateur Championships, a number of prizes have been donated for a raffle, which will be drawn at National Balmoral on July 15. Please support the Ulster Region Amateurs by purchasing tickets to make the 2019 National Championships one to remember (you don’t have to be an amateur to win the prizes!).
Raffle tickets are still available through the Ulster Amateur representatives, by emailing email@example.com or by telephoning Catherine on 07522 980261 – they are easy to buy and priced at £1 per ticket or a book for £10. You can also purchase your tickets at the next qualifier at the Meadows on Saturday, April 6.