Ulster Athletes rewarded at glittering SJI Awards Ball

SJI Ulster Region horse awards BR Farm
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Ulster Region Chairman, John Curran presenting Megan McGettigan with her Special Recognition Award at Corick House. (FW06-534NN)

THE hard work of the 2018 horse season was celebrated by the Ulster Region of Show Jumping Ireland recently, as they held their Annual Awards Evening. Held once again in the stunning surroundings at the Corick House Hotel and Spa, the awards were a night of glitz and glamour as athletes, owners and support teams danced the night away.

Congratulating those assembled on yet another busy and successful year for the region’s riders, regional Chairman, Mr John Curran welcomed everyone to the venue on behalf of the committee and asked compère for the evening, Mr John Chambers, to commence the calling of the recipients to the stage.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Mr and Mrs Gallagher receiving the Rookie of the Year trophy on behalf of their son Lorcan, who was honoured at the recent Ulster Region Awards held in Corick House from John Curran, Ulster Region Chairman. (FW06-532NN)


Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour

Honouring the achievements of the athletes on a regional basis, the first awards to be presented were for the Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour. Making the presentations was Mr Brian McConville, owner of Ballyward Equestrian. Presentations were made from first to third placings in a very well supported tour that travelled the length and breadth of the region over the summer months.

Amateur Point Cups

Calculated from amateur classes from all over the region, the regional amateur chair, Allison Mercer was on hand to make the presentations to the worthy winners. In the A section, Denis O’Brien lifted the title and took the ‘Amateur A’ Perpetual Cup home for 2018. Winning the ‘Amateur AA’ Perpetual Cup was popular rider, Fiona Thompson.


Grand Prix Series

In recognition of their achievements in the National Grand Prix circuit, awards were presented to Frank Curran (Connelly Red Mills Spring Tour), Dermott Lennon (New Heights Champions Series), Peter Smyth (TRM/ Horseware National Grand Prix) and Philip Gaw (Allianz Autumn Grand Prix Series).

Irish Sport Horse Studbook Show jumping Series

Awards were presented to the Highest Placed Ulster Region Athlete, with Catherine Thornton collecting the Killyhevlin Lakeside Lodges Perpetual Cup and Kenneth Graham being the worthy recipient of the Linda Courtney Show jumping Cup for the six-year-old section, whereas the Carson Coldstores Perpetual Cup was awarded to James Hogg in the seven-year-old class.

Dublin Horse Show

During 2018, the region was very well represented in all categories at the Dublin Horse Show. As a token to recognise the achievement, presentations were made to all qualified athletes. In addition to this, the Events committee decided to also make presentations to all Championship classes at the RDS. Receiving the CHS Krooze Perpetual Cup was Catherine Thornton, winning it with ‘Drumiller Sensation’, which she co-owns with Patricia Kavanagh.


To celebrate the outstanding achievements of some of the athletes, awards were presented to mark their achievements.

Awards were presented to the Ulster Region athletes for their achievements on the national scene at Young Rider and Grand Prix levels. On the international scene, awards were presented to Junior and Young Rider athletes, who participated in Nations Cup classes in Wierden.

One of the most prestigious awards of the evening went to Lorcan Gallagher, who collected the ‘Rookie of the Year’ Award, after a very successful year on the international circuit. Unfortunately, Lorcan was unable to attend the awards ceremony due to international duty, however the events committee were delighted to welcome his parents to the stage to receive the award on his behalf.

Also collecting an award in recognition of her national record was Katie Conlon, who was a worthy recipient of the ‘Junior Rookie of the Year’. Katie has achieved so much during 2018, including several placings at 1.20m level and above.

Presented as some of the final awards of the evening, the ‘Show of the Year’ and ‘Venue of the Year’ results were announced following the counting of votes that took place earlier in the evening. Chantal Suarez was on hand to receive the awards, as Portmore Equestrian Centre was crowned winner of both these special accolades.

A Special Recognition Award was presented to Megan McGettigan. Megan showed great dedication and bravery when she rescued a number of horses from their burning stables during the devastating fire at Lenamore Stables. Megan put herself in harm’s way to get each horse to safety and return for the next, ending up in hospital herself due to smoke inhalation.

Additional speeches throughout the evening came from Regional President, Ray Buchanan, who praised the achievements of all the athletes and thanked supporters, members and sponsors for their continued support throughout the year.

A vote of thanks was echoed by the Ulster Region Chairman, who also thanked those who supported the region during the year and to those who generously donated auction and raffle items for the evening.


Ballyward Equestrian Summer Tour

90cm: 1 & The Portmore Equestrian Perpetual Cup) Shirley Smith; 2) Amanda McCracken; 3) Elizabeth McCracken.

1m: 1 & The MEC Perpetual Cup) Jane Clarke; 2) Fiona Thompson; 3) Fiona Thompson.

1.10m: 1 & The Smyth Sport Horses Perpetual Cup) Sarah Burns; 2) Jane Clarke; 3) Sarah Kelly.

1.10m Young Rider: 1 & The John Curran & Family Cup) Elle Johnston; 2) Ellen McCollum; 3) Justine O’Hara.

1.20m: 1 & The Lenamore Sport Horses Perpetual Cup) Kevin Mackey; 2) Sarah Burns; 3) Emma Jackson.

1.20m Young Riders: 1 & The Eamon McEvoy & Co Solictors Perpetual Cup) Elle Johnston; 2) Brogen McCrum; 3) Johnathan Smyth.

1.35m Grand Prix: 1 & The Mulvin Stables Perpetual Cup) Simon Scott; 2) Johnathan Smyth; 3) Charlene Clingan.

1.35m Young Rider & The Causeway Coast Perpetual Cup: Jonathan Smyth.

Amateur Points Cup

A Section Cup: 1) Denis O’Brien; 2) Grace Carlisle; 3) Joe Harris.

AA Section Cup: 1) Fiona Thompson; 2) Catherine Morrow; 3) Karen Pearson.

Irish Sport Horse Show jumping Classes

Five-Year-Old & The Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel Perpetual Cup: Catherine Thornton.

Six-Year-Old & Linda Courtney Show jumping Perpetual Cup: Kenneth Graham.

Seven-Year-Old & Carson Coldstore Perpetual Cup: James Hogg.

Cavan Classic

Five-Year-Old & The Maddybenny Perpetual Cup: Catherine Thornton.

Six/ Seven-Year-Old & The Gerry McCloskey Perpetual Cup: Gabriel Tunney.


SJI Grand Prix Series

Redmills Connelly Spring Tour & The S&S Sporthorses Perpetual Cup: Frank Curran.

TRM/ Horseware New Heights Grand Prix & The Mountcastle Farms Perpetual Cup: Dermott Lennon.

SJI National Grand Prix & The Crindle Stables Perpetual Cup: Peter Smyth.

TopSpec Autumn Grand Prix & The Eglinton Equestrian Club Perpetual Cup: Philip Gaw.

National Young Rider Championships, Mullingar

1m Young Rider & The Watt Family Perpetual Cup: Hollie Coster.

1.10m Young Rider & The Curran Family Perpetual Cup: Mackenzie Healy.

1.10m Children On Horses & Tux & Tails Perpetual Cup: Jemima Heffron.

1.15m Pro Am & The Alland Perpetual Cup: Ellie Humphries.

1.20m Young Rider & The Contract Services Perpetual Cup: Lewis Trenier.

1.30m Young Rider & The McIntyre Family Perpetual Cup: Mackenzie Healy.


Qualified Athletes: Olivia Roulston, Catherine Thornton, Caitlin Taggart, Gabriel Tunney, Peter Smyth, Kenneth Graham, Michael Roche, James Hogg, Jonathan Smyth, Hannah Patterson, Jodie Creighton, Daryl Somerville, Katie Conlon, Jane Clarke, Roisin Donnelly, Margaret Fullerton, Niccola Hall, Jayne Clarke, Seamus Oh Campbell, Ruari Holmes.

RDS Championship Awards

Four-Year-Old Championship & The Meadows Equestrian Centre Perpetual Cup: Catherine Thornton.

Five-Year-Old Championship & Derek Reid & Family Perpetual Cup: Catherine Thornton.

Six-Year-Old Championship & Tullyraine Veterinary Clinic Perpetual Cup: Kenneth Graham.

Seven & Eight-Year-Old Championship & Shirley Kernan Memorial Perpetual Cup: Daniel Coyle.

Children on Horses RDS Winning Team Member & The Rock Perpetual Cup: Jemima Heffron.

1.10-1.15m Young Rider Championship & The Cassidy Family Perpetual Cup: Jodie Creighton.

1.25-1.30m Young Rider Championship & Ballyalton House Perpetual Cup: Katie Conlon.

1.35-1.40m Young Rider Championship & The Heffron Family Perpetual Cup: Johnathan Smyth.

Amateur Championship & The Harris & McCrum Perpetual Cup: Niccola Hall.

Best Young Horse at RDS & The CHS Krooze Perpetual Cup: Catherine Thornton.

Balmoral CSI2*

Five-Year-Old Championship & The John Black & Family Perpetual Cup: Kerry Taggart.

Six-Year-Old Championship & Tailored Equestrian Perpetual Cup: John McLaughlin.

Seven-Year-Old Championship & The Neal Doherty & Family Perpetual Cup: James Hogg.

1.35m Championship & The Brown Family Perpetual Cup: Jonathan Smyth.

Amateur A & Corick House Hotel & Spa Perpetual Cup: Niamh Mallon McFall.

Amateur AA & Quinns Corner Bar & Restaurant Perpetual Cup: Sarah Kelly.

FEI World Breeding Young Horse Championships, Lanaken: Conor Drain, Kenneth Graham, Joanne Blair, Olivia Roulston.


Longines Global Champions Tour, Paris Winner: Sam El Dehan.

Owner of ‘Sumas Zorro’: Joanne Sloan Allen.

Ulster Region Breeders Cup & SVS Sporthorses Perpetual Cup: Dorothea Wilson.

Special Recognition Award: Megan McGettigan.

Rookie of the Year & Dermott Lennon Perpetual Cup: Lorcan Gallagher.

Junior Rookie of the Year & Ronan McLaughlin Equestrian Perpetual Cup: Katie Conlon.

National Young Riders Championships – Reserve Champion: Shannon Robinson.

National 1.35m Young Rider Summer Grand Prix Series: Jonathan Smyth.

Young Rider European Championship Team Members: Jonathan Smyth and Christopher Megahey.

Weirden Young Rider/ Junior Tour: Annabelle Heffron.

Ulster Region Show of the Year: Portmore Autumn Championships.

WELL DONE: Winning both Venue and Show of the Year at the Ulster Region Ball was Chantal Suraez from Portmore Equestrian Centre, receiving one of her awards from Regional Chairman, John Curran. (FW06-535NN) PICTURES

Ulster Region Venue of the Year: Portmore Equestrian Centre.


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