The wind may have been piercing but the welcome was voluminous from the White Family as Eventing Ireland’s Northern Region descended on their Maddybenny Farm on Saturday.
Fred, Philip and Eavan, under the guidance of Adam Stevenson, had worked tirelessly to create three super courses for the 110 competitors who had travelled from as far as Wexford to sample the infamous Co Antrim hospitality.
It was a great day for Gilford rider, Steven Smith, who dominated the top two classes. He took the honours in the O/CNC1* class on The Wolf Man a ten year old black gelding by Cavalier Two For Joy , who was making his first appearance since Ballindennisk International in 2015. He led from the outset and finished over three points clear of his other mount, Camella McDowell’s Swift Edition.
Steven again headed the Kingsfield Haylage CNC1* class on Janet Hall’s ten year old homebred mare , Michel M, one of only two in the eighteen strong class to finish on their dressage mark. Runner up was Catherine Robinson who made her mark on the class by taking second and third places. She was second on the striking seven year old Aldatus Z mare, Caprice Encore, owned by Natasha Mallon and third on River Lodge Equestrian’s Excalibur.
The CNCJ1* class saw Harriet Pele in the winners’ enclosure, having taken a commanding lead with Drumcill Grey Ambition. Local girl, Aoife Carr, took reserve spot on Tegan White’s Tyra MB.
There were just four starters in the CNCP2* class where Jessica McConnell moved up three spots from her first phase to finish in excess of four points clear of her nearest rival, Katie McKee and Fair Lad. Jessica and her striking skewbald gelding,Finding Nemo, were the only combination to jump clean over Fred Gutherie’s undulating course.
Another local lady, Florence Campbell, certainly made her mark in the CNC1* Amateur class which she entered double handed. She took a win on her veteran, Anvil Diamond, and also third place on Imperial Master, separated only by the winner of Tyrellas 1 & 2, Alison Crothers and Waikato Ko.
It was lovely to see Ann Bowe back in the saddle following her amazing performance at the London marathon where she completed the 26 miles in less than five hours and raised almost £5,000 for World Horse Welfare.
An unlucky pole showjumping, meant the first phase leader Clare Abbott and Cormac McKay’s five year old Gatcombe gelding, Hamada, had to settle for the runner up spot and paved the way to victory for Charlotte Dixon and Harison in the EI 100.
Clare also secured a third placing on Lisa Rosbotham’s five year old gelding, Jewellent.
Meanwhile, Denis Currie, partnering Arodstown Aramis, proved that his win at Tyrella 3 was no ‘flash in the pan’ as he just added four jumping penalties to his dressage score to finish four points clear of Jayne Moore on Indian Princess Blossom.
Holly Boal gained her first win in the EI 100J class on board her father’s six year old gelding, Bonmahon Flash, having previously won the 90 cms class at the same venue last August. Kathryn McKibbin and Seapatrick Murphy were runners up, having lowered a coloured pole in phase two.
It was very disappointing for Co Laoise’s Jennifer Kuehnle and Chongqing who left the start box as leaders of the EI 100P class but were relegated to eighth place following a run out at the ‘Which Way Corners’. This paved the way to success for a very happy Hannah Morrow and Moyans Dun Deal, followed by second placed Rocco Quinn and Knockagarron Fear Bui Princess.
Nanno Fitzsimons, sister of the hostess, Eavan White, made her visit to Maddybenny worthwhile by claiming the red rosette in the 90 Amateur class with Sailor’s Consort, having kept the slate clean on the two jumping phases. Also finishing on her dressage score was Ruth Lyttle and Remember My Colours.
In the Lafarge Tarmac sponsored class, EI90, Lucy Hanna maintained her four point margin from Phase one to finish on her dressage score on the homebred, Rock Shenanigans, a five year old gelding by the Connemara sire, Bobby Sparrow Blue. Callum Brown from the Maddybenny Stables, got a very well deserved second placing on his very first event with another Connemara sired gelding, Scead.
The final class of the day, EI90P, saw newcomer, Tabytha Bonar, gallop to victory with Cindy Cunningham’s Appaloosa mare, CSC Apache Dove, also making its eventing debut. They were untouchable from the outset and finished on their impressive first phase mark of 23.3. Next in line was Ballymena rider, James McNabney and Dabrian Dawn.
Huge thanks go to Philip, Eavan and Fred White for all the hard work which went into the organization of yet another superb event at Maddybenny.
Thanks, too, to the members of Route Branch of the Pony Club, Route Hunt, Bann Valley Riding Club, Limavady & Londonderry Show and Causeway Coast Showjumpers for providing so many helpers and resources on the day.
This coming Saturday, 6 May, Northern Region, in association with Meadows Equestrian Centre are holding Flexi Eventing at The Meadows. This includes dressage on grass, two cross country courses in both all weathered arenas as well as showjumping in Arena 2. This is open to everyone.
The following week sees the Northern Region heading along the Ards Peninsula to Kircubbin, courtesy of Eamon and Karen O’Flynn. Anyone willing to help should contact Dora on 07876758979.
O/CNC1*: 1, Steven Smith, The Wolf Man; 2, Steven Smith, Swift Edition; 3, Michelle Kenny, Cothopo; 4, Stacey Watling, Magheradrummond Lad.
CNC1*: 1, Steven Smith, Michel M; 2, Catherine Robinson, Caprice Encore; 3, Catherine Robinson, Excalibur; 4, Emily Corbett, Barnaboy; 5, Suzanne Hagan, Crafty Guy; 6, Steven Smith, Winchester.
1, Harriet Pele, Drumcill Grey Ambition; 2, Aoife Carr, Tyra MB; 3, Robyn McCluskey, Listowel Thunder; 4, Jennifer Kuehnle, Scattery Katie; 5, Patrick Eames, Kings Choice
CNCP2*: 1, Jessica McConnell, Finding Nemo; 2, Katie McKee, Fair Lad; 3, Lucy Johnston, Tynan Mist; 4, Ben Rowlatt-McCormick, Mon Sami Tonnerre
CNC1* Amateur: 1, Florence Campbell, Anvil Diamond; 2, Alison Crothers, Waikato Ko; 3, Florence Campbell, Imperial Master; 4, Ann Bowe, Festy Breeze.
EI 100 Amateur: 1, Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis; 2, Jayne Moore, Indian Princess Blossom; 3, Jade Scott, Benny Boy; 4, Alexandra Russell, Hoeks Mainstream; 5, Ruth Logan, Oldyard Imp; 6, Julia Fielden, Absoloodle
EI100P: 1, Hannah Morrow, Moyans Dun Deal; 2, Rocco Quinn, Knockagarron Fear Bui Princess; 3, Jennifer Kuehnle, Tullibards Lucky Kate; 4, Kiera Malcolmson, Rockon Pedro; 5, Brian Kuehnle, Tullibards Boom The Groom; 6, Ellie Parkhill, Alland Mac U No.
EI 100J: 1, Holly Boal, Bonmahon Flash; 2, Kathryn McKibbin, Seapatrick Murphy; 3, Joanna Eames, Martini; 4, Harriet Pele, Lisbane Flame
EI 100: 1, Charlotte Dixon, Harison; 2, Clare Abbott, Hamada; 3, Clare Abbott, Jewellent; 4, Declan Cullen, Keonan Hero; 5, Trevor Smith, Milford Kinsale; 6, Lucy Hanna, Rock Babylon.
EI 90 Amateur: 1, Nanno Fitzsimons, Sailors Consort; 2, Ruth Lyttle, Remember My Colours; 3, Carolyn Avery, Emperors Reflection; 4, Kathryn Marshall, Aristocrat; 5, Ailsa Martin,mGrateful For Gold; 6, Heather McMillan, Cullion Fitzherbert.
EI 90P: 1, Tabytha Bonar, CSC Apache Dove; 2, James McNabney, Dabrian Dawn; 3, Lucy McIlroy, Knockbridge Just Jimmy; 4, Cerys Howell, Wivollet Something Special; 5, India Forsythe, Drumaran Nigel; 6, Charlotte Keers, Western Ocala.
EI 90: 1, Lucy Hanna, Rock Shenanigans; 2, Callum Brown, Scead; 3, Stacey Watling, Templepatrick A-Z; 4, Lucy McIlroy, Major Black; 5, Stacey Watling, Ballyheerin Clover Star; 6, Olivia Quinn, Redwood Thor.