Arctic conditions failed to dampen the spirits or enthusiasm of the competitors for the penultimate leg of the TRI sponsored Inter Schools Showjumping League at The Meadows Equestrian Centre.
Over an hour before the scheduled start time of 9am and well before daylight dawned, horse boxes and trailers were already taking their parking spot at the popular County Armagh venue.
As always, dead on the dot of 9am, the first team members entered the arenas and it was ‘all systems go’ to ensure that almost 300 had jumped before darkness descended.
Arena one started the day with the Novice team event where zero scores were hard earned. Just three teams kept a clean slate with the quartet from Lisburn’s Wallace High School taking the victory on time which leaves them in third place in the League with just the final to go in January. Ballymena Academy Navy team, although posting uncharacteristic faults and finishing fourth on the day, are still clear leaders in the League, hotly pursued by Dromore High School in second.
Meanwhile, the Novice Individual competition which took place in Arena two, saw Charley Hanna, from Kilkeel High School, speed to victory from over 40 starters on board Hazy by a one second margin over second placed Megan Nelson on Flash from Ballynahinch High School.
Mrs Shellagh Gault was tack and turn out inspector and those who passed her comprehensive scrutiny were well deserving of their awards.
The Open Team competition saw a very strong Ballymena Academy team deliver perfect scores in fast times from all four riders to claim top points yet again, keeping them in third place on the leaderboard going into the final next month. BRA also came home on a zero score to slot into second place on the day. However, top of the League at the moment is the very consistent Newbridge Integrated team, followed by Down High Flyers. It’s certainly going to be a very exciting Final in January, with everything still to play for.
The Open Individual class was dominated by Annie Courtney Caddam, from Forthill College who took first and third places, separated only by Carinne Fullerton of St Mary’s Grammar School who is sitting second in the League behind Kerry Magill and Lisnahall Miss Toffee of Wallace High School.
Trudge McCoosh was the Premier class winner on Shadow Light for Victoria College just ahead of Annie Courtney Caddam who had an amazing day on Saturday.
As always, the Primary classes provide great spectator excitement and it is so encouraging to see the progress being made each month by the youngest competitors, who, on this occasion, had to brave the worst weather conditions on record. However, they certainly demonstrated their hard core stamina and delivered excellent results.
The very popular 50cms class where optimum time is used to differentiate between equality of faults, saw a debut appearance from Catherine McClelland and Taz of Fairhill Primary School claim the red rosette ahead of Kristie Wilson and Harry of Linn Primary School. However, Katelyn Irvine and Pedro are the current League Leaders followed closely by Rosey Heron and Sam Jackson.
Katie McCombe and Bambi, no strangers to success, flew to victory in the 70cms in a tightly contested Primary Individual class with last month’s winner, Simone Leathem, settling into second place this month. The current League leader by a significant margin is Tyler Houston and Percy with Bradie Hogg and Sam’s Secret in second.
Moira Maverick’s claimed a back to back victory in the Primary Team event ahead of the Mighty Midgets who have shown amazing consistency by only ever winning or coming runners up throughout the League. This puts them in a strong position at the top of the leaderboard ahead of the Rascals in second and the Fab 4 and Moira Mavericks in joint 3rd place.
The Final, which takes place on January 9th promises to be one of the most exciting to date, culminating in our 2015/2016 Champions being crowned.
The Meadows Equestrian Centre would like to thank TRI Equestrian and Baileys Horse Feeds for their sponsorship and support of this popular League. Thanks, also, to all the judges, course designers, starters, arena stewards, secretarial staff as well as all schools who supported the show.
Finally, best wishes to everyone for a very Happy Xmas and a successful 2016 season.
1. Wallace High School (Anna Brown, Jimmy, Connie Crothers, Buddy, Sarah Moore, Harvey, Kerry Magill, Lisnahall Miss Toffee); 2. Assumption Grammar (Ella Kinkaid, Lismahon Houdini, Lucy Savage, Maggie, Emily Stewart, Calyco Jack, Zara Burns, Flapjack Flyer); 3. Saintfield High School (Baillie Dunn, Boo, Sam Pour, Dunadeal, Chloe Gill, Candy, Baillie Dunn, Chico); 4. Ballymena Academy Navy (William Hamilton, Jonty, Ellen Harkness, Galloon Keano, Jamie Lee Mark, April Shadow, William Hamilton, Connie); 5. Hunter house Red (Ella Heron, The Prancing Queen, Lucy Toombs, Kasino, Carly Hamilton, Lulu); 6. Dromore High School (Ryan Boville, Bailey, Sarah Topley, Jen, Zoe Gilliland, Harry, Victoria Boville, Bobby).
1. Charley Hanna, Hazy, Kilkeel High School; 2. Megan Nelson, Flash, Ballynahinch High School; 3. Hannah Agnew, Ringfort Butterfly, Dromore High School; 4. Lucy Savage, Maggie, Assumption Grammar; 5. Ryan Boville, Bailey, Dromore High School; 6. Ella Kinkaid, Lismahon Houdini, Assumption Grammar
Novice Tack and Turn Out Winners
Ballyclare High School (Katie McKay, Legend, Anya Skillen, Abby, Laura McKay, Spartacus Boy, Rachel Black, Leisha)
1. Ballymena Academy (Tori Surgenor, Lenamore Tasmanian Taz, Rachel Fullerton, Ballymoat Magic, Courtney Hamilton, Billy Beauty, Tori Surgenor, Rocket Lady); 2. BRA (Ana Desmond, Roller, Mimi Joffroy, Robin, Justine Harding, Charisma, Ana Desmond, Lizzie); 3. Newbridge Integrated ( Mya McDowell, Imps Girl, Hannah Chambers, Lisnavarragh Lu Lu, Eva Kerton, Colour Confusion, Hollie Smith, Gucci 111); 4. Down High Flyers (Jessica Nelson, Duke, Rachel Kerr, Hughie, Alex Cleland, Whisper Grey Dove, Charis Vinaccia, Derry Mac); 5. Ballyclare Secondary (Jessica McConnell, Finding Nemo, Robyn McConnell, Snip, Alexandra McConnell, Levi, Samantha Billings, Belle); 6. Hunter house (Chloe Lister Tinsley, Rocky, Beh Taylor, Lockstown Luvli, Carly Hamilton, Lulu, William Girvan, Milo).
Open Tack and Turn Out Winners
Ballyclare Secondary (Jessica McConnell, Finding Nemo, Robyn McConnell, Snip, Alexandra McConnell, Levi, Samantha Billings, Belle)
1. Annie Courtney- Caddam, LCC Clover Lily, Forthill College; 2. Carinnne Fullerton, Lexi, St Mary’s Grammar School; 3. Annie Courtney- Caddam, LCC Some Man For One Man, Forthill College; 4. Hannah Agnew, Acorns Bobby, Dromore High School; 5. Hannah Thompson, Sophie, Cullybackey College; 6. Rachel McKee, Buster, Kilkeel High School.
1. Trudie McCoosh, Shadow Light, Victoria College; 2. Lucy Courtney Caddam, LCC Some Man For One Man; 3. Carinnne Fullerton, Lexi, St Mary’s Grammar School; 4. Justine Harding, Charisma, BRA; 5. Anna Lyons, Rafa, Methodist College; 6. Kathryn Morton, Tynan Dominic Blue, Royal School Armagh.
Primary Individual 50cms
1. Catherine McClelland, Taz, Fairhill Primary; 2. Kristie Wilson, Harry, Linn PS; 3. Katelyn Irvine, Bellewstown Pedro, Oakfield Primary; 4. Rosie Heron, Taz, Drumadonnell PS; 5. Sam Jackson, Jack, Ballyclare PS; 6. Katie Bamford, Diamonds In The Sky, Tildarg PS
Primary Individual 70cms
1. Katie McCombe, Bambi, Tandragee Primary; 2. Simone Leathem, Willow, Rowandale PS; 3. Tyler Houston, Percy, Larne & Inver PS; 4. Katie Haire, Thunder Ba Ba, Royal School, Armagh; 5. Bradie Hogg, Sam, Toreagh PS; 6. Rory Osbourne, Socky, St Joseph’s & St James Poyntzpass
1. Moira Mavericks (Daniel Moore, Chester, Benjamin Moore, Glasson Royal Gold, Daniel Moore, Harvey, Benjamin Moore, Chester); 2. The Mighty Midgets (Zara Sharvin, Woodvale Classic Lady, Simone Leathem, Willow, Shannon Boville, Toffee, Simone Leathem, Archill Lass); 3. The Fab 4 (Victoria Lee, Breeze, Daisy Gillespie, Basil, Katie Haire, Thunder Ba Ba, Rory Osbourne, Socky); 4. Down Hawks (Caoimbe Crozier, Catch Me If You Can, Julia Heron, Apple Jack Buttercrunch, Tom Rowlatt McCormick, Cashalbay Native, Tom Rowlatt McCormick, Catch Me If You Can); 5. Little Mix Up (Katelyn Irvine, Bellewstown Pedro, Emma Bamford, Tamara, Kirstie Wilson, Harry, Katie Bamford, Southern Angel); 6. The Rascals (Katie McCombe, Bambi, Kucy Morton, Princess, Katie McCombe, White Ribbon, Peter Morton, AJ).
Primary Tack and Turn Out Winner
Knockagh Flyers (Anna Jackson, Cornetto, Toby Davidson, Jake, Bradie Hogg, Sam’s Secret, Tyler Houston, Percy).