Scarvagh House Estate looked picture postcard perfect for the grand finale of Northern Region Events for the current season which took place in glorious sunshine on a delightful day all round.
Vina Buller and Hylda Mills did a superb job on course design and together with Tony McManmon and the team at Scarvagh, consisting of Brian Johnston and Cliffy Gray produced courses at all levels that asked plenty of questions but left riders feeling exhilarated and well satisfied.
Tremendous credit must go to Jan Dewhurst and Joan Murtagh for their most professional and creative fence dressings which Badminton or Burleigh would have been very proud to be associated with. The artefacts at each fence drew gasps of admiration from the inflated numbers of course walkers who took advantage of the beautiful weather and the picturesque surroundings of the Co Armagh venue.
Local vet Robert Suffern notched up a victory in the top class of the day, O/CNC2*, on board his ten year old Perpendicular gelding, Rio, adding just four showjumping penalties to his first phase mark. Daniel Brown and the Cormac McKay bred gelding, Euro Jackpot took the runner up spot.
Jonathan Steele took top place in the CNC2* class with John Reid’s impressive looking seven year old stallion, Centrestage, having led the field of two from the outset.
Meanwhile, Steven Smith made up for his 2* double disappointment by claiming the top two spots in a very competitive CNC1* class. The early leader was Drumnaconnell Downton, a seven year old Cavalier Royale gelding owned by Lawrence Patterson, which was forced to drop a placing after lowering a coloured pole which paved the way for success for Dream Master who added nothing to his dressage score.
The CNCJ1* class provided a good advertisement for East Down Pony Club whose members claimed the top three placings. Chloe Rooney and Molly Mae had a runaway victory and claimed their third successive win ahead of fellow club members Toni Quail and Andrew Turley.
Maresa Ronan and My Rustic Clover were the only combination to finish on their first phase score in the Pony 2* class where cross country proved influential for two of the early leaders. The Pony European medal winning combination of Zara Nelson and Millridge Buachaill Bui, took second place.
Showjumping appeared to change the fortunes of many of the CNC1* Amateur members with the eventual winner, Florence Campbell and Anvil Diamond, delivering the only clear round of the class to claim the red rosette. Finishing just one point behind was Reese Hogg and Cyrano Hilltop who have made a very impressive introduction to this level of eventing.
Finn O’Sullivan of the Amateur class sponsor, Top Spec, was on hand to present the prizes to the first two classes.
Winner of the EI100 Amateur class was Lynne Ireland with her Huntingfield Rebel gelding, Blackwood Quantum Rebel, who added nothing to their flat work mark to finish two points clear of Caroline McQuillan and Foxtail Orchid, who have occupied the runner up spot for the last three events.
Large numbers in the EI100 class meant a sub division. The ‘A’ section was won by Beverley Caves and David Henderson’s Ultimate Jack, their third victory this season and finishing on their dressage score, a fraction ahead of Casey Webb and Currabawn French Touch.
The ‘B’ section went to Janie Cairns riding Jane Huey’s Tully’s Sasha who finished on their first phase endeavours just a whisker ahead of Beverley Caves and Appletees Ultimate Uno, winner of both Knockany and Maddybenny.
Junior rider Anna Kelly has certainly got something special with her new mount, named just that, as they claimed back to back wins and added nothing to their very impressive first phase Mark of 22.8. Ella Boyle also had a successful day taking the next two spots, second on Catriona and third on Candy 737.
Southern rider, Isabelle Comerford, made the journey worthwhile by winning the EI100P on Colour Me Fancy, having also claimed the red rosette at Kilmanahan last weekend. Laoise O’Farrell and Monlough Meteor added just a few cross country time penalties to their dressage score to finish in second place.
The award for the happiest competitor of the day went to Stephen Martin who was absolutely delighted with his victory in an extremely large EI90 Amateur class with his lovely palomino mare, Butterscotch Major, also winning on their last outing at Ballyvannon. This combination joined the Amateur ranks at the end of last year and have had a very successful season and together with Shane McKeever and a number of other riders from the Castle Leslie area, have shown true ‘Sportsman’ spirit throughout the year.
Emily Magowan took centre stage in the Lafarge Tarmac EI 90 competition with her Connemara bred gelding, Rathbane Legend, adding just a fraction of a penalty point to their first phase score to finish over five points clear of Leah Knight on Jenny Beggs’s Maggie Moo in a class of thirty three.
Last out across the country were the pony competitors in the EI90 class. The only combination to finish inside the time was thirteen year old Ellie Parkhill on Two Tone Toni, giving a repeat performance of last week at Knockany. Grace Kehoe from Newry, making her first appearance this season, gave a very impressive performance on Killeshin Terry to finish in second place, much to the delight of her father John.
The Northern Region is deeply indebted to the Buller family for opening the gates of their beautiful estate for the use. Thanks to Vina Buller, Hylda Mills, Tony McManmon, Brian Johnston and Cliffy Gray for all their hard work developing and building the superb courses and to Jan Dewhurst and Joan Murtagh for sharing their incredible skills with everyone.
Since this is the final event of the year, a huge thank you is extended to all volunteers throughout the year who have given selflessly week after week to ensure that the events run.
The Northern Region Awards Ball takes place at La Mon House on Saturday 21 November with dancing to The Bizz. Tickets are now on sale on the Eventing Ireland website or contact Dora on 07876758979 or firstname.lastname@example.org
O/CNC2*: 1. Robert Suffern, Rio; 2. Daniel Brown, Euro Jackpot
CNC2*: 1. Jonathan Steele, Centrestage
CNC1*: 1. Steven Smith, Dream Master; 2. Steven Smith, Drumnaconnell Downton; 3. Victoria Clarke, Sumas El Greco; 4. Jonathan Steele, Mon Ami Aime; 5. Stacey Watling, Magheradrummond Lad; 6. Daniel Brown, Tertre Rouge
CNCJ1*: 1.Chloe Rooney, Molly May; 2. Toni Quail, Ringfort Aruba; 3. Andrew Turley, The Devils Bit; 4. Abigail Carlisle. Suirvalley Little Monkey; 5. Holly Wray, Lily Mae; 6. Alex Power, Bolero De Ste Hermelle
C NCP2*: 1. Maresa Ronan, My Rustic Clover; 2. Zara Nelson, Millridge Buachaill Bui; 3. Zara Nelson, Knockborden Revelation; 4. Robyn McCluskey, Blackhill Border Fox; 5. Isabel Persse, Mr Blueskies
CNC1* Amateur: 1. Florence Campbell, Anvil Diamond; 2. Reese Hogg, Cyrano Hilltop; 3. Denis Currie, Bering Strait; 4. Florence Campbell, Imperial Master; 5. Joy Lindsay, Lassban Au Revoir; 6. Ann Bowe, Festy Breeze
EI100 Amateur: 1. Lynne Ireland, Blackwood Quantum Rebel; 2. Caroline McQuillan, Foxtail Orchid; 3. Camella McDowell, Touching Gold; 4. Jaemi Cochrane, Kilpatrick Honey; 5. Mimi Falb, Kilpipe Jewel; 6. Katie Wray, Beechburn Lass
EI 100 A: 1. Beverley Caves, Ultimate Jack; 2. Casey Webb, Currabawn French Touch; 3. Gemma Goodrich, Miss Clover Rock; 4. Suzanne Hagan, Banbridge Skylark; 5. Johnny Mulligan, An Cailin Ora; 6. Declan Crowley, Railway Bar
EI100 B: 1. Janie Cairns, Tullys Sasha; 2. Beverley Caves, Appletees Ultimate Uno; 3. Colin Halliday, How Bizaar; 4. Neil Morrison, Tipperary T; 5. Catherine Robinson, Carsonstown Porsch; 6. Emma Brown, Bonjour Dolly
EI100J: 1. Anna Kelly, Something Special V1; 2. Ella Boyle, Catriona; 3. Ella Boyle, Candy 737; 4. Chloe Rooney, Knights Cavalier; 5. Charlotte De Montmorency, Killagriff Diamond Lou; 6. Fionn Clarke, Glenpatrick Cool Guy
EI100P: 1. Isabelle Comerford, Colour Me Fancy; 2. Laoise O’Farrell, Monlough Meteor; 3. Hollie Smith, Gucci 111; 4. Caitie Slater, Colour Code Chinook; 5. Jessica McConnell, Finding Nemo; 6. Harry Swan, Derrygimla’s Easter Star
EI90 Amateur: 1. Stephen Martin, Butterscotch Major; 2. Amy Parsons, Mighty Max; 3. Ruth Logan, Home Alone City; 4. Victoria Mills, Acton Major; 5. Maedhbh Schaible, Mirah’s Skylark; 6. Ellen Graham, Lisfuncheon Chinook
EI 90: 1. Emily McGowan, Rathbane Legend; 2. Leah Knight, Maggie Moo; 3. Conor O’Hare, Lougherne Leo 11; 4. Stacey Watling, PRF Divo Mail; 5. Colin Halliday, Bellaney Arch; 6. Conor O’Hare, Lougherne Cash In Hand
EI90P: 1. Ellie Parkhill, Two Tone Toni; 2. Grace Kehoe, Killeshin Terry; 3. Katherine Shields, Melody Maker; 4. Katie McKee, Fair Lad; 5, Alex Power, Laurem Sparky; 6, Ruari Clarke, Black Velvet Band