A frosty start did nothing to dampen the competitive spirit at The Meadows Equestrian Centre recently.
The teams gathered as the first glimpses of day light were evident for the penultimate leg of the very popular TRI Equestrian Inter-Schools’ Show Jumping league.
The stamina of the riders, parents and chefs d’equipe is worthy of gold medals and, as always, action began even before the scheduled 9am start.
One couldn’t have overlooked the fact that Christmas was fast approaching as both arenas were bedecked with Xmas trees, starters were pixie-clad and arena stewards were sporting very classy snowmen onesies.
This was certainly an extremely busy day as it also marked the official opening on the premises of the new TRI Equestrian Superstore which was conducted by Craigavon Borough Council’s Mayor, Alderman Colin McCusker in the presence of TRI Directors, Philip and Masterson as well as the Store’s Manager, Gareth McCombe.
The Mayor took time out of his busy schedule to present some of the prizes as did the TRI Directors.
The Novice Team competition had its usual high number of starters and, thanks to the valiant efforts of the starter, Cathy Young, the class completed ahead of schedule.
There were seven teams on a zero score with Ballymena Academy, who have been fielding strong teams this season, claiming victory with their Navy team by finishing marginally ahead of The Moira Mavericks. The very smart looking team from Newbridge College caught the eye of Mrs Roz Murphy and were awarded top marks for turn out.
Action was very fast and very furious in the Individual class where the red rosette eventually went to Cullybackey College student, Hannah Thompson and Sophie, who zoomed around Aaron McCusker’s testing track almost two seconds faster than second placed Victoria Boville and the very reliable Pippa.
The afternoon saw the start of the Open Team competition where the aptly named Lighening team from Lurgan College zoomed to victory over one second faster than second placed St Catherine’s College and third placed BRA who had their lucky mascot, Ms Murphy, daughter of the chef d’equipe, Stuart waving them on.
Individual honours went to Down High with Charis Vinaccia winning the class in great style on board Derry Mac and Kiera Malcolmson picking up the blue rosette for Dromore High School with Tyrone Molly.
Tack and Turn Out winners were a very dapper team from Regent House.
The very popular Premier Individual competition never fails to impress and this month was no exception. Tilly Horder and Duke set a blistering pace and held the lead for some time before the final competitor, Shannon Robinson snatched victory in unmistakeable fashion on Auburn Luna.
Arena 2 began, as always, with the Primary Schools section where the Moira team were in winning form in a very closely contested competition. Last month’s winners, The Rascals, had to settle for second place although they still occupy the top position on the leader board at this stage.
Royal School Armagh Prep pupil, Ally Haire, had plenty to smile about as he ‘thundered’ to victory in the Individual class by a margin of two hundredths of a second over second placed Mark McPhillips and Scarlett’s Fireball. Simone Leathem continued her good fortune by taking 3rd place ahead of Emma Jane Orr and Badburry Blackthorn.
Organisers offer their sincere thanks to all the judges, Roz Murphy as tack inspector, starters, course designer and arena parties as well as all the competitors and their supporters whose enthusiasm and infectious enjoyment of this League make it worthwhile. Thanks also goes to sponsors, TRI Equestrian, Craigavon Borough Council and Judy Maxwell of Bailey’s Horse Feeds for their generosity and support.
The final leg takes place on Saturday 13 January.
The entire Team at The Meadows Equestrian Centre wishes all competitors and their supporters a very Merry Xmas and a successful 2015.
1. Ballymena Academy Navy (Jamie Lee Mark, April Shadow, Sarah McNabney, Ballygannon Colour Flight, Courtney Hamilton, Buddy, Rachel Fullerton, Zeffy)
2. Moira Mavericks (Sarah Moore, Makers, Connie Crothers, Albus Dumbledore, Sarah Moore, Buddy, Connie Crothers, Buddy)
3. Wallace High School (Joanna Eames, Harvest Mouse, Kerry Magill, Lisnahall Miss Toffee, Anna Brown, Jimmy, Kerry Magill, Flapjack Flyer)
4. Ballymena Academy Red (Courtney Hamilton, Buddy, William Hamilton, Jonty, Ellen Harkness, Keno, Alice Agnew, Tanner)
5. Newbridge College (Mya McDowell, Imps Girl, Gemma Chambers, Lisnavarragh Lady, Hannah Chambers, Lisnavarragh Lou Lou, Mya McDowell, Simply Black)
6. Holy Cross College A (Shonagh Tinney, Spot the Dot, Ashleigh McCrossan, Benny Boy, Jane Early, Ginger Snap, Dervla Devine, Bahrain Busker)
1. Hannah Thompson, Sophie, Cullybackey College
2. Victoria Boville, Pippa, Dromore High School
3. Tabytha Bonar, Bella Bambino, Banbridge Academy
4. Kerry Magill, Flapjack Flyer, Wallace High School
5. Jade Herron, Buckaroo,
6. Katie Lee Houston, Minto, Larne GS
Tack & Turn Out
Newbridge College (Mya McDowell, Imps Girl, Gemma Chambers, Lisnavarragh Lady, Hannah Chambers, Lisnavarragh Lou Lou, Mya McDowell, Simply Black)
1. Lurgan College (Katie Good, Keltroy, Jasmine Crothers, Max, Beth Cunningham, Dreamer)
2. St Catherine’s College, Armagh (Aimee McKenna, Sportsman, Nadine McKenna, Tynan Earl Grey, Aimee McKenna, Tynan Earl Grey, Nadine McKenna, Sportsman)
3. BRA (Mimi Joffrey, Sofie Robin, Ana Desmond, Lizzie, Justine Harding, Justine Harding)
4. Cambridge House (Charlotte Harding, Crossmaglen Bandit, Nikki McNeice, Oscar, Nikki McNeice, Cara, Charlotte Harding, Newcastle Goblin Girl)
5. Drumreagh Integrated (Kyra Gilmour, Windsor, Patrick McEvoy, Paddy, Scott McIvor, Drumreagh Actress, Kyra Gilmour, Warren Bank)
6. Down High Eagles (Ellie Parkhill, Toni, Alex Cleland, Whisper Grey Dove, Charis Vinaccia, Derry Mac, Charlotte Leslie, Divinchey)
1. Charis Vinaccia, Derry Mac, Down High
2. Kiera Malcolmson, Tyrone Molly, Dromore High School
3. Beth Taylor, Lackstown Lovely
4. Mya McDowell, Imps Girl, Newbridge College
5. Mimi Joffrey, Sophie Robin, BRA
6. Keavy Molloy, Misty, Cullybackey College
Tack & Turn Out Winners
Regent House (William Girvan, Milo, Anna Brown, Breeze, Alix Robinson, Hill Rose, Alix Robinson, Tia Maria).
Bailey’s Horse Feed Winners
Our Lady’s Grammar ( Hannah Rafferty, Cor Rambler, Grace Kehoe, Park Crystal, Laoise O’Farrell, Monlough Meteor, Ashleigh Woolsley, Conduct)
1. Shannon Robinson, Auburn Luna, Larne GS
2. Tilly Horder, Duke, Down High
3. Kerry Taylor, Cora, Ballyclare Secondary
4. Rachel Chapman, Duffy, RSA
5. Rachel Chapman, Pippa, RSA
6. Gareth McCracken, Fidoon Rustic Diamond, Carrickfergus Grammar School
1. Moira Mavericks ( Sarah Moore, Chester, Connie Crothers, Buddy, Benjamin Moore, Flash, Daniel Moore, Chester)
2. The Rascals ( Katie McCombe, White Ribbon, Lucy Morton, Prince, Ally Haire, Thunder, Katie McCombe, Bambi)
3. The Mighty Midgets( Gillian Grogan, Heaven Sent, Simone Leathem, Willow, Shannon Boville, Toffee, Megan Nelson, Flash)
4. Jolly Jumpers ( Lara Kelly, Rex, Zara Burns, The Silver Bandit, Zara Sharvin, Cassie, Thomas Murphy, Locarno)
5. Mixed Up ( Emma Jane Orr, Dot Com, Mark McPhillips, Scarlett Fireball, Aoibha Treanor, Little Idea, Emma Jane Orr, Bradbury Blackthorn)
6. Iveagh Penguins ( Annarose Tennyson, Beautiful Bonnie, Poppy Moore, One More, Charlotte Patterson, Ladybug, David Kehoe, Pixie)
1. Ally Haire, Thunder, RSA. Prep
2. Mark McPhillips, Scarlett’s Fireball, UrbleshannyNS
3. Simone Leathem, Willow, Meadowbridge
4. Emma Jane Orr, Bradbury Blackthorn, Howard PS
5. Rory Osbourne, Socky, St Josephs & St James Poyntzpass
6. Tyler Houston, Smokey, Larne & Inver PS
Primary Tack & Turn Out winners - The Rascals (Katie McCombe, White Ribbon, Lucy Morton, Prince, Ally Haire, Thunder, Katie McCombe, Bambi).