Christmas dressage league underway

Saturday 20th November saw dressage competitors descend onto Hagans Croft Equestrian, Ballynahinch, for the start of their five week Christmas dressage league.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 12:00 pm
Lindsey Kirk, Bits and Pieces
Lindsey Kirk, Bits and Pieces

This dressage league is very welcomed on the run up to Christmas and Saturday saw a day of firsts for many different reasons.

For some horses it was their first ever dressage competition, with a few 4 year old horses making an appearance, never seeing white boards before, notably taking it all in their stride.

Also for some competitors they had never tried dressage before, admitting they practiced their tests trotting and walking around the kitchen floors, this method certainly paid off as they left with ribbons and smiles on their faces ready to take on next weeks test once again.

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Delilah Dillon, Tara

Hagans Crofts organisers are delighted to be a part of everyone’s equestrian journey and that they can make everyone’s experience competing a pleasant one for those first timers or for the seasoned competitor.

The day began with a walk, trot test, with the top two competitors saluting to exactly the same score and collective mark it was down to the walk mark to try and separate them into first and second placings.

One point was enough to do it with Helen Murphy and ‘Belle’ coming home with the red ribbon.

This was the pairs first ever red ribbon and Hagans Croft was delighted to award the shell shocked, yet delighted pair for all their efforts. Even though it was second place for Martina King and her mare ‘Freya’ the pair were delighted as it was their first ever competition. We look forward to seeing what the rest of the league has in store for this super pair!

Helen Murphy, Belle

Onto the newcomers class where a prelim test was ridden. Delilah Dillon, one of the youngest competitors on the day certainly showed others how the pony club test was to be ridden as her and her mare ‘Tara’ finished on a score of 67.29% and took home the red ribbon. Lindsey Kirk smiled the whole way round her dressage test as she rode Karen Calderwood’s beautifully turned out coloured horse named ‘Bits and Pieces’. The pair certainly had a lot to smile about as they were awarded the blue ribbon for their score of 66.67%.

Class 3 saw a British eventing test being ridden, this wasn’t a problem for our first placed competitor Kaiti McCann and ‘Cookie’ who are fresh off the eventing field and in between the white boards. Halting and saluting to a score of 68.75% the pair took home the red ribbon. Susan Scott and her mare ‘Moher Made’ were not far behind, finishing on a score of 68.25% and second place. The blue ribbon certainly meant a great deal to the pair as some happy tears were shed for all their efforts.

It is always a pleasure to watch Rachel Freil and ‘Alghan Nipper’ ride their dressage tests and they certainly caught the eye of the judge within the Novice class.

Finishing on a score of 68.86% they took home the red ribbon. Hot on Rachel’s heels was Kathryn McCaughan and ‘Monsoon’, with only point 45% separating them Kathryn was sure to take second place.

Martina King, Freya

The day finished on a high as it was lovely to see a good up take on competitors take on the elementary class. A total of six competitors leg yielded their way across the arena and displayed some counter canter strides in front of judge Claire Sedgeman. Mandy Blakely and her mount ‘Clerkson’ had certainly been doing their homework as the pair achieved the highest score over the whole day, 70% to be exact, working trotting their way into first place. Second place went to a true favourite of Hagans Croft’s - ‘Paddington’ and his rider Chloe Rooney. Their pair finished on 66.75% and second place.

Hagans Croft would like to thank their judge on the day Claire Sedgeman and to scribes/stewards Lindsey and Harriett for making the event run so smoothly.

This event is pre-entry only with entries taken via Hagans Crofts website or you can download and enter through the Hagans Croft App.

Entries close each Thursday at 8pm prior to Saturday’s event and start times are posted online Thursday evenings.

Kaiti McCann, Cookie

The final of this dressage league is on Saturday 18th December which sees a special Christmas Finale. two extra classes will take place for one day only - Individual freestyle and Pairs freestyle, both of which are to Christmas Music.

To find out more about the league, please contact Gillian on 07849 106453 or go to the website:

Dressage Results Saturday 20th November 2021

Class 1: Intro: The Pony Club, Walk, Trot Dressage Test, 2013

1) Helen Murphy, Belle 67%; 2) Martina King, Freya 67%; 3) Ellen McKeown, Mo 66.67%; 4) Hannah Anderson, Jorange 66.67%; 5) Miriam Burney, Chelsea 66%; 6) Hannah Morrison, Orlando Sandstone 62.67%.

Class 2: Newcomers prelim: The Pony Club, Introductory Dressage Test, 2007

Susan Scott, Moher Made

1) Delilah Dillon, Tara 67.29%; 2) Lindsey Kirk, Bits and pieces 66.67%; 3) Louise Reid, Norris 65.83%; 4) Pat Lundy, Cal 64.58%; 5) Mary Booth, Franc 63.54%; 6) Kristen Kleinman, Darra 62.71%.

Class 3: Prelim: British Eventing BE90 Dressage Test 97 (2016)

1) Kaiti McCann, Cookie 6875%; 2) Susan Scott, Moher Made 68.25%; 3) Rachel Freil, Alghan Nipper 66.5%; 4) Aisleen Keenan, Uisce Beatha 66%; 5) Chloe Rooney, Archie 65.75%; 6) Cathy Cowan, Bridge of Stars 65.25%.

Class 4: Novice: The Pony Club, Novice Dressage Test 2019

1) Rachel Freil, Alghan Nipper 68.86%; 2) Kathryn McCaughan, Monsoon 68.41%; 3) Olivia Courtney, Moo 68.18%; 4) Craig Hills, High hopes Tuxita 66.36%; 5) Jessica House, Khalasar 66.13%; 6) Aisleen Keenan, Uisce Beatha 65.68%.

Class 5: Elementary: British Eventing Novice Dressage Test 130, 2016

1) Mandy Blakely, Clerkson 70%; 2) Chloe Rooney, Paddington 66.75%; 3) Laura Fekkes, Finn 65.25%; 4) Amy Harvey, Indian Robe 64.5%; 5) Victoria McCandless, Koolstyle 63.5%; 6) Laura Fekkes, Henry 62.5%.