Dazzling display at Northern Region awards ball

The Northern Region of Eventing Ireland held their annual awards ball at La Mon House Hotel and Country Club to promote the organisation’s many eventing achievements in 2022.

This was certainly the society event of the year with competitors, sponsors, supporters, owners, breeders and landowners coming together for an evening of celebration, compered by the amazing Raymond Bready. John Gibson of Sporting Images, provided beautiful personalised gift boxes containing wine for the gents, Prosecco for the ladies and sparkling fruit juice for the under-age winners. Northern region chair, Catherine Abbott, took to the stage to present the awards, a full list of which is detailed below. A very worthy winner of The Bright Outlook Memorial Trophy which Richard and Nicky Nesbitt award annually to the person whom they regard best embraces the Sportsman criteria and ethos was Philip Swann. Philip, who was caught totally off-guard with the award, competed in the EI 100 amateur class in the course of the year with Tignabruaich and his home bred Entwistle Foxtrot. The highlight of his year was a win at the Tullylish Derby. This year the prestigious Roy Pugh Memorial Award for the top groom was awarded to Abbie Connor who was nominated by both Dean and Amy Salmon and David and Elaine O’Connor. Abbie is well renowned for her dedication to her team and for the high quality of turnout of horses as well as ensuring that the riders are always in the right place at the right time for all three disciplines. Abbie was presented with a beautiful print, kindly donated, as always, by Ruth Eyre Pugh. This year the Northern Region was delighted that Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders awarded a bursary of £750 to the highest placed thoroughbred across all of the Eventing Ireland Northern Region events this season. The very popular winner was Nature’s Blossom, owned by Pauline Broome and ridden by Rachael Broome. This combination has enjoyed phenomenal success in a short period of time including winning the Hibernian Healthcare EI100J League and the Treo Eile Thoroughbred Eventing League. In recognition of the incredible efforts of Eventing Ireland’s underage teams at the European championships where there were team gold, silver and bronze medals, presentations were made to all these team members. There was a very successful auction, conducted by Raymond Bready as well as a ballot of many items. The Northern Region is deeply indebted to all those who provided auction and ballot items: Eventing Ireland, Michele International Salon, Jean Mitchell, LightsourceBP, La Mon House Hotel, Top Spec, Hai and Dry, Alfred and Vina Buller, Richard and Nicky Nesbitt, NAF, Mahons Hotel, Cathy Hamilton Hairdressing, Rowan Equestrian, Ardnacashel Equestrian, Karen Dixon, Smith Bros, Clare Abbott, Penny Sangster, Pizza Girl (Ballygowan) and Bartley Murphy. The Bizz, as always, provided excellent music with revellers taking to the dance floor as soon as the first note of music was sounded. Further refreshments were served at 1am. Photographs on the evening were taken by Sporting Images and can be viewed on their website www.sportingimagesni.com. Trophies awarded annually 2022 recipients Juniper Green and Kells Trophy Given to the society by Georgia Stubington as a tribute to her two great mares. Presented annually to the eventing mare gaining best placings at Northern Region events. Winner 2022 is nature’s blossom, owned by Pauline Broome and ridden by Rachael Broome Irwin Trophy Given to the society by the Coleraine Branch of Riding for the Disabled in memory of Mr and Mrs Irwin. Presented annually to the owner-bred horse gaining best placings at Northern Region events. Winner 2022 (for the fourth successive year) was Handsome Starr owned and bred by Virginia Maguire and ridden by Steven Smith rugs Presented to horses registered in the Northern Region with highest places at Northern region one-day events. EI 120 winner (also the Maddybenny Salver presented by White family) Master smart owned and ridden by Tara Dixon EI 115 winner (also the Glenhill Gold Trophy presented by Declan Cullen) Carsonstown Cruise, owned and ridden by Adam Haugh EI 110 winner also the Hodgkinson Silver Goblet MMF Churchill owned and ridden by Steven Smith EI 100 winner also the Hodgkinson Rose Bowl SIR barnabus owned by Helen Fletcher and ridden by Elaine O'Connor EI 90 winner also receiving the Tullymurry Perpetual Trophy presented in 2019 by Marian Turley and family Tullymurry Katie (bred by Marian Turley) owned and ridden by David O'Connor EI 110 J winner Kilcoltrim Dora owned by Lisa White and ridden by Anna White EI 100 J winner and the Patsy Boal Memorial Trophy presented by Darryl and Fiona Boal in 2018 Nature’s Blossom, owned by Pauline Broome and ridden by Rachael Broome NR amateurs’ trophies EI 110 amateur winner, Arodstown Aramis owned and ridden by Denis Currie EI 100 amateur winner, Ann’s Bob owned and ridden by Christina Turley EI 90 amateur winner Monlough Meteor owned and ridden by Suzanne Maguire Amateur trophy– The Bright Outlook Memorial Trophy- Presented by Richard and Nicky Nesbitt to the Eventing Ireland (NR) Sportsman of the Year, winner 2002, Philip Swann EI 110 P winner and the recipient of the Fair Lad salver very kindly presented by the Mckee Family, Longwood Dawn owned by Hilary Mathieson and ridden by Erin Mathieson EI 100 P winner (also the ‘Mission Accomplished’ trophy kindly donated in 2010 by Elizabeth McMillan), Greylands Diamond Girl owned by Donna O’Hare and ridden by Alex O’Hare EI 90 P winner, Hazeldene Mighty Max owned by Daniel Gilchrist and ridden by Sarah Gilchrist THE Silver Fox trophy- Pony of the year kindly donated in 2011 by the Brown family, presented to the NR registered pony who has achieved greatest results, Longwood Dawn owned by Hilary Mathieson and ridden by Erin Mathieson Pescetto Friendship trophy, given to the society by the friends of Sarah Pescetto and awarded annually to the most improved Junior rider as selected by the high performance manager, winner 2022: Tom Rowlatt-McCormick Hanna Trophy, presented to the Northern Region rider (over 18 years of age) who accumulates most points throughout the year at Northern region events on a single horse. Riders who have competed at two star level or higher in the current year are not eligible, winner 2022- Elaine O'Connor riding Sir Barnabus Leading rider trophy – the rider who accumulates most points with his/her horses at Northern Region Events (not including Internationals), winner 2022 – Steven Smith Belle Canna Trophy, Horse of the Year - presented to the NR horse gaining most points worldwide, Winner 2022 – DHI No Fear ridden by Clare Abbott Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders’ Bursary, this year NR are delighted that Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders has awarded a bursary of £750 to the highest placed thoroughbred across all of the Eventing Ireland Northern Region events this season. The winner was Nature’s Blossom, owned by Pauline Broome and ridden by Rachael Broome The Roy Pugh Memorial – A groom’s award, nominations for this award are submitted and winners chosen by Ruth Eyre-Pugh, winner for 2022 Abbie Connor Award for Pony Club member gaining highest placings - Winner was Abbie Cummiskey of the East Down branch. Representational honours: Pony European Championships at Strzegom, team of Ben Connors, Josh Williamson, Matthew Love and Clare O’Ryan. Who won team gold with Ben Connors going one step further by claiming individual silver. Junior European Championships at Hartpury Team Ireland finished in Silver medal position, represented by: Tom Rowlatt-McCormick, Julia Adams, Ted O’Leary and Godfrey Gibbons. Individually, Godfrey Gibbons was fourth, Tom Rowlatt-Mccormick sixth and Julia Adams eighth. Young Rider European Championships at Hartpury, team consisting of: Jennifer Kuehnle, Alannah Kelly, Heather O’Connor and Zara Nelson, took team bronze with Jennifer Kuehnle placing fourth individually. FEI Eventing World Championships in Praton, Susie Berry was a member of the Irish Eventing Team which secured Olympic qualification following their brilliant fifth place finish at the World Equestrian Games.

Abbie Connor with David and Elaine O’Connor
Elaine O’Connor
Steven Smith
Rachael Broome
Erin Mathieson
Philip Swann