Dressage Challenge kicks off in style

The first leg of Causeway Coast Arena’s “Dressage Challenge” started on Sunday, 16th January.

Judge Coreen Abernethy with rider Elizabeth Moreland and her horse Shilo.
Judge Coreen Abernethy with rider Elizabeth Moreland and her horse Shilo.

This is a five week unaffiliated dressage league with points prizes awarded in each class, with both an over 16 and under 16 category in classes one (Intro) and two (Prelim).

An overall “Dressage Challenge” trophy, sash and rosette will be awarded to the rider/horse combination who have accumulated the most points over the course of the league. The “Dressage Challenge” award has been very kindly sponsored by Louise and Gwen Greer who are passionate supporters of the Riding for the Disabled Association and in particular, their home base RDA Causeway Coast & Glens.

Coreen Abernethy, a Dressage Ireland listed judge, was in the judge’s seat for this, the first leg of the league. Coreen commented on the well-prepared arena surface and the well ridden tests from all combinations who trotted down the centre line. It was local rider Amanda Laughlin with Atlantic Lenny who took 1st place in the over 16 category in class one, riding BD Intro A and Elizabeth Moreland with Shilo, very close behind in 2nd place. North Derry Pony Club riders and their beautiful Connemara ponies “stole the show” in the under 16 category, with Charlotte Killen on Ted just taking the lead and Chloe Beacham into 2nd place with Crème Brulee. It was a worthwhile drive from Carndonagh, Co. Donegal for Charlene Doherty as she took a well-deserved 3rd place with Irish Kali. Everyone at RDA Causeway Coast & Glens was delighted to see local Paralympian and sponsor of the league, Louise Greer, back on home turf competing in class one with Jumpingdale Cody.

Karen Auld pleased with her placing on Snabo Boy in class 1.

Chloe went on to win the U16 section in class 2 riding BD Prelim 1 with the lovely Crème Brulee. It was Kirsten Thom who won the O16 section, taking quite a lead with her horse Gemima and Abbie Wylie with Queenie Van Dersloot into 2nd place, only a fraction ahead of local rider Debbie Allen and her horse, Rose of Gethsemane. Ciara McLaughlin with Clonakilty Diamond Hero rode a beautiful test in class 3 (BD Novice 24) and took home a well-deserved red rosette and Lynne Thompson, with Blackstown Masterclass took 2nd place. Jill Hobson, with the stunning Hanne rode beautifully to take the win in both class 4 (BD Elem 42) and class 5 (BD Med 63), with Julie Dauncey into 2nd place with her fabulous cob, Molly.

All proceeds from the show go to the very worthwhile Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Causeway Coast & Glens charity. The organisers would like to thank everyone who supported this, the first of the five week “Dressage Challenge”. They would like to extend their gratitude to all who help prior to and on the day of the show. The next show at the Causeway Coast Arena will be the first leg of the Working Hunter league on 23rd January 2022, followed by the second leg of the Dressage Challenge on 30th January. Schedules can be found on the website and entries to be made online at www.causewaycoastarena.co.uk.

RDA Causeway Coast & Glens are also looking for volunteers, in particular for their mid-week RDA rides. If anyone would be able to help, please contact the RDA Causeway Coast & Glens facebook page.


Jill Hobson and Hanne, winner of classes 5 and 6.

Class 1 (BD Intro A) Over 16 Section: 1st Amanda Laughlin, Atlantic Lenny (71.73%); 2nd Elizabeth Moreland, Shilo (69.78%); 3rd Una Kearney, Tessa (68.26%); 4th Susan Stokesberry, Amiro Dawn (67.7%); 5th Caroline Harris, Holly (66.96%); 6th Karen Auld, Snabo Boy(65.22%)

Under 16 Section: 1st Charlotte Killen, Ted; 2nd Chloe Beacham, Crème Brulee; 3rd Charlene Doherty, Irish Kali; 4th Niamh Devlin, Lady

Class 2 (BD Prelim 1) Over 16 Section: 1st Kirsten Thom, Gemima (76.08%); 2nd Abbie Wylie, Queenie Vandersloot (69.31%); 3rd Debbie Allen, Rose of Gethsemane (69.21%); 4th Lynne Thompson, Blackstown Masterclass (68.68%); 5th Jane Smith, Squirrel (68.15%); 6th Stephanie Murdock, Flynn (67.89%)

Under 16 Section: 1st Chloe Beacham, Crème Brulee

Jane Smith and Squirrel

Class 3 (BD Novice 24): 1st Ciara McLaughlin, Clonakilty Diamond Hero (68.91%); 2nd Lynne Thompson, Blackstown Masterclass (66.73%); 3rd Kirsten Thom, Biscuit (64.34%); 4th Debbie Allen, Rose of Gethsemane (61.52%)

Class 4 (BD Elem 42): 1st Jill Hobson, Hanne (69.21%)

Class 5 (BD Med 63): 1st Jill Hobson, Hanne (68.97%); 2nd Julie Dauncey, Molly (64.31%)

Elizabeth Moreland and Shilo 2nd in class 1
North Derry Pony Club riders Charlotte Killen and Chloe Beacham
Chloe Beacham and Creme Brulee