Horse Week: Annual May Day Show at Lusk Equestrian

FOR at least 10 years, Lusk Equestrian have secured the date of May Day Monday for their annual pre-Balmoral working hunter and showing show.

The showing is normally held on grass, but owing to the wet winter and spring, Lusk took the decision to host everything on the all weather sand arenas. Thankfully the weather was kind all day.

Working hunter riders warmed up in Anne’s Arena and competed in the sand arena with the newly installed bank, with their conformation and ridden phase taking place beside it.

The ground was first class, and course looked in prime condition following the magic touch of David McClurg and Dr Karen King – who spent several hours prior to the show dressing the fences with beautiful greenery.

The working hunter started sharply at 9.30am, and classes ran to time throughout the day. Showing started at 10am and, like the working hunter, ran on time, with only a few minor interruptions for riders who were competing in both arenas.

This was due to the meticulous planning of show director Sarah Whiteside, who manned the secretaries and scoring offices throughout the day. Many owners and riders were grateful for the show organisation. This all happened while Sarah awaits her first child in just over two weeks – everyone wishes her well for the big day, and a speedy return to organise the 2 phase in June!

The working hunter judges for the day were Sandra Hamilton (in the jumping phase), Phillippa Auret (proprietor of Lessans Riding Stables) judged the ridden section of the 60cm and 70cm classes.

Northern Irish top cob and show hunter producer, Reid Finlay, took over as the conformation and ridden judge for the working hunter for the remainder of the day.

Brian Lusk kindly took over both phases to allow judges to have regular comfort breaks.

In the showing arena, Fran Warden made sure everyone was in the arena on time for steward, Paul Horner, to have riders presented for judges George Chapman (Co. Wexford) and Jessica O’Brien (Dublin).

The owners of the show horses were delighted to have such a high calibre of judge in George Chapman, and they all complimented the ride judge who rode with sensitivity and tact. Organisers also must thank a super band of Lusk Livery helpers who worked tirelessly all day!

The jumps were up to height and demanding over all courses, giving great preparation for Balmoral.

William Steele and Farrah Davidson had been gaining experience from the previous three-week showjumping series but it was CJ O’Brien with Coolgarrane Candypops who took the win in the 60cm on the day.

In the 70cm class, the biggest class of the day, local girl Molly Reid and Little Me were clear winners, ahead of Lorna Hamilton and Glenwood Oak (who were also placed in the 60cm class).

Class 3 was for four and five-year-old horses, and it was Victoria Teuton, riding her smart horse (Shannaghmore Inferno) who took the win. Judge Reid Finlay commented on Shannaghmore Inferno’s quality and predicted a bright future for this chestnut gelding.

Lesley Coey, from Moira, claimed the top spot in the 80cm horse class on Tullaher Milo, while Chloe Rooney on Mandy Boyle’s Markey won the 143cm 80cm pony class.

Chloe Rooney was demoted to second place in class 7 (the 90cm smalls) by Lisa Dundee on KSH Cardento.

In the 90cm horse class, Sammy Weston, a regular supporter at Lusk Equestrian, piloted the stunning grey mare Stella to victory. Lesley Jones, busy throughout the day, won the 153cm 90cm pony class aboard Paddy McGowan’s Derrylackey Playboy, and only 0.5 points behind Lesley was Max McDonnell on his faithful Knocklucas Chloe. Victoria Mullen, who was rarely on her feet during the day, won the hotly contested 1m class on George, and also placed 4th and 5th.

Lesley Jones was back to claim the top 2 spots in the 1m10 with Quality Choice taking the win, with the top score of the day, 97 out of a possible 100.

The three showing championships were kindly sponsored by Brian and Jane McConnell, and it was lovely to welcome them to Lusk Equestrian for the day.

The day started off with the four-year-old show hunter class, with Eva Lowry and her smart young horse, Glenveagh Viewpoint, taking the win. In the five-year-old and over lightweight show hunter class, Victoria Mullen secured top spot on the smart gelding, George, while it was Chloe Thompson on Alistair McDonald’s Battle’s Gent who took the win in the five-year-old and over middle/heavyweight class.

It was Chloe and Battle’s Gent who went on to take the overall hunter championship, with the small hunter winner (Darrowby Cougar, ridden by Katie Crozier, recently purchased from working judge Reid Finlay) claiming the title of reserve hunter champion.

The ladies hunter class had good entries, with three riders opting to ride side saddle – it was wonderful to see these riders turned out to perfection.

The cob classes were overall, poorly supported, however Rachel Moore and Gwen Scott won the mixed weight cob class and the maxi cob class respectively.

There was great quality in the Irish Draught Ridden class, with Victoria Teuton having another win on Shannaghmore Inferno. The final class eligible for the Irish Horse Championship were the Ridden Connemaras, which was won by Patricia Martin on the lovely dun pony, Hazelwood Prince. Victoria took Irish Horse Champion ahead of Rachel Moore in reserve spot.

The last four classes were all eligible for the Riding Horse Championship (which included the coloured horses, riding horses, racehorse to riding horses and veteran horses).

The championship went to Brooke Ronan and the smartly turned out Highthyme Spymaster, ahead of reserve, Sarah McCartney on the stunning coloured horse Inishargy Illusion.

Photographs of riders can be so memorable, please look at Martin O’Neill’s Facebook to view your photos of the day.

Due to ongoing wet weather, unfortunately Lusk Equestrian have had to reschedule their 2 phase to Saturday 8 June, with a go as you please over the course on Sunday 9 June. Details of this will be advertised closer to the time, but entries will be with Sarah Whiteside as usual.’


Class 1 – 60cm:

1st CJ O’Brien, Coolgarrane Candypops;

2nd Farrah Davidson, Rummy;

3rd William Steele, Tootsie;

4th Ciara Flavin, Hisley Prince Harry;

5th Amira Greeves, Sadie;

6th Loran Hamilton, Glenwood Oak.

Class 2 – 70cm:

1st Molly Reid, Little Me;

2nd Lorna Hamilton, Glenwood Oak;

3rd Ciara Flavin, Burtonport Dazzle;

4th Ben Cousins, Highthyme Spymaster;

=5th Kate Green, Applejack;

=5th Emily Flavin, Newoak Cha Cha.

Class 3 – 4 and 5 year old horses (80cm):

1st Victoria Teuton, Shannaghmore Inferno;

2nd Eva Lowry, Braidview Crawford;

3rd Clare Steele, Tim;

4th Lis Dundee, Most Dignified.

Class 4 – TIH (80cm):

1st Emma Jackson, Ardnacashel Monarch;

2nd Catherine Patterson, Castleview Corran;

3rd Victoria Teuton, Shannaghmore Inferno.

Class 5 – 80cm Horses:

1st Lesley Coey, Tullaher Milo;

2nd Debbie McNeill, KSH Cardento;

3rd Kerry Parkhill, Lola;

4th Elizabeth Cherry, Why Larry;

5th Ruth English, Henry;

6th Ellen English, Eagle.

Class 6 – 143cm Ponies (80cm):

1st Chloe Rooney, Markey;

2nd Lesley Jones, Derrylackey Playboy;

3rd Sienna Savage, Follis Princess;

4th Asya Dixon, Donnaghmore Melody Song;

5th Georgia Shannon, Daisy;

6th Lexi Wallace, Bit of a Pickle.

Class 7 – Smalls/Cobs (90cm):

1st Debbie McNeill, KSH Cardento;

2nd Chloe Rooney, Monkey;

3rd Gail McIlwaine, Miss Ballyrolly;

4th Kirsty Clingan, Simba.

Class 8 – 90cm Horses:

1st Sammy Weston, Stella;

2nd Jayne Moore, CSF Tia;

3rd Tracey Manson, Gortfree Merry;

4th Emma Jackson, Ardnacashel Marco Polo;

5th Helen Forgrave, Sun Rich Belle;

6th Rory Lavery, Ardnabannon.

Class 9 – 153cm Ponies (90cm):

1st Lesley Jones, Derrylackey Playboy;

2nd Max McDonnell, Knocklucas Chloe;

3rd Faith Adair, The Postmistress;

4th Ellie-Rose Dixon, Sliabh Ban Rosie.

Class 10 – 1m Horses:

1st Victoria Mullen, George;

2nd Jayne Moore, CSF Tia;

3rd Emma Jackson, Ardnacashel Marco Polo;

4th Victoria Mullen, Diamond Yeats;

=5th Victoria Mullen, Taptoo;

=5th Rory Lavery, Eddie.

Class 11 – 1.10m:

1st Lesley Jones, Quality Choice;

2nd Lesley Jones, Cairnview Redwood Guy;

3rd Sammy Weston, Harry;

4th Jonny Mulligan, Diamond Queen.

Class 12 – 4 year old show hunter (mixed weights):

1st Eva Lowry, Glenveagh Viewpoint;

2nd Ava Stubbs, Limited Edition;

3rd Hannah Whittle, Hi Here’s Henry;

4th Sarah Brittain, Timpany Top Secret;

5th Gwen Scott, Mimi;

6th Gareth Clingan, Crunchie.

Class 13 – 5 year old and over lightweight hunter:

1st Victoria Mullen, George;

2nd Rebecca Gill, Brymar Universal Time;

3rd Lisa Dundee, Dunkeeran;

4th Shirley Anderson, Diago.

Class 14 – 5 year old and over middle and heavyweight hunter:

1st Chloe Thompson, Battle’s Gent;

2nd Cheryl Whitley, Moylough Falcon;

3rd David Wightman, Ardnacashel Monarch;

4th Rebecca Millar, Ballygowan’s Reddy Teddy.

Class 15 – Small Hunters:

1st Katie Crozier, Darrowby Cougar;

2nd Ben Cousins, Duke;

3rd Corienne Robb, Braeview Master’s Court;

4th Janice Reddy, Ardnacashel Another Bounce;

5th Victoria Ormedilla, Pico;

6th Rebekah Blakely, Ballygrange Classic;

Class 16 – Ladies Hunter:

1st Lesley Jones, Cairnview Redwood Guy;

2nd Chloe Thompson, Battle’s Gent;

3rd Shirley Anderson, Diago;

4th Elizabeth Cherry, Why Larry;

5th Julie Donaghy Simpson, Ruby;

6th Billie Wilson, Brisogue Second Chance.

Hunter Champion:

Chloe Thompson, Battle’s Gent.

Reserve Hunter Champion:

Katie Crozier, Darrowby Cougar.

Class 17 and 18 – Combined cobs:

1st Rachel Moore, Morrow’s Dun Deal;

2nd Julie Donaghy Simpson, Hobnob;

3rd Dawn Hanna Kerr, Monmore Brownie;

4th Wayne Hamilton, Ace of Clubs.

Class 19 – Maxi Cobs:

1st Gwen Scott, Darrowby Bacchus;

2nd Ava Stubbs, Draughton’s Wildcard;

3rd Michale McGaffin, Willow.

Class 20 – Ridden Irish Draughts:

1st Victoria Teuton, Shannaghmore Inferno;

2nd Judith Jackson, Barbara;

3rd Janice Reddy, Ardnacashel Another Bounce;

4th Tracey Manson, Gortfree Merry;

5th Rebecca Millar, Ballygowan’s Reddy Teddy;

6th Rebekah Blakely, Balllygrange Classic.

Class 21 – Ridden Connemaras:

1st Patricia Martin, Hazelwood Prince;

2nd Asya Dixon, Donnaghmore Melody Song;

3rd Lily Beatty, Newtown Melody;

4th Yvie Lewis, Dougal;

5th Ellie Campbell, Killaspic Arya.

Irish Horse Champion:

Victoria Teuton, Shannaghmore Inferno.

Reserve Irish Horse Champion:

Rachel Moore, Morrow’s Dun Deal.

Class 22 – Coloured Horses:

1st Sarah McCartney, Inishargy Illusion;

2nd Sandra Morton, Mountview Misty Morning;

3rd Rebecca Belshaw, Hector;

4th Ula McCaffery, Echo.

Class 23 – Riding Horses:

1st Brooke Ronan, Highthyme Spymaster;

2nd Pippa Robinson, Arturo;

3rd Malachy Casement, Sweet Disposition.

Class 24 – Racehorse to Riding Horse:

1st Gala Rowe-Setz, Pat Costello.

Class 25 – Veteran Horses:

1st Billie Wilson, Brisogue Second Chance;

2nd Rebekah Blakely, Ballygrange Classis.

Riding Horse Champion:

Brooke Ronan, Highthyme Spymaster

Reserve Riding Horse Champion:

Sarah McCartney, Inishargy Illusion