Northern Region eventing gets underway in style at Tyrella
Tyrella 2 will long be remembered as the day that brought the smile back on the faces of so many eventers after a six month hiatus.
The cancellation of the previous week only served to double the joy of the 150 competitors who descended on the popular Co Down venue where the bright sunshine and the spectacular backdrop of the Mourne Mountains made it even more memorable.
Unfortunately, Covid constraints meant that only those athletes who fulfilled the strict “Elite’ classification were able to compete. However, in true eventing form, many of those excluded turned their skills into volunteering duties which resulted in the Event Organiser, Dora Beacom, being overwhelmed with helpers.
The continued threat of Covid-19 was very much in evidence as the Committee implemented many changes to meet the demands of the sport’s protocols. All attendees had to complete an online Contact Tracing Form which issued them with a QR code. This was scanned at the entrance, temperatures taken and wrist bands issued before they were permitted access to the parking area. There was an abundance of sanitizing stations and evidence of regular toilet cleansing.
Northern Region’s resident Course Designer, Adam Stevenson, pulled out all stops to provide four beautifully presented courses which each raised a number of issues along the way. Ground conditions were perfect and the dressage and showjumping arenas looked fabulous.
Co Kildare Olympian, Camilla Speirs made her mark in the well subscribed EI 115 Open class by taking the win on Lukas, a ten year old Lux Z gelding owned and bred by Louise Parkhill. They moved up three places from dressage after an unfortunate cross country stop by the first phase leader, Adam Haugh and Van Thee Man.
Joseph Murphy and the ten year old Hanoverian bred gelding, Choclat took the runner up spot, just fractionally behind, gaining their highest placing to date.
Steven Smith and Fredie Fox took the honours in the EI 115 class finishing on their dressage score of 28.2. The combination finished last season on a win at Knockany and replicated that at their debut 2021 event.
This eight year old gelding by Cruising Harry is owned by Terry Johnston, well known as an Auctioneer at Enniskillen Livestock Market and also a dedicated Society Steward for the Northern Region. Camilla Speirs took her second placing of the day as runner up in this class on board BT Angelo, an eight year old Indoctro gelding jointly owned by Bridget Speirs and Orla O’Neill.
Ballynahinch rider, Molly Evans, was justifiably delighted with her win in the EI 110 Open class with Wellan Graffiti where she led from the outset in the Vanda Stewart judged class, having been awarded a first phase score of 20.5. No one could begrudge Molly this victory as she was returning from a two year interlude after breaking her pelvis on two occasions.
Suzanne Hagan slotted into second place with Mandy Boyle’s thirteen year old mare, Candy 737 who kept a clean slate over both jumping phases. Suzanne has recently taken over the ride of Candy while Ella Boyle recuperates following her recent accident.
Claire Abbott claimed victory in the EI 110 class with Arthalent, her mother’s six year old Valent gelding out of Timpany Night.
David O’Connor came in just 1.2 points behind on Tullymurry Hope, his lovely six year old brown mare by Lougherne Cappuchino who finished on their flatwork mark.
Because of the age restrictions, in addition to the ‘elite’ criteria, the EI 110 J class had just two entrants. Best of those was Lucy McIlroy riding her mother’s eight year old black mare, Imperial Black Pearl followed by Darragh Hanlon and Marco, a nine year old gelding owned by Elizabeth McMillan.
A large EI 100 entry required a class division.
Topping the ‘A’ section was Adam Haugh on Amanda Boyle’s eight year old Dubarry mare, Denali who led from the outset. They were followed 2.7 points later by Bethany Burton riding Cooley Farm’s six year old mare, Countess Cooley. The ‘B’ section saw Johnny Mulligan rise to the fore and finish on his dressage score with Graham Duncan’s Lancelot gelding, Western Johnny. This gelding has been in the top six on each of its last six outings. A new partnership of Lucca Stubington and Kiltown Watson took reserve spot with a completion score of 28.8. This eight year old gelding by Carrick Diamond Lad is owned by Jackie Harris.
Once again entries in the Junior class at EI 100 level were affected by Government restrictions and had just one rider on her two horses. Sarah O’Shea won with Youngstars Cheetah and was placed second with The Cherokee Flight.
Wexford rider, Patrick Whelan, gave a very good account of himself in the EI 90 class where he took the honours with Lawrence Patterson’s five year old gelding, Drumnaconnell Kobie. This was even more impressive given that Kobie was making his eventing debut and finished on his dressage score. Rosie Alcorn came in marginally behind with Chrysanthos, her six year old gelding by Jaguar Mail out of her International competition mare, Fiorella who also went clear on both jumping phases as a debutante.
The Northern Region is deeply indebted to the Corbett family for opening the gates of this iconic venue to the eventing fraternity which will be home for another two weeks.
Thanks, too, to all the army of volunteers who came out in their droves to conduct the many and varied duties required at the events- you are the backbone of the sport and organisers really appreciate your enormous contribution week after week.
EI 115 Open
1. Camilla Speirs, Lukas
2. Joseph Murphy, Choclat
3. Joseph Murphy, Cesar V
4. Steven Smith, Galwaybay Echo
5. Sarah Ennis, Horseware Woodcourt Garrison
6. Gerald Bloomer, DSL The Entertainer
1. Steven Smith, Fredie Fox
2. Camilla Speirs, BT Angelo
3. Adam Haugh, Tullmurr Fifi
4. Ian Cassells, Master Point
5. Ian Cassells, Kells Quality
6. Adam Haugh, Ballybolger Lionman
EI 110 (Open)
1. Molly Evans, Wellan Graffiti
2. Suzanne Hagan, Candy 737
3. Patrick Whelan, Denis Finch Hatton
4. Suzanne Hagan, WKD Cooley
5. Lexi Kilfeather, Lord of the Morning
6. Rachel Rendle, Ballyvalley Bay
1. Clare Abbott, Arthalent
2. David O’Connor, Tullymurry Hope
3. Sarah Ennis, Tullabeg Buzz
4. Patrick Whelan, Drumnaconnell Opium Lux
5. Elizabeth Power, Greenfort Society Diamond
6. Katie O’Sullivan, Cooley Rules
EI 110 J
1. Lucy McIlroy, Imperial Black Pearl
2. Darragh Hanlon, Marco
EI 100 ‘A’
1. Adam Haugh, Denali
2. Bethany Burton, Countess Cooley
3. Elizabeth Power, Calinka GVH Z
4. Leah Knight, Aghagallon
5. Janie Cairns, Kensington On The Ball
6. Sarah Fitzpatrick, Ria Carraclover
EI 100 ‘B’
1. Johnny Mulligan, Western Johnny
2. Lucca Stubington, Kiltown Watson
3. Anita Doherty, Threeseas
4. Fiona Fitzgibbon, Jimmy Thunderstruck
5. Donnacha Anhold, Carro de la Leche
6. Tara Dixon, Ann’s Bob
EI 100 J
1. Sarah O’Shea, Youngstars Cheetah
2. Sarah O’Shea, The Cherokee Flight
1. Patrick Whelan, Drumnaconnell Kobie
2. Rosie Alcorn, Chrysanthos
3. Suzanne Hagan, Loughview Commander
4. Emily Corbett, Hip Hop V singing
5. Jonathan Hagan, JJ Eileenia
6. Emily Corbett, Toome Ernest Diamond