Zara and Greylands Diamond Girl top the Baileys Horse Feeds League

ACTION continued unabated on Saturday for the fourth leg of the incredibly popular Baileys Horse Feeds Flexi Eventing Series held at The Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan.
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This turned out to be a beautiful day with sunshine galore. Judges and officials were united in their praise for the overall high standards of turn out evident in both horse and rider.

Zara Reid is galloping ahead at the top of the leader board, now nine points clear of second placed Denis Currie hotly pursued by Claire Ireland and Alex Houston with Carys Black and Kaiti McCann hot on their heels.

It is very impressive to see the number of underage riders in the top section of this league which is an invaluable training Initiative at the start of the season.

Ana Goodrich riding Chief, clear in the 70cm Showjumping. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)Ana Goodrich riding Chief, clear in the 70cm Showjumping. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)
Ana Goodrich riding Chief, clear in the 70cm Showjumping. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)

This week the Intro class required a three-way divide. Dressage Ireland Level 1 Judge, Joanne Jarden, awarded her top mark of 65.8 in the ‘A’ section to 14-year-old Sophie Cathcart, a third year pupil at Devenish College in Enniskillen.

Sophie was competing with Maistir Ruadh (Maverick) her five-year-old Connemara gelding whom she has been partnering for the past five months, having competed in working hunter, show jumping and showing.

She is setting her sights on the 4/5-year-old Connemara classes in Dublin. Week one and week two winners, Kaiti McCann and Cookie claimed second place just half a point adrift.

Genny Belton judged both Intro ‘B’ and Intro ‘C’. Six combinations in the ‘B’ section broke the 70% barrier with 16-year-old Anna Morrow finishing on a score of 74 with Squirrel, an unraced Thoroughbred, retrained by Ella Boyle

Lauren Smyth riding Hey There Delilah, clear in the 90cm XC. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)Lauren Smyth riding Hey There Delilah, clear in the 90cm XC. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)
Lauren Smyth riding Hey There Delilah, clear in the 90cm XC. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)

Anna took over the reins just two months ago and has been benefiting from tuition by Terry Boone.

This was just their second foray between the white boards, having made their debut at the Flexi last month.

Coming in, half a point behind, was physiotherapist, Christine McVeigh riding Lenny whom, she is preparing for the eventing season. She states that Lenny has done very little to date, having been bought unbroken at 14’2 and is now standing at 16’1.

Nicci Hall claimed the highest mark of the day, topping the ‘C’ section with MJI Scarlett on a score of 77.3%. It was a case of déjà vu with this partnership as they competed under Eventing Ireland rules seven years ago prior to selling the 15-year-old mare, bred by Joanne Jarden.

Caroline McQuillan riding Belle Saru, winners of the PreNovice A. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)Caroline McQuillan riding Belle Saru, winners of the PreNovice A. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)
Caroline McQuillan riding Belle Saru, winners of the PreNovice A. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)

Nicci quickly regretted the decision to part company before serendipity intervened and ‘Rosie’ found her way back to her last March. Initially, she planned to breed from her but, when that didn’t work out, she decided to put her back into work which, clearly, was what the mare had in mind, delivering a fabulous performance, cementing the chances of a return to Tyrella next month.

This section was full of lovely news stories and super results for ‘newbies’. Ros Morgan took the runner up spot with VOS Surprise, an 11-year-old gelding by VOS, just fractionally behind the winner.

Ros, originally from Northern Ireland, was a previous winner of the Dressage Championship while representing Killultagh Branch of the Pony Club. However, she crossed the channel to go to University and, following a stint in Japan, returned to London to set up home and start a family.

Thirty years later, the thirst to return to her country of birth, came to fruition and she has now relocated her family, both two legged and four legged, to Bushmills. Saturday’s competition represented the first dressage test ridden on Irish soil in 30 years and what a come back! Eventing Ireland, here they come.

Nicci Hall riding MJI Scarlett, winners of the Intro C Dressage. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)Nicci Hall riding MJI Scarlett, winners of the Intro C Dressage. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)
Nicci Hall riding MJI Scarlett, winners of the Intro C Dressage. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)

Vanda Stewart had the privilege of judging a very competitive Pre Novice class of almost 40, four of whom broke the 70% threshold.

Best of those, by a four per cent margin, was Caroline McQuillan, riding the ‘family’ Belle Saru, an eight-year-old Thoroughbred mare who has been eventing for almost three seasons and won her class at the 2022 National Championships.

Colin Halliday took second place with Glasgow, by Glasgow Van’t Merelsnest out of a Pointillist mare, on his first experience in a dressage arena. This six-year-old gelding is jointly owned by the Hallidays and Grace O’Shaughnessy and is being aimed at Tyrella.

Annahilt eventer, Ella Boyle, had a particularly good day at the Flexi Eventing where she had three horses competing and finished first, second and third in her particular classes.

She hit the 70 mark spot on in the Novice class of 16 with Feeny (Mountview Storyteller), an eight-year-old gelding by Tullibards Bennys Legacy, with whom she had 11 eventing runs last year.

She also took a third place with Oscar (FJK Back to the Future), a seven-year-old gelding by Future Trend, previously campaigned by Adam Haugh. Separating Ella’s two results was last week’s winner, Alex Houston and Dinky (My Atlantic Encore) her seven-year-old homebred mare by Centrestage.

Isaac McCarthy riding Hollywood Pippin, clear in the 80cm XC. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)Isaac McCarthy riding Hollywood Pippin, clear in the 80cm XC. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)
Isaac McCarthy riding Hollywood Pippin, clear in the 80cm XC. (Pic: Tori OC Photography)

Denis Currie and Arodstown Aramis continued their winning ways in the Intermediate class where he had just over a one per cent over Ella Boyle and Tiger (Samiro Cruise MC) her nine year old gelding, who ended up in the same spot last week.

This win, together with his double clear in Show Jumping, moved him up to second place on the leaderboard.

The show jumping arena was also busy with a general consensus that this provides a great education for horses and ponies at all levels as there is a superb selection of coloured poles and fillers.

The cross country arena was filled with a fabulous selection of fences, including a water complex, all of which gave competitors and their horses plenty to think about and provided a very valuable schooling opportunity at this early stage of the year.

Sincere thanks to the large team of helpers across all three disciplines who ensure that the day ran seamlessly and, of course, the most sincere thanks to title sponsor, Judy Maxwell of Baileys Horse Feeds, for the very generous sponsorship, as well as Treo Eile for their individual prizes.

The Flexi Eventing continues every Saturday until 24 February with points being awarded for performance and attendance with a special prize for the highest placed Riding Club/Pony Club member, as well as a €150 cash prize from Treo Eile for the highest placed thoroughbred. There will also be a prize for the highest placed Cob and the top six Pony Club members in the dressage phase.

This league is open to absolutely everyone and, as the name suggests, riders can choose to do any or all of the three disciplines.

Dressage entries to be made via PayPal to [email protected] with enquiries to Dora on 07876758979 or [email protected]. Enquiries re show jumping and cross country should be directed to MEC on 07711815267.

Full Results

Dressage

Intro ‘A’ – Judge: Joanne Jarden:

Sophie Cathcart, Maverick

Kaiti McCann, Cookie

Katie McKee, Mia

Amy smyth, Lisross Irish Knight

Sarah Cowan, Lady Remarque

Sarah McPolin, Magnum

Intro ‘B’ – Judge: Genny Belton:

Anna Morrow, Squirrel

Christine McVeigh, Lenny

Abi Gardner, Ashfield Casanova

Emma Wallace, WantsandNeeds

Sophie Clugston, Something Similar

Fiona Fitzgibbon, Ivy

Intro ‘C’ – Judge: Genny Belton:

Nicci Hall, MJI Scarlett

Ros Morgan, VOS Surprise

Robert Newell, Louis

Lara Kelly, Enrosewood Diamond Girl

5= Zara Reid, Greylands Diamond Girl & Caroline Chambers, Copper

Pre Novice - Judge: Vanda Stewart:

Caroline McQuillan, Belle Saru

Colin Halliday, Glasgow

Ciarrai Rice, Lady J

Tilley Tumilty, Wee Fella

5= Gemma Esler, Bea, Claire Ireland, Goin’ For Gold & Zara Sharvin, Kiki

Novice- Judge: Joanne Jarden:

Ella Boyle, Feeny

Alex Houston, Dinky

Ella Boyle, Oscar

Kitty Cullen, Schnapps

Alex Byrne, Major Cross

Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis

Intermediate- Judge: Joanne Jarden:

Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis

Ella Boyle, Tiger

Alex Houston, Indy

Nichola Wray, Dylan

Showjumping (double clear)

70cms:

Ana Goodrich, Chief, Brooke Morrow, Sid, Edna Lyness, Thunder, Emer Magee, Cavan Boy Hennessy, Molly Reid, Little Me, Penny Logan, Izzy Wonderful

80cms:

Karina McVeigh, Cococabana, Katie Clarke, Sue, Lynsey Kennedy, Izzey, Olivia Roulston, Beele, Shannon Treanor, Fred, Robyn Rice, My Isabella, Rosie Strain, Angel, Sandra Somerville, Stuart, Sophie Ham, Lucy, Kerry McCready, Freda, Janie Cairns, Pixie, Amy Clarke, Fire Heart Flash, Amy Robinson, Sherry

90cms:

Abbie Harkness, Melody, Ann Bowe, Breeze, Ava Stubbs, willow, Barbara Johns, Drumhowan Darlin Jazz, Carys Black, Glencairns Little Monkey, Cathryn Black, Fanta, Christine McVeigh, Lenny, Rachel Douglas, Freda, Gemma Esler, Bea, Ian McCluggage, Lir, Kitty Cullen, Lucky, Lara Kelly, Enrosewood Diamond Girl, Marina Stewart, troy, Luke Campbell, Legacy 5, Robert Newell, Louis, Olivia Roulston, Baillie, Zara Reid, Greylands Diamond Girl, Jo Henry McCool, Redwood Diamond Jack

1m:

Aine Clancy, Eve, Caitlin Brown, Monkey Business, Ella Rose Martin, Freda, Eve McConnell, Maximus, Sophie Bingham, Currabawn Prada, Jessica Mark, Centre Fold Belle, Jodie Creighton, Cotton, Kathryn Graham, Daisy, Katie McKee, Noah, Katie O’Reilly, Dreamer, Lucia McNamee, Kiki, Ellie Hughes, Apollo, Olivia Johns, Lagans Peter, Robert Newell, Louis, Zara Sharvin, Kiki, Shane Treanor, Cornet, Ellie Hughes, Lucky Star

1.10m:

Alex Byrne, Major Cross, Ava Stubbs, Lucy, Connor Harris, Paddy, Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis, Ella Boyle, Oscar, Ella Boyle, Feeny, Freya Kennedy, Song, Janie Cairns, Stevie, Katie Scott, Lily, Rachael Broome, Rosie, Ellie Rose Martin, Star

1.20m:

Darcy Fehnert, Lloyd, Jodie Creighton, Swiper

Cross Country (clear rounds)

70cms:

Ella Rose Sands, Rosie, Katie Nevin, Winter Magic Rose, Lilah Boyce, Killea Fizz, Willow Maye, Thyolo Lightening Storm, Rosie Strain, Angel, Edna Lyness, Thunder, Laoise Clancy, Tessa, Molly Reid, Little Me, molly Smyth, Clinker Billy, Claire Ireland, Mollys Prince

80cms:

Hannah Funston, Carstown Golden Splash, Hannah Funston, Berryburn Shooting Star, Isaac McCarthy, Hollywood Pippin, Jack Cowan, Edentrillick Honey Bee, Sarah Cowan, Lady Remarque, Anne Killen, Alf, Arlene Greenaway, Warrior Bob, Barbara Johns, Drumhowan Darlin Jazz, Caroline Miller, Alfie, Charlie Watson, Leamore Girl, Colin Halliday Bob, Gill McAreavey, Izzy, Harry Purdy, Junior, Jenny Lindsay, Carnakilly Golden Girl, Karen Connolly, Herbie, Karen Pearson, Cora, Katie Clarke, Sue, Lisa Mitchell-Talbot, Liadan Gal, Lucy Bell, George, Robyn Rice, My Isabella, Sandra Somerville, Stuart, Sophie Ham, Lucy, Tilly Ham, Lily, Wendy Findlay, Pebbles, Ellie May, Storm

90cms:

Abbie Harkness, Melody, Anna Morrow, Squirrel, Brooke Morrow, Sid, Christine McVeigh, Lenny, Emma Wallace, Wantsand Needs, Freya Fisher, Hughie, Harry Purdy, Junior, Jaclyn Brackenridge, Comanche Arrow, Kaiti McCann, Cookie, Karina McVeigh, Cococabana, Katie McKee, Noah, Lauren Smyth, Hey There Delilah, Sara Ward, Dotamado Lady, Sarah McPolin, Magnun, Tara Liggett, Thomas, Zara Reid, Greylands Diamond Girl, Sophie Clugston, Something Similar, Wendy Findlay, Pebbles, Christina Turley, Bob, Sophia Bingham, Carys Black, Glencairns Little Monkey, Maisie Anderson, Farhill Captain Harry, Sophia Madeley, Missey, Stuart Beattie, Diamond Milly, Jessica Rodgers, Knockbridge Magic Moment

1m:

Ava Stubbs, Lucy, Caitlin Brown, Monkey Business, Hannah Thompson, Jemeela Charm, Lauren McGlennon, Leo, Lisa Talbot, GHS Fremont, Olivia Johns, Lagans Peter, Robyn Rice, Holiday Kruising, Tori Shokum, Cleo, Kathryn Knox, Springvale O’Grady, Eve Fitzsimons, Tiboy Des Etisses, Rosey Herron, Solitaire Rusty Brown, Poppy Duff, Kiltiernan Pride