The equestrian event for Country Comes to Town took place on Saturday, September 16, in The Pleasure Gardens area, Portadown.
A large number of spectators and competitors travelled long distances to enjoy the event on a cold autumn day.
The Carriage Driving Section commenced at 10am. Judge Mr. Laurence Murdock, stewards Eugene Larkin (Lisburn) and Mr. John Powell (Lambeg) and section secretary Margaret Carlisle were kept busy throughout the day.
Mr. Eamon Fleming – joint chairman of Country Comes to Town – judged the Concours D’Elegance Class.
Champion of Private Driving classes: John Weir jnr. (Ballyclare) with groom John Weir snr driving ‘Rosehall Alexander’ to a Butcher’s Cart
Reserve Champion: Ruairi Creighton (Saintfield) driving ‘Felix’ to a Bread Van.
Champion Hackney Horse/Pony to a Show wagon: Damian Sloan (Downpatrick) driving ‘Heartland Elmo’
Champion Exercise Vehicles:
Wallace Shaw (Castlewellan) drove ‘Clarvalley Jewel’
Class (22) In-hand – any height- winner of the Seagoe Hotel Trophy -John Weir jnr (Ballyclare) ‘Rosehall Alexander’: 2nd, John Weir snr. ‘Ringside Lucifer’
Class (23) Hackney pony driven to a show wagon: Damian Sloan (Downpatrick) ‘Heartland Elmo’
Class (24) Class (25) Exercise Vehicle – any height- 1st, Wallace Shaw ‘Clarvalley Jewel’; 2nd, Jill Castles ‘Golden all Smiles’ 3rd, John Weir jnr. ‘Ringside Lucifer’.
Class (25) Open driving class – any height – to a traditional type vehicle won by Wallace Shaw (Castlewellan) driving ‘Clarvalley Jewel’; 2nd, David Mathers (Banbridge) driving ‘Lucy’ to a varnished Gig.
Class (26) Country Turnouts won by Martin Tierney (Lurgan) driving ‘Paddy’ to a Meadowbrook vehicle.
Class (27) Mountain and Moreland won by David Mathers driving ‘Lucy’ a Connemara to Gig
Class (28) Concours D’Elegance judged by Mr. Eamon Fleming, joint Chairman, Country comes to Town- won by John Weir jnr. driving ‘Rosehall Alexander’ to a Butcher’s Cart; 2nd, David Mathers ‘Lucy’ to a Gig
Class (29) Lady Whip judged on the ability of the Lady to drive the turnout- 1st, Karen Dalzell ‘Heartland Elmo’ - a Hackney pony to a Show wagon; 2nd, Jill Castles ‘Golden all Smiles’ a Palomino Pony
Class (30) Junior Whip judged on the ability of the Junior to drive the turnout to drive the turnout and accompanied by an adult won by Ruaira Creighton (Saintfield) accompanied by his grandfather James Creighton driving ‘Felix’ to a Bread Van; 2nd, Caragh Cochrane – with groom Martin Tierney- drove Paddy; 3rd, Caelin Cochrane with groom Jill Castles drove ‘Golden all Smiles’
Class (31) Light trade: winner John Weir jnr. driving ‘Rosehall Alexander’ to a butcher’s cart; 2nd, Ruairi Creighton driving ‘Felix’ to a bread van.
The organisers would like to express their gratitude to the funders Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the sponsors who make events like this possible.
Sincere thanks also to Tesco, The Meadows, Portadown for the use of their car park and to all who helped in any way to make this event a success.