Celebration time for East Down members

Russell Cup winners - Zara Sharvin and Aimee Hamilton
Russell Cup winners - Zara Sharvin and Aimee Hamilton

Members, family and friends of East Down Branch of the Pony Club recently held their annual prize giving at Bright Golf Club to celebrate another busy and successful year.

The club would also like to take this opportunity to thank Downpatrick Race Course management team for hosting a very successful senior camp. Thanks for the invaluable training (and water fight) are extended to Instructors Johnny Steel, Eric Pele, David Kirkpatrick, Kate Gilmore, Sharon Riddell and Emma Newsam.

Highest placed team at Home Championships - Tara Emmett, Katie Watson, Caoimhe Crozier and Hannah Bayfield

Highest placed team at Home Championships - Tara Emmett, Katie Watson, Caoimhe Crozier and Hannah Bayfield

Members were completely taken by surprise with water pistols, water balloons and not to mention the odd bucket or two that the instructors had stashed for when they posed for their annual camp photo.

Junior camp was hosted kindly at Tullymurry EC whose Team, under the guidance of David O’Connor also provided fantastic support and facilities as East Down Branch hosted the Area Tetrathlon. Thanks also to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for the use of the facilities at Downpatrick Leisure Centre.

Joint District Commissioners, Donna Quail and Alison Bissenden and the committee would like to thank all the instructors, families, friends and land owners who have supported East Down throughout the year in many ways. The Club is growing in strength every year as can be seen by the great results in 2015. These results can only be achieved by huge commitment from the members and their families as well as the support provided by Instructors and Committee.

There is a discipline for everyone in Pony Club and the enthusiasm by East Down members can be seen in the huge number of entries at Dengie and Areas this year throughout all classes. Area and Dengie Show jumping had 31 entries, Area and Dengie Dressage had eight, Area Eventing had 18 with Home Championships a further 28 and Tetrathlon had 14 entries. Thomas and James Murphy also attended the Area Polocross camp.

DCs Award - presented to the Open Eventing Team - Chloe   Rooney, Andrew Turley, Toni Quail with joint DCS Alison Bissenden and Donna Quail

DCs Award - presented to the Open Eventing Team - Chloe Rooney, Andrew Turley, Toni Quail with joint DCS Alison Bissenden and Donna Quail

East Down are delighted to see the results of all the hard work put in and are looking forward to another very successful year in 2016.

The Open Eventing Team of Andrew Turley, Harriet Pele, Toni Quail and Chloe Rooney qualified in first place at Area 17 to attend the Open Championships in Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire. Toni Quail finished in first place overall. This is the first time in over 30 years East Down has had an open team at eventing and a huge congratulations to them for finishing a very commendable 4th place overall on a very challenging course with individual 4th, 5th and 8th places. They also received the trophy for team closest to optimum time and Andrew received the “Cradock Award” for a double clear.

The future is also looking bright for East Down branch. The mini Junior team of Caoimhe Crozier, Ellie McDowell, Lucy Keyes and Tom Rowlatt-McCormick travelled to the Area Dressage hosted by North Derry Branch and secured a well deserved first place. Senior member, Charlotte Leslie made her trip worthwhile by securing a place.

East Down had two winners in the Home Championships at Laurelview EC in August. These were junior members Andrew Sharvin and Daniel Toner and not to be outshone by the boys, the all girls team of Katie Watson, Caoimhe Crozier, Tara Emmett and Hannah Bayfield were placed second in the 65cm class.

Best Junior Tetrahlete  - Darragh Hanlon

Best Junior Tetrahlete - Darragh Hanlon

Success was evident in all age groups of Area Showjumping with both Andrew Turley and Charis Vinaccia qualifying for the Championships this year. Andrew was placed 8th in the Open class and Charis third in the Intermediate. Tilly Horder just missed out on a qualifying trip to England, finishing in fifth place. The Intermediate team that included Charis and Tilly along with Ellen Erskine and Charlotte Leslie finished third overall.

The Junior Show jumping team of Zara Burns, Zara Sharvin, Abbi Cummisky and Lara Kelly took third place at Areas and these well turned out members with their immaculate ponies also won the Tack and Turnout. The Mini Show jumping team of Hannah Bayfield, James Murphy, Lucy Keyes and Sam Hamilton secured a fantastic second place.

In July 2015 East Down Branch hosted the Area 17 Tetrathlon with pony club members travelling from throughout all of Ireland to compete. Branch member Ellen Erskine was first in the Intermediate girls with her brother Paddy taking 1st in the Open boys. The Open Boys team of Andrew Turley, Rory McMullan, Paddy Erskine and Euan Findlay secured their place in England with Andrew Turley picking up his third Championship Qualifier.

As a result, Andrew qualified on his horse, “The Devil’s Bit”, for the Pony Club Championships in all three disciplines in which he participated making him the worthy winner of East Down’s Ambassador Award.

Junior member, Thomas Murphy, has also represented East Down well this year by attending Area Show jumping, Home Championships, Tetrathlon as well as the Dengie show jumping and attending the Area Polocross camp. Thomas attends all junior rallies, supports his team well in each discipline he participates in and is always willing to help in any way he can. Thomas is a great representative for East Down Branch and this was recognised in the best Junior Pony Club award.

Another East Down member making the club proud was Chloe Rooney on her horse “Molly Mae”. Chloe qualified for the Pony Club Combined Training at Royal Dublin Horse Show in August 2015. With supporters in the crowd cheering her on, Chloe secured a fantastic third place.

The Irish Pony Club invited Area 17 members to participate in their 2015 summer Championships.

East Down Branch was well represented in both the eventing and tetrathlon championships hosted at Tattersalls. This was a great opportunity for the members to attend and compete at such a prestigious venue and the club would like to extend their thanks to the Irish Pony Club for their kind invitation.

Trophies awarded at the annual prize giving

Senior Russell Cup – nominated by Senior camp instructors – Aimee Hamilton

Junior Russell Cup - nominated by Junior camp instructors – Zara Sharvin

Most improved mini member – Maya McMullan and Fergus Emmett

Most improved Junior – Tara Emmett and Ruby Kincaid

Most improved Intermediate – Troy Watson

Most improved Senior – Ronan McSorley

Most successful rider at Area competition – Toni Quail, Ellen Erskine and Paddy Erskine

Most successful Team at Area level – Open Eventing Team (1st ) – Andrew Turley, Chloe Rooney, Toni Quail and Harriet Pele

Most successful team at Area Tetrathlon – Open boys team – Andrew Turley, Paddy Erskine, Rory McMullan and Ewan Findlay

Most successful Junior Team – Area Dressage (1st) – Tom Rowlatt McCormick, Caoimhe Crozier, Ellie McDowell and Lucy Keyes

Most successful mini team – Area show jumping team (2nd) – Hannah Bayfield, James Murphy, Lucy Keyes and Sam Hamilton

Highest placed individual at Home Championships – (1st) - Daniel Toner and Andrew Sharvin

Highest placed team at Home Championships – 65cms team (2nd) – Katie Watson, Caoimhe Crozier, Tara Emmett and Hannah Bayfield

Best mini Tetrathlete – Darragh Hanlon

Attendance and turn out at Junior rallies – Katie Watson and Emma Burns

Attendance and turnout at Intermediate rallies – Rachel Kerr

Attendance and turnout at Senior rallies – Sophie Truesdale

Junior show jumping award – (third at Areas, first tack and turnout) – Zara Burns, Zara Sharvin, Abbi Cummiskey and Lara Kelly

Intermediate show jumping award – Charis Viniccia

Senior show jumping award – Tilly Horder and Andrew Turley

Junior dressage award – Lara Kelly and Tom Rowlatt-McCormick

Senior dressage award – Charlotte Leslie and Ryan Truesdale

Junior eventing award – Ruddy Pannell and Hannah Bayfield

Under 14 eventing award – Alex Cleland

Senior eventing award – Ryan Truesdale

Combined Training Award (RDS qualified – third place at final) – Chloe Rooney

Best East Down Pony Club Senior member – for diligence, turn out, consideration of others and overall achievement – Andrew Turley

Best East Down Pony Club Junior member – Thomas Murphy

Best Ambassador for Branch – representing East Down branch in an exemplary way both in Area 17 and at Championships – Andrew Turley

Family Trophy – for those considered helpful with the running of the club – Pele and Evans families - Eric Harriet and Leo Pele, Judith, Henry, Molly and Tom Evans

District Commissioner’s Award – For achievement competing at a high level – Open Eventing Team – Toni Quail, Chloe Rooney, Harriet Pele and Andrew Turley.

East Down Branch identifies the importance of members working towards Achievement Badges. These recognise riding ability and stable management at different ages and stages. Many children and young people within the club this year dedicated a lot of time and effort to achieve badges ranging from E to B as well as Road Rider and Lungeing Test.

East Down Branch of the Pony Club encourage any child or young person involved in horse riding to come along and participate. Anyone from 5 to 25! There is first class instruction available, excellent competitions and it is a great way to meet friends with the same interests. Information on becoming a member is available on the East Down website accessed from – www.pcuk.org.