The much awaited final of the Baileys Horse Feeds Flexi Eventing series finally arrived on Saturday and what an occasion it was.
Beautiful spring sunshine shone and a large entry ensured that there was plenty of activity throughout the day.
The leaderboard was an ever changing feature as results flowed in from all three disciplines so it was definitely a ‘nail-biting’ finish.
Charlotte Dixon maintained her great record on Zermie, her very valuable Christmas present, to win a double whammie in both the Intermediate and Novice classes, thereby gaining extremely vital points.
Jayne Doherty took the runner up spot in the Intermediate on Rupert and shared third place on Buster with Lucca Stubington on Oliver.
Ella Boyle came home half a point behind Charlotte in the Novice section with Candy, her mother’s eight year old Captain Fire mare which went one better in the Pre Novice class to claim victory in a very competitive class with almost forty starters.
Lynne Tennis replicated her performance of a few weeks ago by taking third spot in the Novice class on the lovely Dowdstown Dancer. A relatively new combination of Izzy Riley and Ballycarron Lad slotted into fifth place, sharing equal points with Charlotte Dixon on Cosmo but gaining advantage on collectives.
Ella Boyle certainly dominated the Pre Novice because as well as her win on Candy she took second spot on Tigger, a six year old gelding by Hermes de Reve.
Jemma Parkhill, recovering from a dreadful lurgy, performed amazingly well to take third spot on Mac, just ahead of Caroline McQuillan and Mr Brown, her much loved American bred gelding. Harriet Pele on Lisbane Sparrow occupied the fifth spot while sixth was reserved for Conor O’Hare on the talented Lougherne Leo.
The Intro class saw collective marks being brought into play to divide the top two - Suzanne Hagan on Connie and David O’Connor on the lovely home bred Tullymurry Grey Joy who is creating quite a sensation in many disciplines this year. It was lovely to see David back out competing again following his recent surgery.
Suzanne took the red rosette on Connie, a five year old mare bought by Rose de Courcey – Wheeler at the end of last year. Suzanne and Connie who picked up ninth place overall in the League have been regular competitors at the Flexi Eventing and credit their progress to the education gained at The Meadows.
The class winner on two previous occasions, Hannah Whittle, slotted into third place followed by her sister Hannah on Porsche Ferdi. Fifth place went to Rachel Ferres and Arnold, another combination that appeared regularly in the placings throughout the series. Sixth place went to a very happy Mary Hegarty on Pandora.
Showjumping was extremely busy and competitors had many more technical questions to answer this week but most coped extremely well, proving the value of the League in terms of training development.
When busy scorers, Ronnie Beggs and Claire Palmer, had finished doing all their tots, they were able to declare that Charlotte Dixon and Zermie were the Baileys Horse Feeds Champions for 2016 with Rachel Ferres and Arnold in first runner up spot followed by Leah Jackson on Gemilly who took third place.
The podium, brightly decorated with floral arrangements and surrounded by the Baileys signage, was a very fitting location to crown the three champions.
This was done by Eventing Ireland’s Northern Region Chairperson, Catherine Abbott, since sponsor representative, Judy Maxwell, was in London for the christening of her very special granddaughter.
This has, undoubtedly, been a very successful League with over 600 combinations having participated throughout the eight weeks.
Huge thanks go to sponsor, Baileys Horse Feeds for their generosity and to Vanda Robinson of Mourne Rosettes for producing the amazing sashes and rosettes for the Final.
Many thanks to all competitors who attended the Shows through the rain, hail, snow and sunshine – your support is very much appreciated.
Thanks, too, to the judges, scribes, course designers, call up stewards, arena party, scorers, secretarial staff and everyone who helped to make the 2016 Baileys Horse Feeds Flexi Eventing Series one to be well remembered.
Arena 1 – Intermediate: Judge Rosie Gomes: Charlotte Dixon, Zermie; Jayne Doherty, Rupert; =Lucca Stubington, Oliver and Jayne Doherty, Buster; Claire Sedgeman, Archie; Helen Faulkner, Danny
Arena 1 – Novice: Judge Rosie Gomes: Charlotte Dixon, Zermie; Ella Boyle, Candy; Lynne Tennis, Dowdstown Dancer; Izzy Riley, Ballycarron Lad; Charlotte Dixon, Cosmo; Katie little, Dickson’s Dream
Arena 2 – Pre Novice: Judge Ivor Harper: Ella Boyle, Candy; Ella Boyle, Tigger; Jemma Parkhill, Mac; Caroline McQuillan, Mr Brown; Harriet Pele, Lisbane Sparrow; Conor O’Hare, Lougherne Leo
Arena 3 – Intro: Judge David Patterson: Suzanne Hagan, Connie; David O’Connor, Tullymurry Grey Joy; Amy Whittle, Mullybrannon Masterplan; Hannah Whittle, Porsche Ferdi; Rachel Ferres, Arnold; Mary Hegarty, Pandora
Show Jumping (double clear rounds)
70cms: Charlotte Brown, Gortelmon Hector, Peter Douglas, Billy Boy, James Douglas, Sparky, Samantha Steele, Glydor, Peter Douglas, Coco
80cms: Charlotte Brown, Gortelmon Hector, Evanne McKenna, Bella Rossa, Grace Sheridan, Murphy, Samantha Steele, Paris, Catherine Thornton, Louie, Lucy Johnston, Spot, Tara Murphy, Warranta, Caroline McQuillan, Helen Sinton, Ashtree Apple Blossom, Flora Crawford, Murphy, Sarah Panache, Bob, flora Crawford, Dinozzo, Eric Pele
90cms: Caroline McQuillan, Foxtail Orchid, Lynne tennis, Inisharoan Aoife, Helen Cunninghan, Leitrim Classic Clover, Joanna Eames, Lottie, Catherine Thornton, A Risk, Naomi Buchanan, Futuristic, Rachel Ferres, Arnold, Johnny Mulligan, Snoball, Colleen Murphy, Bailey, Judith McCarthy, Mixed Up
1m: Neil Morrison, Cheeky, Conor O’Hare, Mr Merlin, Katie Wray, Beechburn Lass, Johnny Mulligan, Poppy, Matthew Johnston, Jupiter, Lucy Johnston, Apollo, Johnny Mulligan, Maddy, Conor O’Hare, Dolly, David O’Connor, Seana, Matthew Johnston, Harry, Jemma Parkhill, Belle, Leo Pele, Lisbane Finch, Lynne Spence, Gortshalgon, Colin Halliday, Graf, Suzanne Hagan, Goldie, Anne Bowe, Festy Breeze, Kathryn Shields, Melody Maker, Katie Riley, Versace Biscuit, Nicky Corr, Austin, Sarah Moore, Paddy, Claire Sinton, Kings Cross, Matthew Johnston, Tip
1.10m: Charlotte Dixon, Zermie, Katie Lyttle, Dickson’s Dream, Anna Lyons, Rafa, Ron Schaefer, Big Adventure, Leo Pele, Lisbane Fly, Enda Ivasnoff, quinney, William Greene, Jack, William Greene, Aaron, Kate Shields, Melody Maker, Hannah Agnew, Bobby, Suzanne Hagan, Tullymurry Holly, Neil Morrison, Frankie
1.20m: Enda Ivanoff, Quinnie
Cross Country (clear rounds): Pauline Faloon, Carlingford Sebastian, Leo Pele, Lisbane Finch, Archie Wilding, Caroline McQuillan, Mr Brown
League placings: Charlotte Dixon, Zermie; Rachel Ferres, Arnold; Leah Jackson, Gemilly; Ella Boyle, Candy; Ella Boyle, Tigger; Caroline McQuillan, Mr Brown; Lynne Spence, Jaydious Apollo; Sophie Buller, Rum Jumbie; Suzanne Hagan, Connie; Amy Whittle, Mullybrannon Masterplan; Pauline Faloon, Carlingford Sebastian; Daniel Brown, Tetre rouge; Izzy Riley, Ballycarron Lad; David O’Connor, Tullymurry Grey Joy; Claire Sedgeman, Archie.