Dazzling display at Northern Region Awards Ball

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The Northern Region of Eventing Ireland held their Annual Awards Ball at La Mon House Hotel & Country Club recently to promote the organisation’s many eventing achievements for 2018.

This was certainly the ‘Society Event of the Year’ with almost 500 competitors, sponsors, supporters, owners, breeders and landowners coming together for an evening of celebration.

The attendee list read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of all aspects of equestrianism, both north and south.

Northern Region Trustee, Jean Mitchell MBE, took to the stage to present the awards, a full list of which is detailed below.

A very worthy winner of ‘The Bright Outlook Memorial Trophy’ which Nicky Nesbitt and her husband, Richard, award annually to the person whom they regard best embraces the Sportsman criteria and ethos was Lynsey Napier-Sneddon.

Lynsey competed in the amateur levels in the course of the year with her lovely gelding, Carsonstown Porsch, and always kept a smile on her face regardless of whether it was a good day or one where things didn’t always go to plan. She was also very supportive of all other riders and she and her family were stalwart helpers throughout the year.

This year the prestigious Roy Pugh Memorial Award for the top groom was awarded posthumously to Fred Nesbitt, who, sadly, died just last month. Fred was no stranger at the events where he was ‘Super Groom’ to Nicky and her horses. Richard Nesbitt was presented with a beautiful print, kindly donated, as always, by Ruth Eyre Pugh.

The magnificent efforts of the Northern Region members who were selected to represent Ireland at various events throughout the year were also acknowledged.

There was a very successful auction, compered by Raymond Bready, as well as a ballot of many items.

The Northern Region is deeply indebted to all those who provided auction and ballot items: Horse First, Alison Baird, Richard Nesbitt, Tattersalls International Horse Trials, Eventing Ireland, Downpatrick Race Course, John Reid, Michelle International Salon, Jean Mitchell, Declan Cullen, Joseph Murphy, Stonebridge Horse Feeds, Lightsource, Iveagh Hunt, Kingsfield Equine Veterinary Services, Stonebridge Horse Feeds, Horseware, Rory Best, Philip White, Iveagh Hunt, La Mon House Hotel, Top Spec, Fran Rowlatt-McCormick, Barclay Communications.

The Bizz, as always, provided excellent music with revellers taking to the dance floor as soon as the first note of music was sounded. Further refreshments were served at 2.30am.

Photographs on the evening were taken by Sporting Images and can be viewed on their website www.sportingimagesni.com

2018 trophy recipients

JUNIPER GREEN & KELLS TROPHY: Given to the Society by Georgia Stubington as a tribute to her two great mares. Presented annually to the ‘Eventing Mare’ gaining best placings at Northern Region Events.

Winner 2018 is Layla’s Way, owned and ridden by Jayne Moore

Irwin trophy: Given to the Society by the Coleraine Branch of Riding for the Disabled in memory of Mr & Mrs Irwin. Presented annually to the ‘Owner-Bred’ horse gaining best placings at Northern Region Events.

Winner 2018 is Handsome Starr owned and bred by Virginia Maguire and ridden by Steven Smith


Presented to horses registered in the Northern Region with highest places at Northern Region One-Day events. CNC*** WINNER (also the Maddybenny Salver presented by White Family)

Sportsfield Othello owned by Jill Murphy, Alison Schmutz & Andrew Tinkler and ridden by Joseph Murphy

CNC** WINNER (also the Glenhill Gold Trophy presented by Declan Cullen)

EMS Florence owned by Diane Harron-Eakin and ridden by Steven Smith

CNC* WINNER [also the Hodgkinson Silver Goblet]

Newferry Jagermeister owned by Herbie Walker and ridden by Steven Smith

EI 100 WINNER [also the Hodgkinson Rose Bowl]

Handsome Starr owned by Virginia Maguire and ridden by Steven Smith


HouseElf owned by Sean Rooney and ridden by David O’Connor


Anvil Lodge Pinnochio owned by Trevor Smith and ridden by Hollie Smith

EI 100 J Winner and the Patsy Boal Memorial Trophy very kindly presented this year by Darryl & Fiona Boal) Patsy was instrumental in starting and, indeed supporting Holly in her riding.

Ringfort Rubicon owned by Diane Harron-Eakin and ridden by Hollie Smith

NR Amateurs’ Trophies & All Ireland awards

CNC1* Amateur All Ireland winner – Holly McClenaghan and Miranda

NR CNC1* Amateur winner and second place in all Ireland – Arodstown Aramis owned & ridden by Denis Currie

EI 100 AMATEUR – All Ireland & NR winner – Layla’s Way owned & ridden by Jayne Moore

EI 90 AMATEUR – All ireland & NR winner - Ann’s Bob owned and ridden by Christina Turley

Amateur trophy – The Bright Outlook Memorial trophy - to be awarded to the Eventing Ireland (NR) Sportsman of the Year Presented by Richard and Nicky Nesbitt.

Winner 2018 - Lynsey Napier-Sneddon

CNCP** Winner Fair Lad owned by Elaine McKee and ridden by Katie McKee

EI 100 P WINNER (also the ‘Mission Accomplished’ trophy kindly donated in 2010 by Elizabeth McMillan)

Forest Lodge Rambler owned by Debbie Byrne and ridden by Alex Byrne

EI 90 P Winner - Devlish Cavalier Girl owned by Elizabeth McMillan and ridden by Tom Rowlatt-McCormick

The Silver Fox trophy - ‘Pony of the Year’ kindly donated in 2011 by the Brown Family. Presented to the NR registered pony with the highest placing at Tattersalls International Horse Trials CNCP** in 2018.

Winner 2018 – Tynan Mist owned by Lesley Johnston and ridden by Lucy Johnston

Pescetto Friendship trophy: Given to the society by the friends of Sarah Pescetto and awarded annually to the most improved Junior rider.
Winner 2018: Holly Boal

Hanna trophy: Presented to the Northern Region rider (over eighteen years of age) who accumulates most points throughout the year at Northern region events on a single horse. Riders who have competed at two star level or higher in the current year are not eligible.

Winner 2018 - Catherine Robinson riding Excalibur

Leading rider trophy – the rider who accumulates most points with his/her horses at Northern Region Events (not including Internationals)
Winner 2018 – Steven Smith

Belle Canna Trophy: Horse of the Year - presented to the NR horse gaining most points worldwide.

Winner 2018 – Sportsfield Othello owned by Jill Murphy, Alison Schmutz & Andrew Tinkler and ridden by Joseph Murphy

The Roy-Pugh Memorial – A Groom’s award. This year the award has been made posthumously to Fred Nesbitt.

Award for Pony Club member gaining highest placings

Winner is Hollie Smith

Award for pony club member gaining highest placings on a single horse or pony

There were two members who scored very highly: Ellen Douglas and Rock Melody and Hannah Morrow and My Good Thyme Girl


Junior Nations Cup Team at Marbach 10-13 May 2018 (Winning a Team Bronze medal)

Holly Boal, Bonmahon Flash

Ben Rowlatt-McCormick, MJI Cabernet

FEI Nations Cup Team at Houghton Hall (Winning Bronze)

Declan Cullen, Seavaghan Ash

European Junior Eventing Championships at Fontainebleau 8-15 July 2018:

Anna Kelly- Something Special

Robyn McCluskey – Rum Jumbie

Lucy McIlroy, Major Black

Katie Riley – Versace Biscuit

European Young Rider Championship at Fontainebleau 8-15 July 2018

Toni Quail– Ringfort Rua

FEI Nations Cup Team at Millstreet 22-26 August 2018

Clare Abbott– Euro Prince

Eventing Young Horse World Championships at Le Lion D’Angers

6 Year Old

Clare Abbott - Jewellent owned by Lisa Rosbotham 8thplace

Suzanne Hagan – OBOS Take One owned jointly by Suzanne Hagan and Lindsay Klimacki

7 Year Old

Declan Cullen with Keonan Hero, owned by Marina O’Hare