Kircubbin was the lovely venue for the latest Northern Region event where competitors were treated to three totally revamped and beautifully presented courses.
Significant site works had been done since the event was last hosted by the O’Flynn family just two years ago. This included the addition of a new water complex, the creation of new routes through different parts of the farm as well as a number of brand new fences with all weather take offs and landings.
The continuing dry weather in the run up to the event meant a significant effort had to be expended watering the ground which started on the Wednesday and continued through until Saturday morning. Justifiably, much praise was given to the O’Flynn family and their team who had worked tirelessly to maximize the quality of ground conditions.
As always, the welcome is immense and, despite a couple of short showers, the atmosphere at the event was amazing for riders, owners and spectators.
Ella Boyle made a great comeback in the O/CNC1* class on Candy 737 who had been out of action following a fall at Tyrella. They led from the outset and swept to victory, adding just a few time penalties to their first phase score. Steven Smith and Hi Happy Harry, the super nine year old Porsch gelding owned by Terry Johnston, took runner up spot, having finished on equal penalties with Emma Jackson and Creevagh For Sure, but closer to the optimum time.
Emma, who is just back to competitive sport following a broken collar bone, just a few weeks ago, proved just how indomitable she is, by winning the Kingsfield Haylage CNC1* class on board Silken Allure, a nine year old mare bred by Helen Troughton, sired by S Creevagh Ferro Ex Siebe. She finished on her impressive dressage score, over four points ahead of Steven Smith on Janet Hall’s mare, Michel M.
Once again, Denis Currie proved that his new partnership, the twelve year old Sarco St Ghyvan gelding, Arodstown Aramis, are definitely a force to be reckoned with. They secured a hat trick of consecutive wins on just three outings and the first at this level. They were hotly pursued by Emily Morris and her faithful companion, Florida Bud.
There were just two finishers of the five starters in the CNCJ1* class where fifteen year old Ballynahinch eventer, Ben Rowlatt-McCormick topped the class with Mon Ami Alme, over seven points clear of Justine Harding riding Joanne Jarden’s seven year old Natal gelding, MJI Cabernet. Ben took his second win of the day in the CNCP2* class where he had a runaway victory with Mon Ami Tonnerre, just adding some time penalties but keeping a clean sheet in the jumping phases.
The EI100 class, much reduced in number this week, saw Michael McGaffin take the win with the Alfred Buller-bred, ten year old gelding, Ballybay Boy. The Tyrella 2 winners, Denise Kelly and Young Taipan, occupied the runner up spot.
Leah Jackson and Gemily are certainly in amazing form at the minute. They claimed the red rosette in the EI100 Amateur class, their second win in their last three appearances. They added nothing to their first phase mark and ended with a very commanding lead over second placed Rachel Lambe and Run This Town who was overjoyed with their performance.
There were back to back wins for Holly Boal and Bonmahon Flash in the Junior 100 class where they finished in excess of a one point margin over Joanna Eames and Martina.
There were celebrations galore in Newry when Killeshin Ferrous Diamond won the LAFARGE Tarmac sponsored EI90 class on his maiden outing. This gelding is owner-bred by John Kehoe and was ridden by Emily Corbett who went to the top in phase one and stayed there for the remaining two sections. Second place went to an equally delighted Sarah Irvine on City Vintage who, likewise, kept the slate clean and finished on her dressage score.
Lynsey Napier-Sneddon, the early leader in the EI 90 Amateur class, had an uncharacteristic stop cross country which left the path to success open for Colleen Murphy from Drogheda who took the honours on board her ten year old black Nigrasine mare, Aurora Nights. Jenny Beggs and Maggie Moo slipped in behind, adding just some penalties to an otherwise clean sheet.
The Rowlatt-McCormick family from Ballynahinch had a third reason to celebrate when their younger son, Tom, joined his brother Ben’s winning streak, by taking the honours in the EOI 90 P class with Coill Dearmad William, a gelding by the Connemara sire, I Love You Melody. They finished marginally ahead of Charlie Jewiss riding Amanda Boyle’s little gelding, Granstown Bobby Dazzler.
Once again, everything ran like clockwork, thanks to the very professional and dedicated volunteers, to whom organisers owe a special debt of gratitude. It was lovely to see Clare Abbott, one of the Badminton stars, fence judging for the day and attracting a lot of attention from some of the younger competitors.
Huge thanks to Eamonn, Karen and Hollie for inviting everyone back to Kircubbin to enjoy the benefits of their refurbished courses – their welcome and friendship is legendary.
The courses are now open for schooling all year round and are certainly worth a visit.
O/CNC1*: 1, Ella Boyle, Candy 737; 2, Steven Smith, Hi Happy Harry; 3, Emma Jackson, Creevagh For Sure; 4, Steven Smith, Swift Edition; 5, Jim Newsam, Kilcooley Michael; 6, Jim Newsam, Dunrath Wellington.
CNC1*: 1, Emma Jackson, Silken Allure; 2, Steven Smith, Michel M; 3, Emma Jackson, Applejack; 4, Steven Smith, Hill Patrol; 5, Adam Haugh, Jezebelle; 6, Janie Cairns, Drumnaconnell Naughty.
CNC1* Amateur: 1, Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis; 2, Emily Morris, Florida Bud; 3, Florence Campbell, Anvil Diamond; 4, Florence Campbell, Imperial Master; 5, Kat Butler Ward, The Spin Doctor.
CNCJ1*: 1, Ben Rowlatt-McCormick, Mon Ami Alme; 2, Justine Harding, MJI Cabernet
CNCP2*: 1, Ben Rowlatt M’Cormick, Mon Ami Tonnerre; 2, Lauren Andrews, Cloud Nine.
EI 100: 1, Michael McGaffin, Ballybay Boy; 2, Denise Kelly, Young Taipan; 3, Connie Hannaway, Ballymote Make A Wish; 4, Fiona Fitzgibbon, Pepper Joe; 5, Christopher McCartan, Ivy Star; 6, Emma Leathem, Drumcill.
EI 100 Amateur: 1, Leah Jackson, Gemily; 2, Rachel Lambe, Run This Town; 3, Jayne Moore, Indian Princess Blossom; 4, Flora Crawford, Murph; 5, Philip Swann, Tignabruaich; 6, Alexandra Russell, Hoeks Mainstream.
EI 100J: 1, Holly Boal, Bonmahon Flash; 2, Joanna Eames, Martini; 3, Justine Harding, Charissma; 4, Lucy McIlroy, Major Black; 5, Patrick Eames, Kings Choice; 6, Hannah Thompson, Sam-Mar Madame Sophie.
EI 90: 1, Emily Corbett, Killeshin Ferrous Diamond; 2, Sarah Irvine, City Vintage; 3, Leah Knight, Mithril Lace; 4, David O’Connor, Tullymurry Ghost; 5, Andrew Napier, Margie Mac; 6, Katie O’Reilly, Indian Dreamer.
EI90 Amateur: 1, Colleen Murphy, Aurora Nights; 2, Jenny Beggs, Maggie Moo; 3, Joanne Cairns, Made You Look; 4, Sarah Panache, Jumpingdale Beethoven; 5, Claire Palmer, Milford Kinsale; 6, Heather McMillan, Cullion Fitzherbert.
EI90P: 1, Tom Rowlatt McCormick, Coill Dearmad William; 2, Charlie Jewiss, Grantstown Bobby Dazzler; 3, Rory O’Neill, Silver Fox 111; 4, Roddy Pannell, Cherry Orchard Rico; 5, Lucy McIlroy, Knockbridge Just Jimmy; 6, India Forsythe, Drumaran Nigel.