The popular Flexi Eventing League run by Eventing Ireland’s Northern Region in association with The Meadows Equestrian got underway at the weekend with the generous £1,000 sponsorship from Baileys Horse Feeds.
Snow and frost in some parts of the province meant that a number of competitors were unable to make the journey but almost seventy combinations completed dressage tests and well over 100 show jumped and went cross country.
Ground conditions at The Meadows were perfect as staff had been in action from 5am to ensure that all signs of frost had been eradicated well ahead of the 9am prompt start. The dressage arenas were particularly attractive and nicely presented with colourful floral arrangements, much to the bewilderment of some of the four legged friends.
In the intro dressage, the combination which most impressed the very hard working judge, Vanda Robinson, was Rachel Ferres with her very striking Arnold, a seven year old gelding by Canterano whom she recently purchased from England. They also took sixth place in Pre Novice under the scrutiny of Myra Greeves. In the Intro, they finished over three per cent higher than second placed Leah Knight on Milo. Caitie Slator, presenting her new mount, Blue Belle, slotted into third place with Laura Murphy-Finn picking up a well deserved fourth place.
However, special mention must be made of six year old Ellie McDowell who, not
only rode two ponies, being on at 9am in the morning, but managed to secure fifth place on Peplow Dancing Queen. Sarah McClay was sixth on Major.
Top honours in the large Pre Novice class were taken by seasoned winners, Lynne Spence on Jaydious Apollo who also secured a fourth place in the Novice class. Following in second place, just a fraction behind, was David O’Connor on Marion Turley’s home bred five year old gelding, Tullymurry Grey Joy who was making his debut at this level. This is a most impressive gelding which, last weekend, qualified for the NIF on his first outing of the year. Andrew Ferguson and Caddy Moon picked up the yellow rosette with Lucy Johnston earning fifth place.
Meanwhile, victory in the Novice class went to the accomplished duo of Daniel Brown on Bart, exactly one per cent higher than Leah Jackson on Gemilly. Katie King picked up third place on Youngstars Cheetah and Ryan Truesdale took fifth with Lowhill Tick Tock.
The showjumping results do not bear testament to the entries as many combinations suffered from the dreaded ‘four faultitis’ but there was general consensus that a great education had been gained as horses and ponies experienced a superb selection of coloured poles and fillers.
The cross country fences gave competitors plenty to think about. The water, in particular, had its fair share of ‘double takes’ but provided a very valuable schooling opportunity at this stage of the year.
The Flexi Eventing continues every Saturday until 5 March with points being awarded for performance and attendance.
This is open to absolutely everyone and, as the name suggests, riders can choose to do any or all of the three disciplines. Showjumping and cross country entries are taken on the day but dressage must be pre entered with Dora on 07876758979 or email@example.com by 6pm each Wednesday.
Intro – Judge Vanda Robinson: Rachel Ferres, Arnold; Leah Knight, Milo; Caitie Slator, Blue Belle; Laura Murphy-Finn, Setanta Express; Ellie McDowell, Peplow Dancing Queen; Sarah McClay, Major
Pre Novice – Judge Myra Greeves: Lynne Spence, Jaydious Apollo; David O’Connor, Tullymurry Grey Joy; Andrew Ferguson, Caddy Moon; Robyn McFadden, Teluel; Lucy Johnston, Apollo; Rachel Ferres, Arnold.
Novice – Judge Vanda Robinson: Daniel Brown, Jack; Leah Jackson, Gemilly; Katie King, Youngstars Cheetah; Lynne Spence, Jaydious Apollo; Ryan Truesdale, Lowhill Tick Tock; Daniel Brown, Bart.
70cms – double clears: Suzanne Hagan, Connie, Johnny Mulligan, Mando, Suzanne Hagan, Sally
80cms- double clears: Lauren McDermott, Cognac, Lucy Toombs, little Miss May, Victoria Clarke, Embarcadero, Johnny Mulligan, Jack, Maeve Clarke, Alloy, Denise Kelly, Buttercup Boy, Alex Greer, Phoenix Spark.
90cms – double clears: Maeve Clarke, Alloy, Suzanna McQuade, Laura, Harry Haire, Hollow Smoke, Johnny Mulligan, Jeremy, Johnny Mulligan, Cassie, Caitie Slator, Blue Belle, Laura Murphy-Finn, Setanta Express, Casey Webb, Lethel Weapon, Tori Volter, Jupiter, Clodagh McKevitt, Fire Dancer, Emma Bell, Kiss Me Quick.
1m- double clears: Katie Parker, Annie, Marina Stewart, Phoenix, Kerry Magill, Toffee, Megan Stewart, Phoenix, Katie Parker, Poppy, Victoria Clarke, Carrickview Flamenco, Ruari Clarke, Roly, Lauren Johnston, That’s My Guy, Ruari Clarke, Cow, Laoise O’Farrell, Felix, David O’Connor, Tullymurry Seana, Rhonda Hall, Bill Little, Kerry Gilmore, Shannon, Daniel Brown, Tetre Rouge, Herbie Purce, Glen, Stephie Jackson, Leyla
1.10m- double clears: Daniel Brown, Euro Jackpot, Ron Schaefer, Big Adventure, Natasha Kerr, Chekayne, Emma Jackson, Silky, Emma Jackson, Amy
Cross Country (clear rounds): Victoria Clarke, Carrickview Flamenco, Kerry Gilmore, Shannon, Lucy McIlroy, Carraignoir Blaze, Julie -Anne Lyttle, Red Rock Supreme.