The painstaking work and attention to detail by the Campbell family was very evident as competitors travelled from all over Ireland to the pristine North Antrim venue for the latest Northern Region event.
This year, in sharp comparison to last, the sun shone throughout and, indeed, competitors were most appreciative of the intense efforts made right up to the start of cross country to ensure that ground conditions were made as suitable as possible following the very dry period.
This year Alan Campbell and Course Designer, Adam Stevenson, included some very interesting new 2* fences and created testing tracks across all levels.
Finvoy is recognised as a superb community event as testified by the presence of a number of local sponsors who had assisted in the preparation work and were present on the day.
These included BC Plant JCB Ltd, whose Head of Operations, Stuart Anderson, was on hand to present prizes at the end of the day. Also having a presence on the day was Claas Tractors, Culmore Organic Farm, FP McCann Concrete Products, Finvoy Tyres, Glendale Finance and Rea’s of Finvoy.
Steven Smith had a 1,2 in the O/CNC2* class with the red rosette going to Gina Johnston’s Bonito while Edward Freyne’s home bred gelding, Ardfield Boy, took the runner up spot.
Seavaghan Ash, the seven year old gelding by Glenhill Gold, gave his owner-rider, Declan Cullen his second consecutive win in the CNC2* class despite lowering two coloured poles. Sinead Boyd claimed second place on her mother, Rose Boyd’s Kiltealy Flight on whom she added just a few cross country time penalties to her first phase mark.
One fence down in the showjumping arena proved costly for the early leader, Lesley Webb, in the O/CNC1* class because it relegated her and Kilpatrick Lord to eventual third place behind the winner, Daniel Brown on the Cormac McKay bred, Euro Jackpot who was the only combination to finish on their dressage Mark. Second place, a fraction behind, was Holly Wray, riding Joanne Jarden’s Gee Apollo mare, MJ I Belle Bonita.
Jonathan Steele enjoyed back to back wins with Katrina Mackie’s Mr Green, an eight year old gelding by Harlequin du Carel in the CNC1* class where the top three finished on their dressage scores. Second and third places were both taken by Steven Smith on Diane Harron Eakin’s six year old Loch Cruise mare, EMS Florence and Swift Edition, a gelding owned by Camella McDowell.
Justine Harding had a very well deserved win in the CNCJ1* class on Joanne Jarden’s mare MJI Wendy followed by Ella Boyle on Catriona, a mare by Ars Vivendi.
Robyn McCluskey continued her good form with Creemully Melody by winning the CNCP2* class ahead of Zara Nelson on the European medal-winning pony, Millridge Buachaill Bui. Both these pony riders finished on their first phase Mark and, indeed, Robyn also picked up a sixth place with Blackhill Border Fox.
The first of the Amateur classes saw Joy Lindsay have a runaway victory with Lassban Au Revoir, almost ten points clear of nearest rival, Emily Morris on Florida Bud.
Vicky Dobbin and her faithful Villa Imp returned to the podium this week in the EI100Amateur class finishing slightly less than three points ahead of the early leaders, Pauline Faloon and Carlingford Sebastian who had a costly fence in the showjumping.
Twenty three combinations set out in the EI 100 class where Catherine Robinson claimed victory on the seven year old gelding, Killeshin Carsonstown, having benefited from an unfortunate cross country fall by the early leader, Antonia Ward and Christopher Robin 2. However, Antonia was rewarded with a second placing on her other mount Patronus.
Hollie Smith dominated the EI 100 classes with a double victory. First of the day was in the Junior class where she won with Hill Dancer, a gelding bred by Gina Johnston, who had also won at Finvoy last year under Steven’s direction. Hollie finished on her impressive dressage Mark almost four points clear of Aoife Carr on Tegan White’s mare, Tyra MB.
Hollie took her second win in the Pony class with her faithful, Gucci 111, again adding nothing to her dressage score. Richhill student, Lucy Johnston, also finished on her first phase Mark with the lovely pony, Tynan Mist to claim second place.
The Lafarge Tarmac sponsored EI 90 class was won by Clare McVeigh on her own six year old gelding, HRH High Society who really impressed the dressage judge, gaining a great early advantage which she maintained through to the finish to give her an eight point margin over second placed Catherine Robinson on Heather Hefferman’s skewbald mare, Coloured Clough Girl.
The last of the Amateur classes was won by Amy Griffith on Ballymacenallen Arial who maintained her first phase position, just over one point clear of the Tyrella 4 winner, Judith McCarthy on Mixed Up.
Aimee Roscoe was delighted to claim her first eventing victory in the EI90 P class on JD Little Problem where she finished on her dressage score, almost two points ahead of Hugo O’Neill on the amazingly accomplished little pony, Silver Fox 111.
Northern Region is deeply indebted to the Campbell Family for hosting this superb event and for making everyone- spectators, competitors and officials feel so welcome.
Thanks, too, to all the volunteers who carried out their duties with great aplomb- some of them having been recruited by Eavan White from amongst the membership of Route Hunt branch of the Pony Club, Route Hunt and Bann Valley Riding Club. A special word of thanks to the Causeway Coast Showjumpers for the use of their resources both last week at Maddybenny and this week at Finvoy. Thanks, too, go to Nicky Nesbitt, Barbara Dixon and their team of helpers who were responsible for providing a very sumptuous lunch for all officials.
This coming Saturday, May 21, sees the final Northern event of the Spring season take place at Glenpatrick, courtesy of the Megahey family. Spectators will be most welcome.
O/CNC2*: 1. Steven Smith, Bonito; 2. Steven Smith, Ardfield Boy.
CNC2*: 1. Declan Cullen, Seavaghan Ash; 2. Sinead Boyd, Kiltealy Flight; 3. Jim Newsam, Wellan Limelight; 4. Marcus Hayden, Mount Panther; 5. Sophie Alexander, Treliver Desdemona; 6. Lucy Hancock, Porter Lady.
CNC1*: 1. Jonathan Steele, Mr Green; 2. Steven Smith, EMS Florence; 3. Steven Smith, Swift Edition; 4. Harold Megahey, Cornascriebe Glenpatrick; 5. Trevor Smith, Baby Roller; 6. Victoria Clarke, Red Curaçao
CNCJ1*: 1. Justine Harding, MJI Wendy; 2. Ella Boyle, Catriona; 3. Chloe Rooney, Molly May; 4. William Mackie, Mill Bay; 5. Ryan Truesdale, Lowhill Tick Tock; 6. Fionn Clarke, Glenpatrick Cool Guy.
O/CNC1*: 1. Daniel Brown, Euro Jackpot; 2. Holly Wray, MJI Belle Bonita; 3. Lesley Webb, Kilpatrick Lord; 4. Victoria Clarke, Sumas El Greco.
CNC1* Amateur: 1. Joy Lindsay, Lassban Au Revoir; 2. Emily Morris, Florida Bud; 3. Florence Campbell, Anvil Diamond; 4. Kat Butler-Ward, The Spin Doctor; 5. Sophie Morrison, Bangor Bay Lad; 6. Leah Jackson, Gemily.
CNCP2*: 1. Robyn McCluskey, Creemully Melody; 2. Zara Nelson, Millridge Buachaill Bui; 3. Laoise O’Farrell, Monlough Meteor; 4. Hannah Langan, Tinka’s Gold; 5. Hannah Adams, Myshall Rodge; 6. Robyn McCluskey, Blackhill Border Fox.
EI 100 Amateur: 1. Vicky Dobbin, Villa Imp; 2. Pauline Faloon, Carlingford Sebastian; 3. Fiona Cooper, Belensky; 4. Meabh Schaible, Mirah’s Skylark; 5. Lucinda Blakiston- Houston, Beltrim Full Moon; 6. Lynne Ireland, Blackwood Quantum Rebel.
EI 100: 1. Catherine Robinson, Killeshin Carsonstown; 2. Antonia Ward, Patronus; 3. Caroline Lynch, It’s a Capitalist; 4. Jonathan Steele, Galdanagh; 5. Jayne Moore, Indian Princess Blossom; 6. Neil Morrison, Tignabruaich.
EI 100J: 1. Hollie Smith, Hill Dancer; 2. Aoife Carr, Tyra MB; 3. Aoife Carr, Kaleidoscope; 4. Molly Evans, Drumconnis Robin Hood.
EI 100P: 1. Hollie Smith, Gucci 111; 2. Lucy Johnston, Tynan Mist; 3. Kerry Magill, Lisnahall Miss Toffee; 4. Sadhbh Peelo Stassin, Clonross Giselle; 5. Patrick Eames, Listowel Thunder; 6. Becky Williams, Captain Flash.
EI 90 Amateur: 1. Amy Griffith, Ballymacenallen Arial; 2. Judith McCarthy, Mixed Up; 3. Kathryn Marshall, Aristocrat; 4. Lynsey Robb, Glenvine Creg Ny Baa; 5. Ben Stevenson, Standbyyourman; 6. Ruth Logan, Oldyard Imp.
EI 90 P: 1. Aimee Roscoe, JD Little Problem; 2. Hugo O’Neill, Silver Fox 111; 3. Tori Surgenor, Rocket Lady; 4. Katie McKee, Craigboy April Melody; 5. Ella Duncan, Lough Allen Dancer; 6. Rocco Quinn, Knockagarron Fear Bui Princess.
EI 90: 1. Clare McVeigh, HRH High Society; 2. Catherine Robinson, Coloured Clough Girl; 3. Fiona Fitzgibbon, Acclaimed Angel; 4. Catherine Robinson, Financial Carsonstown; 5. Paul Caves, Arkanlare; 6. Florence Campbell, Remember My Colours.