There is no doubting the fact that the O’Flynn Family has played a vital role in keeping the Northern Region Show on the road this season.
The unfortunate cancellation of Loughanmore due to the persistent heavy rain meant seeking an alternative venue was compulsory as members were frantically trying to get their final qualifications for the National Championships at Tattersalls.
It was with great satisfaction that Eamonn, Karen and Hollie O’Flynn stepped up and agreed to host an unprecedented fourth event. It gave them a very busy week as they designed and developed another new set of courses to ensure that different challenges were presented for the 180 competitors who travelled to the Ards Peninsula on Saturday.
Once again, The Northern Region Committee was absolutely delighted with the number of southern members who have regularly travelled to Kircubbin as well as those from the extreme north west.
It was definitely a day to remember for Emma Jackson who simply could not have done any better in the O/CNC1* class where her three horses occupied the top three places. She led the class from start to finish with the Ronnie Hollinger-bred stallion, Creevagh For Sure who finished on his first phase score, fractionally ahead of Silken Allure and three points clear of Amy B.
The honours in the CNC1* class went to Gemma Goodrich on her seven year old Captain Clover mare, Miss Clover Rock, bred by Bronagh Stevenson, who finished on her dressage score ahead of Steven Smith with Joy Lindsay’s Lassbann Au Revoir. Joy and her two daughters were there to witness the success as they were busy fence judging.
Matthew Johnston made a welcome return to eventing at Kircubbin and was the early leader in the CNC1* 6 year old class with Bluestone Jupiter. However, the lowering of one showjumping pole plus a number of cross country time penalties pushed him down to fifth place and paved the way to a win for Johnny Mulligan riding Douglas Sloan’s Vechta gelding Malcolm X followed by Steven Smith on Janet Hall’s Irish Currency.
Noah Brown had a very convincing win in the CNCP2* class with Jimmy Thunderstruck, his fourth victory this season and the only combination in the class to maintain a clean showjumping sheet. They finished nine points clear of Katie McKee and Fair Lad.
An impressive fourth win in a row was clocked up by Rum Jumbie, the 12 year old Cyrano gelding owned by Denise McCluskey and piloted to victory this week by Robyn McCluskey. Joanna Eames and Martini moved up three places from last week to take the runner up spot.
There were just three starters in the CNC1* Amateur class this week and, once again, the invincible duo of Denis Currie and Arodstown Aramis were victorious, their seventh win out of nine outings and always with an impressive sub thirty dressage test. Aoibheanne Morgan took second spot on Hey Aussie on their second run at this level. Uncharacteristically, Waikato Ko, encountered some problems on course to give her owner/rider, Alison Crothers, an earlier start for her hen party than was initially anticipated.
It was a case of back to back victories for Neil Morrison and Kathryn Graham’s Flush Hill Fendi who added nothing to their first phase score. The friendly husband/wife rivalry of the O’Connor household continued with Elaine slotting into second place with her lovely six year old, Frenchfort Swatch Beauty ahead of David and Tullymurry Ghost.
Meantime, Johnny Mulligan had his second win of the day in the EI100 five year old class with Lewis Lowry’s Cecil Bready, a gelding by the Connemara stallion, Templebready Fear Bui. Daniel Brown took second spot with his mother’s Hold Up Premier mare, Fleur de Lis.
A very delighted Hilary Redmond, picked up the first placed rosette for her performance in the EI100 Amateur class with Pulldoaran, an eight year old gelding by Luidam who just added a few time faults to their dressage score to finish over three points clear of Florence Campbell and her precious Anvil Diamond.
Ballymena girl, Alex Byrne is having a fabulous inaugural year at eventing and added another victory to her current tally by taking a win in the EI100P where she finished top with Forest Lodge Rambler, ahead of Ellie Parkhill and Alland Mac U No.
Another young rider building up an impressive record in her first year with Eventing Ireland is Lucy McIlroy. She took the win this week in the EI100J class with Major Black which meant that she has been in the top four on all but one of her eight outings. Kathryn McKibbin and Seapatrick Murphy took second spot after a busy day of fence judging last week.
Kiera Malcolmson might have been the only entry in the ISH EI100 5 and 6 year old ponies class with Rockon Pedro. However, she didn’t rest on her laurels but, instead, put in a great performance to add just four showjumping penalties to her dressage score.
There were 30 starters in a very competitive EI 90 class where Toby Fynn proved his worth with Rachel Ferres’s gelding, Foxes Rescue Me, finishing on their dressage score of 24. Also finishing on their dressage score was second placed Neil Morrison riding Rachel Mayne’s mare, Crvaghs Carillon Clover.
The EI90 4 year old class was dominated by Janie Cairns who took three of the top six placings. She won with Lawrence Patterson’s Ricardo Z gelding, Drumnaconnell Goodie Bag. Hannah Ewart was the runner up on just her second outing with her mare, Shannondale Cavalier.
Jayne Moore, who has been bringing on her High Roller mare, Laylas Way, was the winner in the EI90 Amateur class. Second place went to Ciara Gilroy and Little Rock Lux who were having their final run before Ciara heads off to Trinity College Dublin.
Felicity McConnell had a very well deserved win in the EI90P with her super little pony Woodrow Rosewood with Alex Byrne taking second place on Millbrae Abbie.
Words are inadequate to express Northern Region and the entire eventing fraternity’s appreciation to the O’Flynn family for hosting Saturday’s event. They truly have shown what represents the ethos of our sport.
Thanks, too, to all the volunteers across all disciplines who answered the begging and pleading calls for help – you are all absolutely amazing and we value the amazing work you do.
Northern Region Committee extends good luck to all competitors travelling to Tattersalls for the National Championships this weekend.
1 Emma Jackson, Creevagh For Sure; 2, Emma Jackson, Silken Allure; 3, Emma Jackson, Amy B; 4, Steven Smith, Hill Patrol; 5, Victoria Clarke, Red Curacao
1, Gemma Goodrich, Miss Clover Rock; 2, Steven Smith, Lassban Au Renoir; 3, Emma Jackson, Applejack; 4, Rachel Rendle, Ballyvally Bay; 5, Daniel Brown, Tertre Rouge; 6, Orlagh Kelly, Elsarco
CNC1* 6 year old class
1, Johnny Mulligan, Malcolm X; 2, Steven Smith, Irish Currency; 3, Steven Smith, Winchester; 4, Charlotte Dixon, Harvison; 5, Matthew Johnston, Bluestone Jupiter; 6, Janie Cairns, Limoncello
1, Noah Brown, Jimmy Thunderstruck; 2, Katie McKee, Fair Lad; 3, Tara Dixon, Carracanada Kieran; 4, Lucy Johnston, Tynan Mist; 5, Rocco Quinn, Knockagarron Fear Bui Princess
1, Robyn McCluskey, Rum Jumbie; 2, Joanna Eames, Martini; 3, Lucy Hsancock, Goldman; 4, Christopher Dehaene, Olympic Cool; 5, Hollie Smith, Anvil Lodge Pinnochio; 6, Aoife Carr, Tyra MB
1, Denis Currie, Arodstown Aramis; 2, Aoibheann Morgan, Hey Aussie
1, Neil Morrison, Flush Hill Fendi; 2, Elaine O’Connor, Frenchfort Swatch Beauty; 3, David O’Connor, Tullymurry Ghost; 4, Harriet Pele, Drumcill Grey Ambition; 5, Emily Corbett, Tyre;la Night Light; 6, Suzanne Hagan, Tax Break
Ei100 5 year old
1, Johnny Mulligan, Cecil Bready; 2, Daniel Brown, Fleur De Lis; 3, Johnny Mulligan, Randalstown Commando; 4, Suzanne Hagan, OBOS Take One; 5, Catherine Robinson, Carsonstown Alice; 6, Ian Cassells, Diamond Pointe.
1, Hilary Redmond, Pulldoaran; 2, Florence Campbell, Anvil Diamond; 3, Chloe Lister Tinsley, Midway; 4, Florence Campbell, Emperor G; 5, Lesley Anne Lyons, Rupert Bear; 6, Barry Magan, Itwasn’tme.
1, Alex Byrne, Forest Lodge Rambler; 2, Ellie Parkhill, Alland Mac U No.
1, Lucy McIlroy, Major Black; 2, Kathryn McKibbin, Seapatrick Murphy; 3, Rachel Power-Wall, HHS Comporta Beach; 4, Katie O’Reilly, Indian Dreamer; 5, Katie McKee, Hide N seek; 6, Hannah Thompson, Sam-Mar Madame Sophie.
EI100 5 and 6 year old ponies
1, Kiera Malcolmson, Rockon Pedro.
1, Jayne Moore, Laylas Way; 2, Ciara Gilroy, Little Rock Lux; 3, Nicky Nesbitt, The Spy Master; 4, Sharon McKeever, Cosmic Rolo; 5, Suzanne Maguire, Monlough Meteor; 6, Jill Banford, Slemish Cavalier Two Step.
1, Toby Fynn, Foxes Rescue Me; 2, Neil Morrison, Crvaghs Carillon Clover; 3, Camilla Manningham-Buller, Sunday Bolero; 4, Andrew Napier, Margie Mac; 5, Hannah Thompson, Ballylurgan Lux Goood; 6, Camilla Manningham-Buller, Me and You
1, Janie Cairns, Drumnaconnell Goody Bag; 2, Hannah Ewart, Shannaghmore Cavalier; 3, Janie Cairns, Premier Charlie; 4, Jonathan Steele, Bikini; 5, Janie Cairns, Glen Deal; 6, Jill Revill, Lislan Liam.
1, Felicity McConnell, Woodrow Rosewood; 2, Alex Byrne, Millbrae Abbie; 3, Tara Dixon, Fragile Dreams; 4, Hannah McCartney, Huffle Puff; 5, Tabytha Bonar, CSC Apache Dove; 6, Anna Corinne White, Beezies Minty.