Showjumping enthusiasts from all parts of the Province who came to Portrush for the Balmoral Show 2016 qualifiers were confronted with heavy hail showers and slippery underfoot conditions.
The amateur qualifier class bore the brunt of the adverse conditions. Luckily one of the Maddybenny tractors was on hand to tow out stranded vehicles and roll the arena between classes.
The first class, the amateur qualifier, attracted an entry of 43 and produced some highly competitive show jumping.
In an exciting jump off the win went to the seasoned performer Joe Harris riding his own Coppindell Concorde with local girl Grace McGarry on her own Amor and Tyrone lady Lynn Russell in third place.
After this marathon Class the entire arena was rolled and jumps moved. Senior course designer for the day Mr Ray Buchanan commented on how lucky they were to have 14 feet wide jumps which to some extent saved the ground.
This class for five year old horses attracted only nine entries and the win went to Hanna Patterson on her own Volt Star. The third Class for six and seven year old horses had an entry of 10 runners and was dominated by the visitors from nearby Co Donegal. The win went to Convoy rider Simon Scott on his own Jasmine Tide.
By noon the weather completely changed with the hail replaced with bright sunshine. The fourth Class at 1.30m attracted 12 entries and produced the best jump off of the day. This class was won in some style by local girl Tegan White on her own Lenamore Lux with the only double clear to hold off the challenge of international rider Kenneth Graham riding Garth Godfrey’s Coco Fino. Tegan, now based in Dublin, has been eventing in the recent past and has therefore been able to hone her jumping skills.
The course building team of Ray Buchanan and David and Sylvia Nicholl are to be congratulated on their efforts and produced the best possible courses in unfavourable conditions.
Amateur: 1st, Coppindell Concorde, J Harris; 2nd, Amor, G McGarry; 3rd, Rockmount Misty Star, L Russell; 4th, Senate Hill, P White; 5th, Salsa, L Russell; 6th, Loughanroe Lady, M McFarland.
Event 2 - five year olds: 1st, Volt Star, H Patterson; 2nd, Delle Lux, P Clingan; 3rd, Simply Henry, E McCollum; 4th, Fyfin Eko, J Smyth; 5th, Jockeyhall Midas Touch, V Mester; 6th, O’Ryans Dream, S Scott.
Event 3 - six/seven year olds: 1st, Jasmine Tide, S Scott; 2nd, The Risk, L Johnston; 3rd, Lenamore Nelson, J Coyle; 4th, Ploverfield Lilyana, S Scott; 5th, Beir Bua, K Graham; 6th, Hermes De Cavalier, J P McGranaghan.
Event 4 - 1.30m: 1st, Lenamore Lux, T White; 2nd, Coco Fino, K Graham; 3rd, Liezel Lux, A Desmond; 4th, Hi Girl, E Houston; 5th, Mikhem Kanko, M McSorley; 6th, Eglish, J Coyle.