With the athletes now safely returned to school or college, it is time to take stock of a very active summer had by Ulster Region members.
Particular emphasis is given to the excellent results by riders from Northern Ireland at the National Pony Championships held in Coilog Equestrian Centre, Kildare.
‘Michael Morrissey Horse Trucks’ National Pony League
With placings in all three classes, the Ulster Region was very well represented. Kicking off the morning, Kym Moore with her mum’s ‘Oaklea Supreme’ battled hard against a very strong field to finish in sixth place.
In an equally strong class, Sarah Moore also had the odds stacked in the 148 1m final, riding her mother Lorna’s ‘Kilgarvin Morning Misty’ Sarah finished in fifth place. Also worth noting was Nicholas Bothwell who with his mother’s ‘Sparkling Apache Gold’ led the Ulster table into the final, where everyone started on zero points again. However, it was left to Omagh athlete Conor Harris to lead by example, winning the 138 Michael Morrissey Pony League for 2017. Onboard his mother Orla’s ‘Lenamore Lena’, Conor set an uncatchable time to take the honours for this year.
Walter Reape Newcomers Champions League
An exciting time was had by all who took part in the Newcomer League sponsored by Walter Reape of Ard Chuain Equestrian. Just pipped to the winner’s rosette was Zara McAnerney with ‘Stepping Stone Toby’ who was just 0.34 secs outside the optimum time to place second. Also placed in the class was Natalie McKenna, taking fourth place with ‘Knockagarron Super Mario’ and Caitlin Kelly with ‘Tuity Fruity’ in seventh overall.
‘Equestrian World of
Going from strength to strength, the National Discovery League grows year on year and was sponsored once again by Equestrian World Of Maynooth.
Qualified combinations were spoilt for choice with the fantastic array of prizes from the sponsor.
Narrowly missing out on a podium-topping place, Ted Gibson with his Aunt Edna’s ‘My Party Pop’ were denied the win of the Under 8 section, being squeezed out by under half a second. Adam Adair was just outside the top six, coming in close with ‘Casper’ to take seventh place overall.
In the Under 10 section, Kym Moore with her consistent ‘Smoke Gun’, took third place overall, with Zara Jane Kelly just outside the top six with ‘Bright Bling’ in seventh.
Discovery Young Pony Championship
As a judged pony class, the Discovery Young Pony Championship is a crowd pleaser. and the class certainly did not disappoint in Coilog.
The judges in the arena whittled the competition down by 50% to take forward to the Championship the following day. Judged then a second time, the Ulster Region were very well represented overall and came home with the accolades in the 128 Young Pony Discovery Champion, being awarded to Emily Steele, riding Roisin Donnelly’s ‘Scarlett’s Cromwell’.
Drumquin rider, Jennifer Torrens also received reserve champion in the 138 section with Joanne Sloan Allen’s ‘WKD GI Joe’.
A busy day was had in all four arenas at Coilog with athletes trying to secure the title of class champion for 2017. The Ulster Region was incredibly well represented throughout, with several championships coming back home to the region.
In the 128 classes, wins went to Natalie McKenna, who won the 128 80cms Championship with her mother Teresa’s ‘Jacodi’s Anja’s Admiral’ and Cavan’s Jamie Clarke who took the 128 85cms Under 10 Crown with ‘Phoenix Phantom’.
Additional performances from Maeve Clarke with ‘Lenamore Mini Metro’(128 90cms), Mackenzie Carmody with ‘Cosmic Chaos’ (128 70cms) and Darragh Murphy with ‘Rough Diamond’ (128 60cms) also seen them claim the lower podium placings.
Ulster athletes dominated the 138 category taking four of the five available championships. Darragh Murphy was crowned 138 80cms Champion, after taking the win onboard ‘Lady Zee’. After winning the Michael Morrissey National Pony League on the previous day, Harris lifted the 138 90cm crown with ‘Lenamore Lena’ to make it two days in a row.
Winning the 138 1m was Ellen Thompson with ‘Lisross Diamond Skye’, stopping the clock in 26.87 to take the Championship with her father Andrew’s grey mare. Alex Finney proved to be a force to reckon with, as Champion of the 138 1.10m with ‘Keogan’s Boy’, Finney went one step further to take second place in the 1.20 with ‘Dolly Du Carel’.
Although no Championship titles were claimed in the 148 classes, athletes from the Ulster Region were placed in the top three in several classes. Third place in the 148 90cms went to Alanna Roulston with ‘Derryvane Storm’. Jennifer Torrens took the third place rosette in the 148 1m with ‘Bellindene Fagin’. The highest placed Athlete in 148 1.10m was Amy-Leigh McAuley, ‘Sunkist Lad’. In the highest class of the category it was Eve Donnelly who led the way for the Ulster athletes finally settling in third place with ’Rincoola Babog’.
Having proven her metal against 100’s of other 128 riders throughout Ireland, Katie McEntee with Kilcreene Apollo took the 128 National Champions Crown for 2017 after picking up Championship points over the previous days.
Also worth a mention is 2016 National 138 Champion, Niamh McEvoy, who narrowly missed out in retaining the title by one place.