The Whip and Collar Driving Club held their fifth consecutive show on Monday, May 1, at Portmore Equestrian Centre and what a roaring success it was.
The weather was absolutely magnificent to match an ecstatic day’s showing with over 100 entrants.
The first class up was the Welsh Pony and the winner was Gareth Bailie showing Lamar Twn Sion Cati who is a skilled horseman himself.
Next up was the Welsh Cobs with a strong class of five with the experienced Cleland Brothers taking first and second place with James Cleland showing Budore Sir Percy and David showing Budore Joseph. These majestic cobs are dazzling to watch.
The Kerry Bog class was won by Bog Flashy Lad owned by Stevie Pedlow, who organised sponsorship from the Kerry Bog Society along with a beautiful sash for the winner. The club is hugely indebted to him for all his help.
Traditional Cob class was a large class with 11 exhibits and what a splendid sight to see these cobs being shown in the indoor arena. First was Rosehall Alexander shown by John Weir. Rosehall Alexander was bred by local equestrian enthusiast Norman Brown who was present on the day.
Another superb In Hand class was the Open in Hand with 15 exhibits. The judge had an ardent task choosing a winner with so many super animals on display. Her winner was JCS Distinguished who put on a glowing display.
In Class 6 Novice any Vehicle the winner was Striplighter owned by Joe McAleese, Joe just shortly back purchasing his first hackney.
Class 7 had four of the best hackney ponies to be shown in Ireland with the winner being Heartland Advantage trained and exhibited by William Trimble. The Deputy Lord Mayor Mr Paul Greenfield was in attendance on the day and presented William Trimble with his trophy. Paul was really impressed with the show on the day and organisers were honoured to have him take time out of his busy schedule to attend.
The hackneys never fail to impress and the hackney horses had another four immaculately presented on the day, with the winner being Wentworth Moonraker owned and shown by Michael Hanlon. Second was Ludington Isabella owned by George Cunningham and exhibited by his niece the accomplished horsewoman Linda Skillen. The hackney champion winner was Heartland Advantage shown by William Trimble with Wentworth Moonraker shown by Michael Hanlon reserve. Mr Joey Peter from the famous Brookfield Hackney Stud in England presented the trophies to the Champion and Reserve.
The Light Trade class was won by Rosehall Alexander shown by John Weir who exhibited in quite a number of classes on the day. Showing is a family affair with John, Eileen and John jnr who are long passionate show attenders.
Next up was the Donkey Driving class and organisers were so pleased to have the donkeys and their handlers return again to the show this year. The winner was Firecracker shown by Ashley Brown.
The Heavy Trade class was won by Millcottage Clydesdale owned by Terry Mills. These gentle grand horses are a real pleasure to watch with their distinguished performances. John McDermott of Pipeline Services was second place in this class and gave a generous sponsorship to the club which was greatly appreciated.
Private Drive under 13.2 was won by Caomhe shown by Suzanne Acres who came from Co. Wicklow. Again the club are really appreciative of her and her team making the long journey to attend the indoor show. Private Drive over 13.2 was a strong class with the winner being Bellury Hostess shown by Jonathan Carnduff. Jonathan is on the Committee of the Whip and Collar Driving Club and has been very supportive in his sponsorship towards the running of the shows. Jonathan always gives a masterly performance with his impeccable stunning turnout.
Class 14 Country Cart was won by local man Alex Fawcett showing the beautiful free flowing Friesians which he always presents to a very high impressive standard.
Private Drive Champion was Bellury Hostess shown by Jonathan Carnduff, Reserve Van Persie shown by Val Good who is no stranger in the driving circles, Val making the journey from Dublin. Jonathan Carnduff has qualified for The Victoria Foods Championship to be held later in the year in England.
Concurs Elegance winner was Alex Fawcett showing his team of four Friesians. These horses put on an elegant, striking performance. Louise Presho presented the trophy in memory of her late husband Alex who was a talented exhibitor within the driving circles.
Another new class introduced this year was the Ladies Class which proved very popular and the winner was Caomhe shown by Suzanne Acres, putting on a flawless flashy performance. Exercise Vehicle under 13.2 was won by Milltown Boy shown by John Weir jnr. Milltown Boy is an outstanding pony who is a show veteran and never lets the Weir show team down. Second place went to Aghaderg Something Special shown by Lewis Magill and bred by local hackney breeder Paul Trimble of the Aghaderg Hackney Stud. Third was Just Jack owned by Fred Brodie. All three exhibits were sensational looking in this class.
Exercise Vehicle over 13.2 was won by Pinky shown by Joe McAleese. Exercise Champion was won by Ludo for Alex Fawcett, Reserve being Milltown Boy for John Weir, with the Weir family having fabulous results on the day.
Donkey working class in Traditional Dress was a delight to watch as the handlers were all dressed in traditional dress. The judge’s winner was a young Caragh Cochrane showing Barney. Caragh made the job look so simple with the impressive way in which she was able to handle her donkey.
Club chairman Mr Joe Quigg (a highly prolific winner himself with both his hackney pony and hackney horse), made the presentation to this class.
The Pleasure Driving Class was won by Pinky shown for Joe McAleese by Chantelle Brown from England giving a skilful display.
The last class of the day was the Junior Whip with Felix winning this class for Ruari Creighton. Ruari is proving to be quite a keen talented driver.
A spokesperson said: “The Whip and Collar Driving Club would like to thank all their helpers and supporters for their dedication and hard work on the show day for making it such a resounding success. To Portmore Equestrian Centre for the use of the prestigious venue, also a special word of thanks to Armagh, Banbridge Craigavon Council for their funding which was a great help and encouragement to the club.
“A special thanks goes to our judges Jessica Dudley-Apecialle and Kelly Searle who done a magnificent job on the day. It was a privilege and an honour to have these two young ladies in attendance.
“Lastly, a massive thank you to all the sponsors and to Sean Cooney of Botanica who sponsored each Championship. Sean is a true professional and has a superb passion for his products.”
For more details of the show and further events to be held follow the club on Facebook.