Kick-starting the second leg of Hagans Croft Working Hunter league was the horse classes.
With 11 rustic fences built by Toni Donnelly, the course proved a testing track for those working hunter enthusiasts.
The first class was the 60cm class, with four competitors. With three of those going clear it was down to the show phase where Karina McVeigh and Cheyenne finished with 93/100 and first place. Harriett Hogan and ‘Tollymore Lass’ have been preparing for their working hunter come back and were pleased with a second place.
Moving onto the 70cm class and jumping clear for the second week Nicola Stuart and ‘Clonkeen cheeky charmer’ were delighted with first place, earning 11 points towards the league. Megan Houston and ‘Craigmount Sparrow’ also jumping clear but slipping into second place and 10 points towards the league.
As the course was adjusted to the 80cm class, Megan Houston and ‘Craigmount Sparrow’ prepared to take on the course of 11 fences. This time they had their sights on the red rosette and that they achieved, just tipping Nicola Stuart and ‘Clonkeen Cheeky Charmer’ into second place.
Mandy Blakely and ‘Kizzy’ were not giving up in the 85cm class, and for the second week in a row they came home with the red rosette.
The 90cm class saw a few unfortunate poles down and refusals. This did not hamper Julie Donaghy Simpson and ‘He’s The Lad’ winning the red rosette.
The bad luck continued for some competitors in the 1m class with some sat nav issues and poles down. However one competitor shone through achieving the only clear round, Julie Donaghy Simpson and ‘He’s The Lad’. Finishing second with a pole down were Craig Hills and ‘ Lougherne Inspired’.
The morning session finished off with all those competitors in first and second place heading into the championship show. Even though ‘Craigmount Sparrow’ only stands at 14.2hh he stood tall winning the judge’s eye - Roz Murphy to be awarded Horse Champion. After her second and first place rosettes Nicola Stuart and ‘Clonkeen Cheeky Charmer’ were confident going into the championship and galloped home to claim Reserve Horse Champion!
The afternoon saw the chance for the ponies to take on the challenging course of rustic fences. With refusals and poles down there was only two competitors going through clear. First spot was claimed by Kaitlyn Kearns and palomino ‘Millhouse Henry’ and second place Katie Annett and ‘Derrymattery Fudge’.
Next came the 70cm NIF Starter Stakes and M&M class where Molly O’Connor and Rossfad Runaway soared over all the fences. They went on to score near perfect marks in the ridden show phase, finishing with 94/100 which secured them the red ribbon. However not far behind with 90/100 was Megan Nelson and ‘Telynau Royal Dignitary’. Molly and Rossfad Runaway did it again in the 80cm NIF 133cm class, achieving a second clear over the course. Zara Mnyth and Killican Boy caught the eye of the judge securing them second place.
The course was adjusted to 90cm, however it wasn’t a problem for Megan Nelson and Emma Irwin who both jumped clear, setting them up in good stead for the ridden show phase where Megan Nelson and her grey mare ‘Diamond’ clinched first place followed by Emma and ‘Joey’ in second place
Emily McGowan and ‘Tullaree Fear Bui’ took on the 1m course of rustic fences and jumped the only clear in the class securing them the red rosette and Molly O’Connor were delighted to be awarded Champion Pony with ‘Rossfad Runaway’. Pony Reserve Champion was awarded to Emily McGowan and ‘Tullaree Fear Bui’. Hagans Croft would like to thank everyone who supported the second leg of Hagan’s Croft’s five week working hunter league and NIF qualifiers. This league runs every Saturday until November 2 and is open to everyone especially those wanting to qualify for the NI Festival at Cavan. Entries are taken on the day at £15 or for more than one entry it is £14 each. Spaces are limited and booking is essential. Contact Toni Donnelly on 07764786500. To find out more contact Gillian on 07849 106453.