Whip and Collar Club May Day event at Portmore

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Another year’s showing commenced for the Whip and Collar Driving Club on May Day at Portmore Equestrian Centre.

Joanne Parrett judged the donkey classes and was extremely impressed with the turnouts. The Whip and Collar Driving Club are now affiliated with the Donkey Breed Society and it has proved a resounding success with an increase in numbers in all their classes.

Lisa Doherty judged some of the in-hand classes and she too was impressed with the standard, Lisa having many years’ experience of working with cobs.

Mr Andrew Hamilton-Rhodes, from England, who is a Hackney Horse Society and British Driving Society panel judge with a vast amount of knowledge within the driving circles, was the third judge on duty.

The number of entries at the show exceeded 200 so all the hard work and dedication paid off. The first class was won by Elaine McCray showing Owen and Pam Wilkinson’s eye-catching cob a well-deserved win.

Welsh Pony in hand was won by Gareth Bailie who is no stranger to the driving world having exhibited to a very high level for a long time. Welsh Cob in hand was won by James Clelland with his homebred animal which is an illustrious dynamic cob.

Traditional Cob was won by Grace Vallely who put on a great performance and won the new Digger ‘Eoin’ O’Neill trophy which was donated by Eoin’s family in memory of him. Open in hand was won by John Weir Jnr, who needs no introduction to the showing world as this is a family affair with immense dedication from John Snr, Eileen and, of course, John Jnr.

In hand Champion was James Clelland showing his impressive Budore Alfie. Novice Horse/Pony Class was won by Yvonne Harrington who made the long journey from Tipperary showing her lovely pony Spot.

Damien Sloan was the Hackney Pony Class winner with his impressive American bred pony Heartland Elmo. The Hackney Horse Class was won by Frank Wadham driving Clifford Park’s astonishing looking horse Baldwins Young Guns. Baldwin’s Young Guns was crowned the Hackney Champion shown by Frank Wadham and Reserve was Heartland Elmo driven by Damien Sloan.

Light Trade winner was John Weir Jnr showing the excellent Rosehall Alexander. Heavy Trade was won by David Mulreany with his splendid Friesian Slick Rick. Private Drive under 13.2 was won by George Acres from Wicklow showing his elegant pony Aghaderg Bold as Brass. Private Drive over 13.2 was won by Clifford Park with his exquisite Rosehall Tara Queen. The Country Cart class was won by Val Goode driving Gordon Bell’s Janton Bailey’s Welsh Cream which was awesome on the day.

The Private Drive Champion was Clifford Park and Reserve was George Acres. Concours d’ Elegance was won by local lady Jenny Lyttle who was a worthy winner with Famous Seamus. Junior Whip was won by Mia Smyth showing her adorable pony Rocky assisted by her grandfather who is an experienced horseman.

Friesian Driving Class was won by Thomas Clarke showing six Friesians. The judge was so impressed with all the entrants in this class they were all awarded red rosettes. Thomas Clarke put on an unforgettable display driving these six Friesians which was a glorious and exemplary showcase to see. He was ably assisted by his daughter Abbey who is proving to be quite a proficient driver herself and good friend Angelo Kane himself having a natural aptitude in respect to the Friesians.

Ladies Class was won by Frankie Allen showing Joe McAleese’s Ballystriplighter, who put on a magnificent display being a highly skilled exhibitor from England. Exercise Class under 13.2 was won by Yvonne Harrington with Spot and the Exercise Class over 13.2 was won by John Weir showing Ringside Lucifer.

The Exercise Champion was won by John Weir showing Ringside Lucifer with Reserve going to Chantelle Brown driving Joe McAleese’s Catheal Black Magic, Chantelle being a sister of Frankie who also is an experienced horse handler. The last class of the day was Novice Driver, and this was won by Jacqueline Magennis showing her beautiful Shalimar Pixie Gold.

A spokesperson commented: “The Club would like to thank everyone involved in the running of this prestigious show. Also, thanks to Portmore Equestrian Centre for the use of their magnificent facility on the day. It was also highly encouraging to see so many classes with large entries on the day and even the driving classes have increased with seven hackneys showing in the wagon classes with others entered in different classes at the show, which was marvellous taking into account that there has been a decline of these endangered animals within the showing circuit.

“All these things go together to prove that the Whip and Collar Driving Club have aimed high and succeeded and we hope that this will be an encouragement and help to other societies moving forward in the future.”

For further details of upcoming events or any details regarding the Club please feel free to contact Paul Trimble 07803191766 or follow them on Facebook: The Whip and Collar Driving Club.