“This year was special with Dressage Ireland celebrating 30 years since it was founded by Joan Keogh in 1989 as the Irish Dressage Society. Opening the pearl anniversary celebrations on the Friday night, equestrian journalist and commentator Paul Nolan gave an overview of the organisation’s history, illustrating Joan’s determination and commitment to the sport of dressage. Championships Co-Ordinator Jane Whitaker presented Joan Keogh with a beautiful pearl gift from Gelletlie Jewellers. The Girls in Green dressage team and their team trainer Johann Hinneman were also honoured at the celebrations and took part in a “Pearls of Wisdom” Q&A, hosted by international rider and trainer Dane Rawlins. Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland Joe Reynolds also gave a speech, commenting on recent achievements in Irish dressage and looking to the future with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics firmly in the sights.” Full report on the DI website.
In the Junior Preliminary Cat 1 Championships 4th place went to Ellen McDonald riding Greenfield Apache, Lucy McDowell riding Forest View Boy & Ruby Geddis Zellmann riding Sweet Molly were both placed in the top 10. The Freedom Saddlery Preliminary Category 1 Championship went to Andrew Gordon riding Drumnahall Miss, Orla Carmichael riding Tyrella SuperSox along with Alex Roleston-Webb riding Charlie Cavalier were also placed in the top ten. Also competing were Ruth Logan riding O To Be Posh, Lisa Ferguson riding Larkin, Michelle Strange riding Quality Galore & Joan Morton riding Ballinvoher all successfully completing. In the Eastern Region Cat 2 Preliminary Championships Nathan McCausland riding Bowes Elevator placed 5th, with Eileen McDade riding Wemyss Bay, Claire Sedgeman riding Prince Kostolany, Cairlinn Carroll riding Mr Biggles & Louise Ferguson riding Italiano were all brilliant. In the County Saddlery Cat 3 Preliminary Championships Michael Boyd riding Getadate placed 6th, Lisa Dundee riding R A Bella & Caroline Herron riding Clantara Kallisto did amazingly well to successfully complete.
To start in the Novice section the Junior Novice Cat 1 Championships Lucy McDowell riding Forest View Boy were an excellent 5th place. Midlands & Western Cat 1 Novice Championships Maeve Lunny riding Okee Dokee was 3rd, Christine Newtown riding Runaway Rebel was 4th & Debbie Burns riding Ramazotti’s Love was 5th with Ruth Logan riding O To Be Posh, Lisa Ferguson riding Larkin, Michelle Strange riding Quality Galore, Julie Dauncay riding Molly all achieving good mid 60% scores. In the South Munster Cat 2 Novice Championships both Zara Wood riding Ard Mirrah, Eilish Smith riding Sheepcote Jamboree placed in the top 10! Louise Hamill riding Benwitched, Eileen McDade riding Wemyss Bay also completed well within the top 20. Agrobs Cat 3 Novice Championships found Sylvia Henry riding Creevagh Connection in 4th, Michael Boyd riding Getadate 6th & Yvette Truesdale riding Homegrown Ajax in the top 10.
Leinster Cat 2 Elementary Championship resulted with Erin Burns riding Caracas II & Zara Wood riding Ard Mirrah both finishing in the top 10. Laura King riding Bellissima MKM, Eileen McDade riding Dalia Star, Jacky Reid riding Springvale Prince also finished well. In the Freedom Saddlery Cat 3 Elementary Championship Nicola McKee riding Isperado, Victoria Campbell riding Iotti Van Bergsham, Yvette Truesdale riding Homegrown Ajax, Christine McBride riding Sizing Alberta all completed to finish in the top 10, with Sylvia Henry riding Creevagh Connection also commendable placed.
Now to the WOW Saddles Cat 2 Medium Championships where Jasmin Vollands riding Mo Chara Nua was 5th also finishing well was Debbie Cherry riding Mostro. In the Ballymacarbry Massage Clinic Cat 3 Medium Championships 1st was Courtney Stuart riding HH Empire, 4th Nicola McKee riding Isperado & in 10th was Ruaidhri O’Cianain riding Connswater Elite.
In the Curragh Equine Rehabilitation Centre Advanced Medium Championships 2nd place went to Courtney Stuart riding HH Empire, 3rd was Laragh O’Grady riding Mullentine Emerald Wolfe Tone & in 10th Michael Boyd riding Maximum Jay.
Results from the Freedom Saddlery Advanced Championships had Ella Boyle riding Aquiro in 2nd & Laragh O’Grady riding Mullentine Emerald Wolfe Tone in 6th.
Slieve Bloom Stud Prix St Georges Championships had some amazing results from Northern Region members in 3rd was Ella Boyle ridng Aquiro, 7th Joan Adrain riding VSH Florenciano, 9th Rachael Coulter riding Gorsehill Maya, with Dale Roberts riding Enigma placing in the top 20.
Slieve Bloom Stud Inter 1 Championships again we had excellent results with all Northern Region riders within the top 10, 6th Rachael Coulter riding Gorsehill Maya, 8th Dale Roberts riding Enigma & 9th Joan Adrain riding VSH Florenciano.
The Horse First Young Horse 4-Year-Old Championship was won by Caroline Herron riding Clantara Kallisto, & in 5th was Claire Sedgeman riding Prince Kostolany.
Horse First Young Horse 5yr old Championships had Dale Roberts riding Rademon Aachen – in 2nd place.
The Freestyle classes were all sponsored by Botanica in the Novice Freestyle Championships Eilish Smith riding Sheepcote Jamboree, Sharon Watters ridng Woodcroft Ricardo & Sylvia Henry riding Creevagh Connection all did a fabulous freestyle test. In the Botanica Elementary Freestyle Championships 5th place went Victoria Campbell riding Iotti Van Bergsham, 10th Sylvia Henry riding Creevagh Connection & Laura King riding Bellissima MKM had a great test ridden. Botanica Medium Freestyle Championships in 3rd Nicola McKee riding Isperado, 4th Jasmin Vollands riding Mo Chara Nua & 7th Debbie Cherry riding Mostro. Courtney Stuart riding HH Empire placed 3rd in the Botanica Advanced Medium Freestyle Championship.
In the Regional Team Championships the Northern Region Team finished an excellent 4th place, congratulations to the 4 team members Sylvia Henry, Laragh O’Grady, Michael Boyd & Debbie Cherry. In the Under 25 Regional Team Championships again the Northern Region Team finished in 5th, team members were Laura King; Victoria Campbell; Jazmin Vollands; Zara Woods, again to be congratulated on their fab scores.
The Trailblazers had a mounted prize giving in the main arena where Olympian Heike Holstein, dressed in her tailcoat and the infamous top hat, presented the prizes and gave every competitor a rosette to recognise their achievements, well done to Harriet O’Hagan riding He’s So Naughty, Claire Mackle riding Carrickmacross Lady, Emer Magee riding Old Orchid Spirit, Eimear Kernan riding La Joie Du Pere, Luka Doran riding Ballyalt Comet.
Also new for this year were the adult grass roots Sportsman championships in which Laura Evans riding Rucky finished in 2nd place within the Dressage by Design Sportsman Preliminary Championship.
The Irish Horse Welfare Trust award for the highest placed ex-racehorse went to Sizing Alberta ridden by Christine McBride in the Elementary championship. New for this year was the Beezies Sue trophy, kindly sponsored by Beezies Stud, for the highest placed Traditional Irish Horse, which went to Gorsehill Maya ridden by Rachael Coulter in the Inter I Championship.
Congratulations to all those Northern Region members competing over the weekend, thank you for all your hard work throughout the season culminating at the Slieve Bloom Stud DI National Championships 2019 where you all had a fantastic weekend, let’s kick on for the Winter Season.