Gransha Equestrian Centre attracted a record number of entries to its annual summer charity show on Saturday 26th July. Competitors were spoilt for choice with more than 50 classes available across four arenas, including new M&M, Irish Draught and Side Saddle Equitation classes.
Riders coped well with the afternoon’s wet conditions after a humid start to the day. The relaxed festival atmosphere was interspersed with plenty of clapping and cheering in support of the riders. The allocated parking next to the arenas meant that spectators could keep close to the action during the showers as they dived for cover.
“It was a great day out for so many people,” said Adrienne Stuart, owner of Gransha Equestrian Centre. “Thank you all for supporting the show and thanks to all the helpers, judges, stewards and sponsors for ensuring the day ran so smoothly and for helping to make it such a success.”
This year Adrienne chose the NI Hospice to be the recipient of the money raised through the entry fees for the Family Pony classes. She will be presenting the charity with a cheque for £750 and wishes to thank representitaves from NI Hospice for turning up to show their support.
One of the most eagerly anticipated classes in the Family Pony Ring is the Fancy Dress class sponsored by Carrowdore Saddlery. It is always a highlight thanks to the creativity and hard work of the Mums and Dads. This year they produced some stunning costumes, from cowboys and princesses, to Aladdin on his flying carpet. Adrienne said everyone deserved to be a winner.
Ridden Pony Champion, Aimee Leigh Bailie on Harry set a high standard from her first class, winning the Lead Rein With No Trot on her pony Harry. A close second was Charlotte Griffin on Sammy, with Issy Ham and Buster taking third. First place in the Lead Rein with Trot went to Eve Adair on Harry Potter, followed by Aimee Leigh Baile in second and Charlotte Griffin placing third.
Family Pony up to 138 cm proved a very popular class, making the decisions even tougher for Judge Courtney Stuart, who was assisted throughout the day by Steward Jenny Smiley. Calum Griffon beat the other 18 entries to a win on Sammy. Joint second were Christina Spears on Harry and Katie Kelly. Ethan Murphy and Lucy Savage came joint third on Raccy and Rodney. Ashley Osborne won first place in the Family Pony Exceeding 138 cm on T.J., second went to Bethany Burds on My Irish Monkey and Taylor Pollock took third on Porsche.
Aimee Leigh continued her good fortune with a win in the M & M Lead Rein, with Charlotte Glen taking second on Mardenway. Winner of the M & M First Ridden went to Joseph Griffin and Disel. Pheobe Beaumont came second on Henfymyn Goucho. Joseph Griffin also won the Coloured Pony class, followed by Lucy Savage in second riding Maggie and Megan Huston in third on Painted Lady.
First place in the Young Handler class was secured by Charlotte Glen and Mardenway. Second place went to Sacha Howell on Glenhollow Twinkle Toes and Pheobe Beaumont came third. Casey Thompson won the Open M & M Large Breeds on Larkhill Jessie, followed by Stella Black on Creaghnacross Dusty Moon. Joint third went to Laura Campbell on Brilyn Spirit and Hannah Thompson on Ballyeory Sandy Savannah.
Handy Hunter X-Poles Lead Rein was won by Mya McMillan on Dandy. Cracker secured second place for Heidi Martin and third for Charlotte Fenton. Lauren Taylor won the Handy Hunter 40 cm First Ridden on Charlie, Charlotte Griffin secured second place on Sammy and Robbie McCartney came joint third with Olivia Marshall.
Over in the Working Hunter Ring, the pony entries were judged by Rebecca Horran and Dougie Wighton, with Christina McManus as Steward. Ivor and June Mitchell assisted throughout the day in the show jumping and working hunter caravan. The popular 70 cm Performance class was won by Andrew Robinson on Bonnie. Lauren Thompson took second place on Cash and Good Luck Charlie lived up to his name for Sophie McCormick.
Performance Hunter went to Lucy Savage on Maggie. Second place went to Sophie McCormick on Good Luck Charlie and Darcy Steenson took third on Almost Midnight. Mr Murphy took Cery Howell to first place in the M & M exceeding 133 cm. Hannah Thompson came second on Ballymacoy Sandy Savanah.
No less a winner for being the only entrant, Cerys Howell took first place in the W.H. 133 cm (80 cm) round on Captain Morgan. She went on to place in a further three classes, eventually securing Pony Working Hunter Reserve Champion on Foxy Roxy.
Pony Working Hunter Champion Cara Kilroy secured her position in the Championship by winning the W.H. 90 cm and the M & M not exceeding 138 cm classes on Hull Storm. Her next placed in the 90 cm was Emma Heany on Springwell Quickstep, with third going to Cery Howell on Foxy Roxy. Cery Howell took second place in the M & M on Captain Morgan and Laura Campbell secured third on Brilyn Spirit.
Horse Working Hunter was judged by Harold and Jenny Lusk. The first win went to Rachel Crawford on Oscar in the 80 cm Performance Hunter. Sonia Tester came second place on Embaracadero, with Micha Gomes in third on William. Embaracadero went on to secure first place for Sonia Tester in the Amateur W.H. Horse 80 cm class, with Claire Martin coming second on Ben L and Mag Ross placing third on Chester.
Mag and Chester went on the win the Irish Draught W.H. Horse, followed by Nicola Stewart on Clonkeen Cheeky Charmer and Seamus Rodgers on Tully’s Rebel. Novice W.H. went to Beth Murray on Kit N Kaboodle. Janice Ready secured second on Ardnacashel Lucy Lui and Nicola Stewart placed again with Clonkeen Cheeky Charmer.
The W.H. Derby sponsored by Equisuds of Comber attracted plenty of entries. Some of the biggest whoops and cheers from spectators came from watching the faces pulled by both horse and rider as they negotiated the water jump to the final fences. First prize went to Sarah Majury on Sky Double Take. Ashleigh Rea took second place on Top Horse Benny, and My Crackerbrack secured third place for Ruth Cousins.
Next door, in the Show Jumping Ring clear rounds were in abundance under the watchful eyes of Judge Anne Rogers and Steward Stephanie Pawlak. Rebecca Lindores took the first clear on Mrs Doyle in the 70 cm Novice, followed by Liz Lowey on Jack and Lynsey McMullan on Ronnie. Also clear were Lynsay Stewart on Omar’s Day, Emily Muirhead on Da Capo Two and Julie Coulter on Daisy. Not forgetting Corey MaWhinney on Puzzle Piece and Emma Martin on Kate.
Emily Muirhead went clear again to win the 80 cm Open on Da Capo two. Diane McCully secured second on Mindview Major Tom and Ashley Woods took third on Ben. The 90 cm Novice proved trickier, with only three clear rounds out of 14. They were Diane McCully on Mindview Major Tom, Emma Andrews on Waggle Dance and Brian Smyth on Amigo. First prize in the 1 m Open went to Nat Walton on Hoho, followed by Rachel Hughes on Peter Perfect. Monica Boyd came third on Paddy.
Jamie earned his carrots in the Novice 50 cm, securing a win for Ellen Douglas and joint second for James Douglas. Also second was Amy Nevins on Oreo. Josh Getty won the Open 60 cm on Autumn Surprise. Felicity Johnston placed second on Fortview Honey Bear, with Samantha Billings and Harry in third.
Clears in the Novice 70 cm went to Caitlin McKechnie on Fat Boy Slim and Charlotte Keers on Rosie. The final class of the day went to Pony W.H. Reserve Champion Cerys Howell on Captain Morgan. Second place went to Hannah Thompson on Promises and Messina Harvey took third prize on Princess Peachy.
Meanwhile, in the Ridden Class Ring Michael Smyth was Acting Judge, with Jackie Marsh stepping in for the side saddle classes. Audrey Smyth did the Stewarding and Kirsty Jackson’s feet barely touched the ground as Ride Judge. Fran Warden and Claire Young took entries.
First win off the day went to Valerie Clegg on Highly Sprung in the Family Riding Horse Exceeding 148 class. Gillian Steinson came second on Splash and Asli Youz placed third on Diego. In the Light Weight Ridden Hunter Andrew Ferguson came first on Caddy Moon, followed by Chelsea Spence on Charles and Rachel Hammell on Cairnside Sovereign. Middle Weight went to Alison Kirkpatrick on Good to Go. Sylvia Henry came second on Homegrown Marx and Norman Campbell scored a third.
Small Hunters and Cobs under 155 cm proved to be the most popular classes with 12 in each. Winner of the small hunter went to Corinne Rob on Brayview Nemisis. Robin Herron took second place on Done and Dusted and eventual Ridden Class Champion Zara Fletcher came third on Come What May. Janice Ready rode Ardnacashel Lucy Lui to first in the Cobs. Kate Spears came second on Wee Rascal and Lindu Anstie placed third on Ardnacashel Lucy Lui.
In a welcome break from stewarding the ridden classes, Audrey Smyth of SmythArt described the event as “the best show for show people”. She was very impressed with the standard of turn out and said she looked forward to returning next year and sponsoring more classes.
Cobs over 155 cm was won by Laura Bell on Mr Bumble, followed by Louise Dalny on Marty. Louise McFarlace took first place in the Riding Horse class on Balora. Angela Penman came second on Heaven Sent and Sharon Getty came in third with Social Grace.
The Coloured Horse class gave Zara Fletcher and Springwell Boy the win that took them to the Championship and secured their title as Ridden Horse Champion. Julie Moore placed second on Lola and Daline Hamilton followed on Kinnaveeilish Cappucinno. Veterans was won by Andrew Ferguson on Caddy Moon. Audrey Leahy took second place on Desert Maiden and Catty Tosan secured third for Lindsey Kirle.
The new Irish Draught class was won by Claire Steele on Tievenny Diamond. Second went to Ronda Huddleson on Rockrimmon Star View and Shamus Rodgers came third on Tully’s Rebel. Sharon McGimpsey won the Senior Side Saddle Equitation class on Knockaraha Gypsy, with Amanda Blackmorre placing second. The Junior class was won by Ellie McSkelly on Pyper, followed by Stella Black on Greadnacross Dusty Moon.
The next event being held at Gransha Equestrian Centre in a Two Phase Competition on Sunday 3rd and 10th August. This will include pairs classes in each height. Entries need to be in by Wednesday of each week to help with the timing of the events.
Full details about this, and all other events at Gransha Equestrian Centre, are available on the new website which is about to launch at www.granshaequestrian.com.