The Ulster Region played host to the National Amateur Championships in July this year and enjoyed a very successful show at Cavan Equestrian Centre. Competitors travelled from across Ireland to show their support and make the most of a competitive and entertaining weekend of show jumping and community! Classes were split to provide prizes for both A and AA sections throughout the weekend which was well received by competitors. (Photograph supplied courtesy of Laurence Dunne Jump In Action Photography. To purchase photographs from this show click here. The first class of the show was kindly sponsored by the Boomerang Restaurant and first through the finish line in the A section was Jenny Montgomery and Easy Time. Ulster hosts were delighted to see numerous Ulster riders in the placings for many classes which started strong with Ruari Holmes finishing in 3rd & 7th, Roisin Hughes in 5th, and Sharon Junk in 6th place. The AA section was won by Lisa Doyle which began her run of strong results for the overall title. Meanwhile Ulster riders Ruth O’Brien finished in 2nd, with Jennifer Leeper in 3rd, Ian Moore in 5th and 8th with Fiona Thompson in 6th and 7th positions.
The second class of the weekend was an accumulator with a joker fence which dared competitors to take a risk to improve their chances of featuring in the all important prize giving line ups. This option was naturally favoured by many keen amateurs as they took on the imposing CWD planks. Winner of the AA section was Adrian Gilmartin and Carnaval Cocktail, with Sara Gorman and Take a Gamble in second and Lisa Doyle and Corland’s Clipper in third. This time the A riders gained the advantage of seeing AA combinations take on the course first. Fastest A rider was Naiomh O’Gorman and Ankaras, with Sharon Ryan in second on Diamond Pierre and Dani Murphy on Thornfield Dubh in third.
The final class on the first day was a Horse First Mini Grand Prix, which featured fabulous hampers as prizes kindly donated to support the show. Winner of the A section was Rebecca O’Toole Glenedens Lancealittle, while AA winner was Alex Robinson Bailey and Callie LVS Z. This combination then went on to win an Amateur Class at the RDS Dublin Horse Show in Simmonscourt, fresh from their success at the National Championships. Adrian Gilmartin featured in the line up once again and took second place while Nicci Hall and Ladykiller finished in third.
The following morning, the Turco Engineering Cotton Family Speed Challenge was won by Johnnie Fitzpatrick and Saunders Beach Ball Cruise who took three hundredths of a second off Sara Gormans blistering fast time of 56.28 in the AA section. Times were extremely close between the two sections with the winning A rider, Ruari Holmes and Figaro IV stopping the clock in 55.98 with Emma Babos and Ballydeely Kate finishing in 56.61 seconds for a close second.
The final class of the weekend was a Grand Prix sponsored from Cullies Maxol with vouchers for fuel or homeward bound refreshments to placed riders. Stuart Clarke built a testing but enjoyable track for the finale of the show and it proved a fitting challenge for both A and AA sectionsSarah Kinnear and DStud Midget Gem were unbeatable in the AA section, while Ruari Holmes Figaro IV once again claimed top spot in the A section concluding a very successful weekend for them.
Congratulations to Adrian Gilmartin and Carnaval Cocktail whose splendid top form had continued from Ulster based National Balmoral Championships earlier that month. After winning the overall National Champion title, he then went on to further his overwhelming success with another Amateur Championship win in the main arena at the RDS Dublin Horse Show! Adrian commented “"I've been blessed to enjoy a great season with Carnaval Cocktail, and as always with the amateur championships it's great craic as well as great jumping! Thanks to everyone who helped organise it; the courses, prizes, schedules etc were brilliant and I'd encourage more amateurs to support this show next year too."
Lisa Doyle may have taken time out to have her beautiful daughter last year, however she didn’t waste any time this weekend claiming the title of National speed Champion. This accolade was celebrated by spectators who cheered home her well-earned return to top form. Lisa commented “We really enjoyed the show, it was well run and had great prizes also big thanks to the Ulster committee for organising the show and ensuring everyone had a great weekend!"
Thanks to everyone at Cavan Equestrian who were the perfect hosts and the hard working committee members who supported the show in many different ways. A special mention must go to all those who supported the Ulster Region Amateur Committees fundraising raffle, their support was very much appreciated. The Ulster Region will once again host the National Championships in 2020 and are looking forward to building on a very successful 2019 show.