THE Irish Pony Society’s Working Hunter Committee Hunter Pony Show went ahead at Barnadown Showjumping in Co Wexford last Sunday despite the deluge of rain that fell on Friday and Saturday.

Sadly the weather gods were not kind to competitors on competition day either but this did nothing to dampen the spirits of competitors which included the IPS faithful, new and prospective members.

First to enter the arenas were the Novice Working Hunter and Show Hunter ponies.

In the former, judges Amanda Torrens and Joanne Quirke awarded the Novice Working Hunter Championship to the 153cms winner, Dernahatten Grey Mist, ridden by Charlotte Cully.

Judge Mairead Ryan was kept busy in the ridden ring with a wonderful selection of Show Hunter ponies, Connemaras, Mountain and Moorlands and youngstock to cast her expert eye over.

Darcy de Chanteloube, with Jessica Murphy in the saddle, claimed the Show Hunter title. Jessica and ‘Darcy’ have a ticket to the Horse of the Year Show next month which will be the next outing for this pair who have had a great season.

The Mini Championship was awarded to Woodroyd Go Go Girl and C.J. Greene who had earlier won the Lead Rein Show Hunter Class. This is another combination who have had great success this season. A month ago they were crowned the Overall Prestige Champion at the Irish Pony Society Summer Championships.

The M&M Championship was awarded to Emily Widger’s The General who was expertly piloted by her daughter Hannah Mackey. It was a great show for Tristan Kelly and Litton Flashman who was also declared the Starter Stakes Champion and was Reserve Champion in the performance championship.

The Champion and winner of the Tiggy Hancock award was Connemara Shanbo Myles ridden by Moya Teeling who also won the Ridden Connemara class in ring three.

The In-Hand Champion was George Chapman’s Maneatie who had beaten a strong field of eight to win he Hunter Pony youngstock class.

Due to the torrential rain the entries were disappointing for the open Working Hunter classes but, despite this, the level of competition was high and the Johnny Kyle-built track kept the riders on their toes.

Donode Don’t Forget and Isabelle Smithwick, open Working Hunter Champions at the IPS Working Hunter Committee Hunter Pony Show \ Blackhorse Photography NI

Top combination

Wins for Tinnecarrig Milo, Donode Don’t Forget, Garvagh Moonlight and Thistletown Rose Royale made for an exciting championship and it was Donode Don’t Forget, ridden by Isabelle Smithwick, who was crowned open Working Hunter Champion. This wonderful pony, a true all-rounder, was bred by the late Countess April Merveldt.

Then it was time for the much anticipated return of the Derby which has been absent from IPS schedules for some time. With over 20 obstacles for competitors to negotiate - which included a bank - judge Carole Douglas was certainly kept busy.

There were wins for Tinnecarrig Milo (133cm), Rowdown Archer (143cm), both ridden by Ned Kelly, Shanbo Myles (153cm) and Moya Teeling, and Thistletown Rose Royale (158cm) with Eimear Furlong in the saddle. It was Ned Kelly and Rowdown Archer who were crowned the Brahams of Buckingham Derby Champion.

Ned and ‘Monkey’ earlier this year competed at the International Working Hunter Championships in Scotland where their team finished an excellent third.

The Hunter Pony committee of the IPS was delighted to have the support of sponsor Brahams of Buckingham on board and hope to build on the success of this year’s Derby. The committee also thanked all volunteers, judges and competitors who, with great cheer and aplomb in weather more suited to ducks, kept their spirits high in typical IPS fashion.

The committee also extended a big thank you to Maurice Cousins and all the team at Barnadown who, despite the weather, let the show go on.