THE NER Dressage Qualifiers were held in Killossery Lodge Stud last Saturday on a bright, if windy, day for the 63 combinations riding the two championships tests at their grade. The earlier classes (RCM, RCE, RCN and RCP3) were overseen by Dressage Ireland List 1 judges Vida Tansey and Donie McNamara.

Bernie Foley and the former international event mare, Yasmina V, were uncontested in the RC M class while the RC E class was won by Ashbrook’s Anne O’Dowd, also riding a former event horse, Until Proven Guilty, a 15-year-old gelding by the KWPN sire Innocent out of the ISH mare Old Mill Mir scoring 70%+ from both judges in both tests.

O’Dowd’s team mate John Gavin riding his home produced six-year-old Cobra gelding Holywell Spark was third in this class behind Terry Farrell from Calliaghstown Riding Club and the 21-year- old Othello XII.

The RC N class winner was Samantha Fegan from Ard Lu with the lovely free-moving six-year-old chesnut mare, KansasFZ, by the well known sire Kanaan whose last outing in Killossery was earlier this month at the SJI Summer league competing in the 1.10 and 1.20m classes.

The RC P3 class was topped by Cheval’s Alexandra Archbold and her nine-year-old grey mare Vogue Exclusive who was delighted having recently upgraded from RC P2. The RC P2 class was the largest of the day with 21 starters, judges Maire Quinlan Pluck and Jean Halpenny’s winner in this section was MLHR Aisling, a skewbald mare partnered by Castle Hill rider Sarah Quinn. John Maguire, Chair of Cheval Riding Club took the honours in the RC P1 class with his 10-year-old gelding Corballis Galtee.

Great volunteers

The event was overseen by Regional Chair, Jane Whitaker, supported by a large team of cheerful volunteers which ensured the day ran smoothly with great team spirit from participating clubs. Scores were available very shortly after the last competitors in each class and the eagerly awaited team results were announced 15 minutes after the last test ridden.

Ashbrook Riding Club kindly donated a beautiful trophy in memory of their club member Mags Aughney who sadly passed away in 2021 and is greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting her. Mags’s husband Jim was in attendance to present the trophy to the winning club which to everyone’s delight was the Ashbrook team of Anne O’Dowd, John Gavin, Dearbhille Fitzsimons and Eimear O’Rourke.

Second and third in the team event and also qualified for the AIRC Dressage Championships were the Castle Hill team of Lindsey Ilona Brady, Klara Ralph O’Connor, Cole Bowbrick and Anne Dickenson and Ard Lu’s team of consisting of Samantha Fegan, Megan Magennis, Rosie Hollywood and Karen Nulty.