THE Northern Region of Dressage Ireland held its Summer Finals in scorching conditions last Saturday at Danescroft where the judges were Maria Eilberg (British Dressage List 1), Jane Whitaker (DI List 2) and the recently upgraded Coreen Abernethy (DI List 4).

To qualify for the championship classes, combinations had to have scored 62% or higher at the level they wished to compete at two shows at least and two of those shows must have been in the Northern Region. Furthermore, riders must have completed their six hours help before the finals, a strictly enforced policy in this region.

Eilberg first judged the well-supported Preliminary championship where eight combinations scored 70% or over. She awarded her top marks (76%) to the restricted combination of Roma Oakes and the tall chesnut Radar, a 13-year-old Anglo European Studbook-registered gelding by Wolkenderry.

Abernethy judged the Novice championship where she reserved her top marks (68.33%) for Category 3 rider Caroline Herron and her home-bred Irish Sport Horse gelding Clantara Lord Louis, a five-year-old grey by Hoek’s Ludo W out of Strandhill Misty, by Gentle Diamond.

The Junior championships at both levels were judged by Whitaker whose winners were Eve Adair riding the 12-year-old piebald mare Dot (71.40%, Preliminary) and Hollie Donnan on board the Oldenburg mare Suzie Seagry (72.08, Novice), a black seven-year-old by Tolegro.

Pamela Wilson’s Forvanna and Carolyn Mellor’s VSH Moviestar locked horns once again at Elementary level and finished in that order in Saturday’s championship which was judged by Eilberg. Forvanna, a six-year-old Westfalian mare by Formidable, scored 70.89% under Denise Kelly Rice while regional chair, Joan Adrain, was on 68.93 with VSH Moviestar, a similarly-aged Dutch Warmblood gelding by Johnson.

Sixteen-year-old Ellen McDonald landed the Whitaker-judged five-runner Medium championship with her father Jim’s Dutch riding pony Dante Alighieri (73.38%), the 13-year-old chesnut gelding by FS Don’t Worry. Second there on 70.44%, Lucy Adams and her New Forest gelding Esdals King W.A., a 10-year-old bay by Reekamps Eclips, had little trouble in claiming the two-runner Advanced Medium championship where Whitaker awarded them a score of 66.91.

Erin McCoy and Jane Howard’s Dutch Warmblood gelding Bjornsun (67.94), a 17-year-old Johnson bay, were the only combination to appear before Eilberg in the Junior championship while the sole competitor in the three classes which comprised the Open championship was Karen McKeown who achieved a score of 66.47% in the Eilberg-judged FEI Prix St George on VSH Gangster, her 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Zambuka.