Young Handler Championship Series at the Flavours of Fingal and Dunmanway Agricultural Show

  • 5 July 2018, 14:04

The first of the Young Handler Championship Series qualifiers took place at Flavours of Fingal Agricultural Show in Dublin on Saturday 23rd June and the second took place at Dunmanway Agricultural Show in Cork on Sunday 1st July. A total of €25,000 has been made available by Horse Sport Ireland for this Championship, with a prize fund of €3,000 for each qualifier and a prize fund of €10,000 for the final.

The next qualifier will take place this Saturday 7th July at Adamstown Agricultural Show, Adamstown, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

The top three from each of the Junior and Senior Categories qualified for the Final which will take place at the National Ploughing Championships in September.

The Results were as follows:

Junior Category in Flavours of Fingal:

1st – King Boy, owned by and exhibited by Ciara Mullen Co. Dublin.

2nd – Edie, owned by Jan Beaumont exhibited by Phoebe Beaumont.

3rd – Cianna Z, owned by Haidee Stafford and exhibited by Abby Stafford Co. Dublin.

Ciara Mullen Winner of the Junior Category said I heard about the Young Handler Championship series though a friend. I think it’s a great idea as it will help to raise standards and encourage people to get out competing. I bought my pony King Boy as an unbroken 3 year old at the Clifden sales. He has since placed 3rdin the Ridden Connemara Class as a 4 year old at the RDS. He has also qualified for the side saddle class at the RDS for the last 3 years and was Reserve Side Saddle Champion in 2017.”

L- R: HSI Young Handler Junior Category Winner Ciara Mullen & 2nd place Phoebe Beaumont at Flavours of Fingal

Junior Category in Dunmanway:

1st – Haven Blackjack, owned by Sean Ward and exhibited by Deirdre Burchill, Co. Cork.

2nd – Starfin Girl, owned by Marie Byrne and exhibited by Kelley- Ann Byrne, Co. Tipperary.

3rd – Coosheen Jason, owned by Alan Duggan and exhibited by Ellie Duggan, Co. Cork.

Deirdre Burchill, Winner of the Junior Category said “Dumanway has been running a young handler class the past few years which I have entered each year with a full brother to my horse this year. So this year’s show came around and as always I entered. With H.S.I. being the main sponsors it was another encouragement to go for it with Haven Blackjack. We were delighted with our win but it took lots of practice as the triangle was a new one for us. With the boost from the win we are aiming him for Dublin with the hope of another good result. Following that we will be preparing for the final of the young handlers.”

HSI Young Handler Junior Category at Dunmanway. L-R: Paddy McCarthy (HSI), Siobhan Madden (judge), Deirdre Burchill, Andrew Gardiner (judge), Kelley-Ann Byrne, Ellie Duggan Photo: George Maguire

Senior Category in Flavours of Fingal:

1st – The Tattler, owned by Hilary Gibson and exhibited by Jane Hennigan Co. Meath.

2nd – Barbervilla Lilly, owned by Alan Marks and exhibited by Chloe Marks Co. Dublin.   

3rd – Lambay Le Roi, owned by Ann Grimes and exhibited by Rebecca Grimes Co. Louth.

Jane Hennigan Winner of the Senior Category saidI saw the class advertised on Facebook and thought it looked like it would be a great class. I’ve previously done young handlers so I was really interested in doing a similar competition. It takes lots of preparation to get ready for the class, I spent the whole week preparing by practicing standing the horse up etc.”

L-R: HSI Young Handler Senior Category 2nd Chloe Marks & 1st Jane Hennigan at Flavours of Fingal

Senior Category in Dunmanway:

1st – Goldengrove Temptress, owned by William Williamson and exhibited by Julianne Williamson, Cork.

2nd – Killaloe Top Cat, owned and exhibited by Emily Crowley, Cork.   

3rd – Gairdin Mor Cailin, owned by Helena O’ Driscoll and exhibited by Denis O’ Driscoll, Cork.

Julianne Williamson, Winner of the Senior Category said “My brother heard about the competition and encouraged me to go for it as there was substantial prize money. My brother had the triangle set out for me to practice regularly beforehand. We bought Goldengrove Temptress a Part Bred Welsh as a yearling from the Scotts in Tipperary. We are delighted with her progress so far as a 3 year old.”

HSI Young Handler Senior Category at Dunmanway L-R: Denis O’Driscoll, Emily Crowley, Julianne Williamson, Paddy McCarthy (HSI), Andrew Gardiner and Siobhan Madden (judges) Photo: George Maguire

The comments from the judges that attended Flavours of Fingal and Dunmanway are very positive.

Andrew Hughes who was part of the judging team at Flavours of Fingal “Horse Sport Ireland has set up a great initiative here – every sport needs young people and this is a great idea to encourage young people into the industry. There was a great turnout and good standard, which I think will get even stronger as the series goes on.”

Andrew Gardiner who was part of the judging team at Dunmanway “Excellent idea to promote the showing industry and to encourage in particular, the juniors as there is very few coming up the line. At the Dunmanway qualifier I was very impressed by the overall competition especially on the turn- out and control by the handlers. Great standard throughout both classes. My advice to competitors in the remaining qualifiers is to work on extension in trot, allowing the animal to move forward freely and practice, practice, practice.”

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