A Grand Day at the Ulster Schools Derby 2017

The 5th Ulster Schools’ Derby, organised by Glenlola Collegiate School, was held on Thursday 22 June 2017 at Gransha Equestrian Centre. Ninety-eight riders from schools, as far afield as Bessbrook, Ballymena and Lurgan, attended the event.

Anya Teuton, representing Carrowdore Primary School won the Primary School class (sponsored by Autokleen) riding her pony Shannaghmore Shooting Star. Anya also won the Tack and Turnout prize.

The Newcomer class, sponsored by EquiSuds, was won by Anna Jackson riding Andy and representing Larne Grammar School. Anna’s form continued as she also won the Tack and Turnout for this class.

The Novice class sponsored by Spar (Rathmore Road) was the largest of the day with 54 riders. Vicky Fox riding Lislaird Joni (representing Victoria College), won this class with a clear round and a time of 25.71 seconds. Sophie Lister Tinsley, Ella Heron and Gillian Grogan representing Hunterhouse, won the Novice Team competition and Sophie McCormick from Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College was awarded the Tack and Turnout Prize.

The final class of the day was the Open competition sponsored, once again, by Botanica. Josh Mark representing Cambridge House won the individual Open competition whilst Troy Watson, Rachel Kerr, Jessica Nelson and Alex Cleland representing Down High School came away Open Team Champions. Tack and Turnout for the Open class was won by Noah Brown from Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

Champions, in each class, were presented with trophies, donated by Glenlola Collegiate, embroidered rugs and sashes. The prizes on offer were only possible due to the generosity of the class sponsors and of Jim Devenport Butchers (Donaghadee) who sponsored the rosettes. HorseWorld NI sponsored the Tack and Turnout prizes. We are indebted to all of our sponsors.

As the event was a fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support, the Ulster Schools’ Derby kindly donated an Apple iPod Shuffle for this year’s top fundraiser. This was awarded to Alex Ogle from Down High School who raised a staggering £317. In total £778.82 was raised and will be presented to Macmillan Cancer Support later this week.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people whom without their support, the event would not have been possible. Thanks to Adrienne Stuart from Gransha Equestrian Centre who designed, built and maintained the fantastic derby course. Thanks must also go to our judge, Paul Johnston, who gave of his time so freely. To Ciaran Sinnerton, the ‘gate keeper’, for allowing the event to run smoothly. Thanks also go to Karen Mulholland who judged the Tack and Turnout and to her scribe, Ciara Gilroy. Thanks must also go to the staff from Glenlola Collegiate who helped at the event (Jenny McMillan, Brian Montgomery and Alison Simpson).

Finally we must thank all those competitors, parents, teachers and helpers from the many different schools who were in attendance. Without their support the event would not run.