The 2nd Ulster Schools’ Derby, organised by Glenlola Collegiate School, was held on Tuesday 11 June 2013 at Gransha Equestrian Centre, Kerrs Road Bangor. Ninety-three riders from schools, all over Northern Ireland, attended the event which was being held to raise money for MS Society. With the previous week seeing Northern Ireland basking in sunshine, organisers Judith Hughes and Nikki Sinnerton, both teachers at Glenlola Collegiate, had their fingers crossed for similar weather. Unfortunately the rain decided to make an appearance but it didn’t dampen any spirits and the event was a great success.
Charlotte Harding representing Loanends Primary, won the Primary School class riding her pony Safety First. Charlotte was also awarded the Tack and Turnout prize and it was clear to see why, when Gwyneth Wilkinson (tack and turnout inspector) commented on her immaculate presentation.
The Novice class was the largest of the day and was won by Claire Ireland riding Mission Ambition. Claire, who represented Glastry College rode a lovely clear round and finished the show-jumping phase with a time of 22.89 seconds. Bloomfield Collegiate won the Novice Team competition and Olivia Hughes from Victoria College was awarded the Tack and Turnout Prize. Sponsor, Nathan Nash of Nash’s, Six Road Ends, was in attendance to award bags of Stonebridge Feed to the teams and individuals.
The final class of the day was the Open competition sponsored by Botanica. The Individual champion was Holly Boal, who represented Regent House School in Newtownards. Riding Classic Bawn Jack she finished with a show-jumping time of 20.78 seconds. The Open Team champions for 2013 were Banbridge Academy’s ‘Bridles’ team whilst Leah Jackson from Glenlola Collegiate was awarded the Tack and Turnout prize riding Cardy Spring.
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As the event was a fundraiser for MS Society, the O2 shop (Main Street Bangor) kindly donated a Galaxy Young mobile phone for this year’s top fundraiser. This was awarded to Claire Ireland from Glastry College.
Several companies and individuals provided sponsorship for this event. Their support was greatly appreciated not only by the organisers but also by the competitors who took home some fantastic prizes. We are indebted to the kind sponsorship of the following:
- Glenlola Collegiate School for providing the winning trophies
- Jim Devonport Butchers, Donaghadee who provided the rosettes
- Nash’s (Six Road Ends) who provided Stonebridge horse feed
- Botanica Ireland who donated hampers for the Open class winners
- John Gibson from Sporting Images for providing plaques for the winning riders
- O2, Main Street Bangor who donated a mobile phone for the Top Fundraiser
- Doagh Farm Feeds
- Old Mill Saddlery
We would like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people whom without their support, the event would not have run. 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 John Wilkinson and Ciaran Sinnerton for allowing the event to run smoothly, in making sure competitors were ready to start on time. Thanks also go to Gwyneth Wilkinson who judged the Tack and Turnout and to her scribe, Lesley Robinson. We’d also like to thank the paramedic from Ambutran, who was in attendance throughout the event and to John Gibson from Sporting Images NI who took photographs of each of the competitors. Thanks must also go to the many staff from Glenlola Collegiate who helped at the event (Linda Ace, Sarah-Jane Flannigan, Beverly Haslam, Alison Simpson and Donna Spence) and to those teachers who provided treats for the cake stall. 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.