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News > Students host online dressage competition in aid of Air Ambulance NI


Students host online dressage competition in aid of Air Ambulance NI

March 15, 2021

Covid-19 restrictions provided students at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Enniskillen Campus, British Horse Society Approved Training Centre, with the opportunity to organise an online dressage competition.

CAFRE’s second year students studying City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma are required to organise an equine event as part of their Event Management unit. The group of students spotted a niche, then organised and hosted an online dressage competition and raised over £1,400 for Air Ambulance NI.  

The students were delighted that their event attracted ninety seven entries from all over Ireland.  Entrant Killian Gaffney, from Co Galway, winner of the Novice Class with Theo said,

When I saw this competition advertised I thought this was a great concept. The CAFRE students were not only were raising money for Air Ambulance NI but they provided me with a focus over lockdown and gave me something to aim towards. I am totally delighted to have won the Novice Class, sponsored by Bluegrass Horse Feeds”.

The event was held during December and January but the weather challenges didn’t deter the committed competitors completing some lovely tests, submitting their videos for judging by Faith Ponsonby BHSI and Mark Robinson BHSI who kindly volunteered their services in aid of Air Ambulance NI.

The dressage competition facilitated by Jump Time Event Management, an independent online application run by Elaine Hatton which allowed competitors to book onto the dressage competition. Elaine Hatton kindly donated £1 to Air Ambulance NI for every entry taken.

Emma McCabe from Epic Management provided the students with advice on event marketing using on digital channels and video content. CAFRE student, Katie Sheehan said

I really enjoyed being involving in organising the online dressage competition. All the students involved are delighted that the competition raised over £1,400 for Air Ambulance NI and have been overwhelmed by the positive comments received from competitors. We would like to thank Elaine Hatton, Emma McCabe and judges Faith Ponsonby and Mark Robinson for their support in organising and delivering the event”.

CAFRE students would like to acknowledge and thank event sponsors; Charles Owen, Kyra Griffin Photography, Bellisle Equestrian, SMCG Equestrian, Castle Irvine, Patches Equine Laundry, Omagh Equestrian, Homestead Saddlery, McCullough’s Feeds, Irish Equine Rehabilitation Centre, Jump Time, RDA Coleraine, Meadows Equestrian Centre, Botanica NI.

Competition results:

Best Turned Out (Junior), Emily Bothwell and friend Tori Lilly from Co Fermanagh

Best Turned Out (Senior), Jennifer Hoare, Co Donegal

Prize-winners for each class are as follows –

Intro Class – Sponsored by Bellisle Equestrian – Coleraine

1st Prize – Nicole Lawther – Lyra – 75%

2nd Prize – Rowena Parker – Christmas – 74.1%

3rd Prize – Jennifer Hoare – Railyard Rebel – 73.7%

Prelim Class – Sponsored by SMG Equestrian

1st Prize – Claire Kirkwood – Domino – 73.96%

2nd Prize – Sophie Cowan – Tempo Quick Step – 73.79%

3rd Prize – Killian Gaffney – Theo – 71.89%

Novice Sponsored by Bluegrass Horse Feeds

1st Prize – Killian Gaffney – Theo – 74.3%

2nd Prize – Victoria O’Connor – Dernathattan Source – 72%

3rd Prize – Emma McKee – Farrah – 71.9%