IT'S A wonderful life. Following on from last week's visit to Ravensdale Lodge by top event rider William Fox Pitt, the centre had a celebrity of another kind competing over the weekend in their well supported indoor dressage league.
This time it was a celebrity of the four-legged kind as the only Irish trained winner of the Welsh Grand National, Notre Pere - otherwise known affectionally as 'Perry' by his proud owner Paula Keene. Perry has been competing in the O'Reillys Wholesalers Newry indoor dressage league from the start of the league, having won one of the classes on a nice score of 72.60% and being placed most weeks. It was only when centre owner Niall Connolly asked Paula about the history of the striking big black gelding that his celebrity background emerged.
One of the top rated chasers in Ireland in the 2008 / 09 season, Notre Pere won the Knight Frank novice chase, The Troytown, the Guinness Gold Cup & was the first and only Irish horse to win the Welsh National. He also had the distinction of finishing fifth over the Aintree National course in the Beecher Chase and raced against one of the greatest of all time, Kauto Star.
Paula was his groom over the five year period he was trained by Jim Dreaper and said: 'He was never the quickest horse but he loved the muck and would gallop forever, we travelled the length and breadth of the country as well as Aintree and Haydock Park and had some great days out.'
Paula went on to reveal how Perry had come as a godsend at a very crucial time in her life. She wrote a letter to the then owners of the horse in 2010 asking them if they would consider giving her the horse, should he have nowhere else to go when they retired him. That was that until Christmas 2011 when Paula got the devastating news that her daughter had leukaemia.
It was at this upsetting and stressful time that she got the phone call from Notre Pere's owners, Mr & Mrs P Conway, telling her the horse was hers if she wanted him. It was wonderful news and brought her great joy and strength in her time of crisis.
Paula and Perry have had some more great days since and she is taking her time to introduce him to all aspects of his new career, judging by their fine style at Ravensdale Lodge they can look forward to a joyous, successful partnership in years to come.
Tonino Lamborghini registered horse league Thursday 15th November.
80cm class: Sarah Richardson's Red Square 8 (S. Richardson).
90cm class, divided between: M. Carrick's Waterside Archer (B. Henderson), Lynn Patterson's Stainsby Free Spirit (L. Patterson), P. Murphy's Sea Miss Cruising (B. Murphy), Heather Johnston's Thornbrook Clover Star (H. Johnston) & Leah Knight's Candlehope CH (L. Knight).
1m class, divided between: Carol Armstrong's Cornascriebe Camiro (C. Armstrong), E. Mc Guirk's Friar's Walk (B. Murphy), G. Doherty's Bally Captain (B. Stevenson) & Barry Murphy's Rinwood Katies Touch (B. Murphy).
1.10m class, divided between: Martin King's Kishaya (M. King), Edward Mulligan's V Adermie 57 (E. Mulligan), S. Duffy's Van Clover (B. Murphy).
1.20m class, divided between: Joanne Jarden's Creating A Storm (J. Jarden), Roisin Hughes' Roxborough Jimmy Choo (R. O' Neill), Martin King's Kishaya (M. King) & Barry Murphy's Lilux (B. Murphy).
1.30m class: # 1 Leah Knight's Hustle & Flow four faults, 48.62 seconds, # 2 J. Wedlock's Western Beach (L. Knight) four faults, 49.89 seconds.
Tonino Lamborghini registered horse league continues Thursday 22nd November to Friday 6th December . Classes 80cm (M) to 1.30m (M), start time 11am.
Botanica International horse & pony training league Friday 16th November.
X poles, divided between: Leah Hartley's Mickeybo (J. Hartley) (Botanica bag), E&R Connolly's Dynamite (E. Connolly), Ravensdale Lodge's Duffy (R. Connolly), Ravensdale Lodge's Lyric (D. Steenvoorden), Georgia Kirkwood's Titch (G. Kirkwood), Ravensdale Lodge's Lyric (A. Cosgrove), Gemma Murphy's Iowa Jack (G. Murphy), Dylan Torrens' Lady Arabella (D. Torrens), Leah Hartley's Mickeybo (C. Hartley).
60cm class, divided between: Dylan Torrens' Lady Arabella (D. Torrens) (Botanica bag), Jason Connolly's Browno (J. Connolly), Georgia Kirkwood's Titch (G. Kirkwood), Shannon Dunne's Sean (S. Dunne) & Katelyn King's Misty (K. King)
70cm class, divided between: Casey Dowdall's Oaktree Penny (C. Dowdall) (Botanica bag), Ravensdale Lodge's CD (N. Callan) & Anna Mai Mullen's Pepper (A. M Mullen).
80cm class, divided between: Alvin Mc Elwaine's Mivvie (A. Mc Elwaine) (Botanica bag), Kate Kenwright's Storm (K. Kenwright), Sophie Kinghan's Rocky (S. Kinghan) & Katie Matthews' Sir Freddie (K. Matthews).
90cm class, divided between: Jonny Mulligan's Lux (J. Mulligan) (Botanica bag), Seanie Mc Ardle's Oaktree Ruby (S. Mc Ardle), Jessica Finnegan's Sunday Cruise (J. Finnegan), Audrey Mc Creight's Crunchy (A. Mc Creight), Alvin Mc Elwaine's Mivvie (A. Mc Elwaine), Sophie Kinghan's Rocky (S. Kinghan), Suzanna Mc Quade's Ice King (S. Mc Quade), Rachel Moriarity's Thunder (R. Moriarity) & Orla Moriarity's Pixie Flame(O. Moriarity).
1m class, divided between: Victoria Mc Elwaine's Pandora D (V. Mc Elwaine) (Botanica bag), Lucinda Kinghan's Lady (L. Kinghan), Joe Haffey's John L (J. Haffey) & Audrey Mc Creight's Crunchy (A. Mc Creight).
Botanica International horse & pony training league continues Friday 23rd November to Friday 7th December. Classes X poles to 1.20m, start time 5pm.
Horse First indoor arena eventing league Saturday 17th November.
60cm newcomers class: # 1 divided between, Emma Holmes' Banagher Boomerang (E. Holmes) (Horse First prize), Ravensdale Lodge's Dougal (E. Cleary), Debbie Larkin's Angel (D. Larkin), Sinead Young's Jacobi (S. Young), Katie O' Hare's Blaneys Boy (K. O' Hare) & Vicky Campbell's Tilly Tiger Lily (V. Campbell), # 2 divided between, Debbie Larkin's Angel (M. Larkin), Lindsey Brady's Amber Equinox (L. Brady), Billy Lappin's Billy's Flight (M. Tennyson), & Katie Slater's Sweet Briar Sky (K. Slater), # 3, divided between Ravensdale Lodge's Lyric (E. Molloy) & Mary Cosgrove's Cavalier Dreamer (M. Cosgrove).
70cm class: # 1, divided between: Denise Finnegan's Joey (J. Finnegan) (Horse First prize), Billy Lappin's Billy's Boy (M. Tennyson), Katie O' Hare's Blaneys Boy (K. O' Hare) & Tracey Mc Keown's Cotton Sox (T. Mc Keown), # 2 divided between, Ravensdale Lodge's O' Gara (C. Twohig Carter), Lucy Cloughan's Midnight Mist (L. Cloughan), Sally Brophy's Mallow (S. Brophy), Ellen Meade's Never The Twain (E. Meade), Emma Holmes' Banagher Boomerang (E. Holmes) & Roseanna Angel's Harry (R. Angel)
85cm class: # 1 divided between: Susie Shekelton's Heather (S. Shekelton) (Horse First prize), David Mohan's Oliver (D. Mohan), Billy Lappin's Ice (C. Madone), Lucy Kerr's Duchess (L. Kerr), Lexi Kilfeather's Summer (L. Kilfeather), Jessica Finnegan's Sunday Cruise (J. Finnegan) & Roseanna Angel's Harry (R. Angel), # 2 divided between, Sheena Young's Cochise (S. Young), Tracey Mc Keown's Cotton Sox (T. Mc Keown), Rebecca Mc Cauley's Meg (R. Mc Cauley), Sarah Ellebert's Belle Izarra (S. Ellibert), Ethan Smyth's Dan (E. Smyth), Matthew Sturrock's Bobby (M. Sturrock), Tess Meade's Barneys Choice (T. Meade), Ravensdale Lodge's Sage (T. Patton) & Lucy Cloughan's Midnight Mist (L. Cloughan).
1m class: # 1 Caroline Mc Guirk's Zorro (C. Mc Guirk), # 2 Rory O' Hagan's Custard (R. O' Hagan).
Horse First indoor arena eventing league continues Saturday 24th November to Saturday 8th December. Classes 60cm newcomers, 70cm, 85cm & 1m, start time 3pm.
O' Reillys Wholesalers Newry indoor dressage league Sunday 18th November.
Class 1, Intro B: # 1 Gareth Mc Kevitt's Carrot (G. Mc Kevitt) 70% (O' Reillys Wholesalers Newry prize), # 2 Paula Keen's Perry (P. Keene) 65.21%, # 3 E&R Connolly's Dynamite (J. Connolly) 64.78%, # 4 Laura Mc Kevitt's Awesome Angus (L. Mc Kevitt) 61.30%, # 5 Tracey Malcolm's Hawthorne Diamond (T. Malcolm) 60.86%, # 6 Susan O' Gorman's Logan (S. O' Gorman) 56.95%, # 7 Leonie Irwin's Levi (L. Irwin) 56.52%, # 8 Chelsea Dollard's Mikado (C. Dollard) 54.78%.
Class 2, Prelim 12: # 1 Susan Scott's Talubet Oz (S. Scott) 65.20% (O' Reillys Wholesalers Newry prize), # 2 Pierre Olan's Mikey (P. Olan) 64.80%, # 3 Stephanie Foster's Tristar Sundance (S. Foster) 64.40%, # 4 Ravensdale Lodge's Mo (G. Byrne) 64.40%, # 5 Roisin Muirhead's Golden Gate (R. Muirhead) 64%, # 6 Danielle Tutty's Candy (D. Tutty) 62%, # 7 Erin Burns' Rupert (E. Burns) 59.60%, # 8 Roisin Muirhead's Dunsallan (R. Muirhead) 59.20%.
Class 3, Prelim 13: # 1 Pierre Olan's Mikey (P. Olan) 69.58% (O' Reillys Wholesalers Newry prize), # 2 Susan Scott's Talubet Oz (S. Scott) 65%, # 3 Grace O' Shaughnessy's The Biscuit (G. O' Shaughnessy) 63.33%, # 4 Danielle Tutty's Candy (D. Tutty) 60%, # 5 Victoria Craig's Rocky (V. Craig) 52.08%.
Class 4, Novice 30: # 1 Ravensdale Lodge's Mo (G. Byrne) 59.61% (O' Reillys Wholesalers Newry prize)..
O'Reilly's Wholesalers Newry indoor dressage league continues Sunday 25th November to Sunday 9th December. Classes on website, start time 3pm.