Bushmills Gymkhana returns - a must for your equine calendar

This long standing gymkhana from as far back as the early 1970’s which was originally formed jointly between the late James Ramage and the late James McClean has made a come-back.

As part of the Bushmills Traders Association’s Salmon & Whiskey Festival 2014 the committee of the Bushmills Gymkhana were delighted to bring to the equestrian community this annual show that promises to offer something for everyone.

Pictured at the  Bushmills Gymkhana. Pictures by Karenann's Photography, Ballycastle. inbm42-14s

Pictured at the Bushmills Gymkhana. Pictures by Karenann's Photography, Ballycastle. inbm42-14s

For all that attended the show either as a competitor or spectator the day could not have been better. The weather coupled with the atmosphere made for a fantastic day in Bushmills watching two show jumping arenas in action. The committee would like to express their sincere gratitude to the McNaughton family (land owners) and to the many sponsors which include: Halliday Citreon, Knockanboy Vets, Dervock, Colin Richmond, Coleraine & Doah Farm Feeds, Ballyclare; without the generosity of all sponsors and land owners shows like this would not be able to take place and we the committee (and competitors) are indebted to them all.

It was with much delight that this day provided an opportunity to capture one of the founding committee members, Nancy Laverty presenting the James McClean perpetual trophy to the show. Included in the picture is James McClean’s granddaughter Mrs Shirley Smyth who herself had ran this shown for many years having taken over from her granddad on his retirement.

Pony Jumping

This arena gave an opportunity for many young riders to jump the variety of brightly coloured fences and practice their jumping technique. All spectators encouraged these young up-and-coming jockies who included; Kim Moore on Elsie, Alex Lamont on Angel, Katelyn Mann on Marley, Jessica Cohen riding Misty, Callum King on Mia and Kimberley Cotton on Dante.

Results as follows:


1st Courtney Patterson - Midnight Memories

2nd Jessica Cohen - Misty

3rd Alex Lamont - Angel


1st Kim Moore - Elsie

2nd Courtney Patterson - Midnight Memories

3rd Alex Lamont - Angel

70 & 80cm

Jessica Cohen was on a winning streak whilst competing and taking 1st place in both classes - Jessica was the proud winner of the James McClean perpetual trophy for the 80cm pony jumping.

Horse Jumping

The ever popular horse arena added to the day’s entertainment & the ‘craic’ was mighty with local rider Trevor Moorehead riding his daughter Melanie’s horse Bobby Sox and being victorious in the 80cm (not 70cm Trevor :) ). Geraldine Parker rode some fantastic rounds and was delighted to take 1st place in the 70cm with Melissa Lemon a very close 2nd. Local riders Sonya Seramia, Joan Laverty, Neil Gault, Liz Magee, & Fran Kealy competed throughout the day and all headed for home on a high sharing promises of a return for next year’s round of competition.

60/65cm Warm Up

1st Mellisa Lemon riding Mia

2nd & 3rd Joan Laverty on Fred & Sonya Seramia on Reilly (at time of going to press 2nd & 3rd placings unknown)


1st Geraldine Parker - Jacko

2nd Melisa Lemon - Mia

3rd Trevor Moorehead - Bobby Sox

Followed very closely by: Sonya Seramia riding Rily & Joan Laverty on Fred


1st Trevor Moorehead - Bobby Sox

2nd Geraldine Parker - Jacko

3rd Joan Laverty - Fred


1st Ria Farley - Fred (Rossi & Marion Duke perpetual cup)


1st Brittany McAfee - Abbie (Nancy Laverty perpetual cup)

2nd Susan McIlhaggan - Dolly

3rd Brittany McAfee - Yogi

The Bushmills Gymkhana committee are committing to bring this show to to the local area on an annual basis and would like to finish 2014 off by saying a massive thank you to everyone for their support either through competing or by helping in any way. Photo Credit Karenann’s Photography Ballycastle