Castle Irvine, Necarne will open up its doors again on 22nd May and 14th August 2021 to welcome the Eventing Ireland National Horse Trials. This will see the return of eventing to Necarne on a National Level, the beginning of the aim to bring International events back to Necarne. Dora Beacom, Event Coordinator for Eventing Ireland Northern Region commented, ”It is very exciting to have this iconic venue back on our calendar for the forthcoming year. Necarne is unique for a number of reasons, not least because of the all-weather cross country course which, given the weather patterns of the past few years, will, undoubtedly, prove invaluable. The infrastructure and facilities are legendary as is the amazing backdrop of the beautiful 17th Century Tudor Castle. Many of the world’s leading event riders quote Necarne as their all-time favourite event and I have no doubt that there will be a collective welcome to the news that it is making its way back onto the schedule.” Catherine Abbott, Chair of Eventing Ireland, Northern Region commented, ”The inclusion of Necarne in our calendar for 2021 is great news for everyone, particularly since we are lacking parkland venues. Many of the fences from the last International are still there and can be used. It is wonderful to be working with the dynamic team from Gardrum Holdings who are equally keen to see eventing return to this amazing venue.”

Eventing Ireland site walk at Necarne. Pictured from left to right, Lithgow Currie, Jean Mitchell, Denis Currie, Vina Buller, Dora Beacom, David Morrison

Necarne have been renowned for holding horse trials at both a National and International level in the past. Necarne has hosted a total of 15 International events, with the last one dating back to 2009. They have also hosted FEI Eventing Championships at both Junior and Young Rider levels, and the FEI Pony Championships for dressage, showjumping and eventing. Many of the top eventers who are now competing all over the world, have competed at Necarne. This includes the current world number one Oliver Townend, World Number two Tim Price, along with Zara Philips. Vina Buller has been named as Course Designer for both dates, who represented Ireland at the highest level, in both Showjumping and Eventing, with input from world renowned course designer Ian Stark, it is sure to be two days of the highest quality Eventing.

Camiila Speirs on Portersize Just a Jiff – 2006

Camilla Speirs represented Ireland at the Junior European Championships at Necarne in 2006 with Portersize Just a Jiff, bred by Philip White of Maddybenny. This combination has since represented Ireland on many occasions including at 5* level at Badminton and Pau. She commented that, “We are very lucky to have a venue like Necarne back on the eventing calendar for 2021. Not only does Necarne boast some of the best facilities and picturesque courses in the country, but it holds very special memories for me, personally, as I competed here in my very first Junior European Championship with Portersize Just a Jiff.”

Jayne Doherty, Winner of the CCI2* Necarne 2009 on ‘The Only One’ also commented, ‘Necarne is incredibly special to me. Winning Necarne in 2009 on ‘The Only One’ was pivotal to my entire career. One year on from Necarne we were called up for the World Equestrian Championships in Kentucky USA to represent Ireland. Necarne gave me the belief that I could win amongst international competitors and is one of my favourite places in the world. The lure of Necarne to National and, potentially, International competitors is strong. The facilities are absolutely incredible. The remarkable Team that Derek Keys & Kyle Porter have put together to revitalize the venue has Necarne gleaming. With the professionalism of Dora Beacom & Eventing Ireland behind this venue, it’s the foremost event that everyone is going to be excited about!”

Vina Buller, Course Designer at Necarne

Castle Irvine Estate Ltd are delighted that Eventing Ireland have decided to include the Estate for two National Horse Trials this year (2021). Following on from our first Show Jumping Ireland Event held in “November 2020” We hope that these National Events will act as a stepping stone to further promote Castle Irvine, Necarne back to its former Glory as an International Equestrian Centre. We began conversations with the key members of eventing Ireland back in 2017. Following completion of our lease with Fermanagh & Omagh District Council in July 2020 we pursued discussions with the Eventing Ireland team who ran so many successful Events at Necarne. A special thanks to Jean Mitchell, Denis Currie, Vina Buller, Dora Beacom and David Morrison for their dedication, knowledge and wisdom. We truly are delighted to have approval for two dates in 2021. We would like to thank Eventing Ireland for their dedication in bringing Horse Trials back to Necarne. We extend a warm welcome to everyone coming to visit Castle Irvine, Necarne for these events. This is also a great opportunity for the local community to get involved in this sport so, if anyone is interested in helping on either of the two dates, they should contact the Event Co-ordinator, Dora Beacom, on 07876758979.