Cullybackey College Crest
  • Principal:
  • Mr D Donaldson
  • B.Ed., M.Ed., P.Q.H.

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Show Jumping


Cullybackey’s Hannah Galloping for Success

Cullybackey College’s Year 13 student, and avid member of the College’s Show Jumping team, is about to travel to the other side of the world as she heads off to compete in Australia as part of the Great British Mounted Games Team. After qualifying on beloved pony, Cripsin, Hannah, who is a member of the Mid-Antrim Pony Club jets off on the 22nd October to Melbourne, where she will compete against  entrants from Australia, Canada and America in the most important competition of her career yet. All at Cullybackey College wish Hannah the best of luck as she sets off on this fantastic adventure.

Hannah Thompson Off to Australia

Show Jumpers back in action (24/09/16)

Cullybackey College’s Show Jumpers were back in action on the 24th September 2016.

The trio represented the college at the Schools’ Show Jumping event at the Meadows in Lurgan. Horrendous weather, with a mixture of heavy winds and rain throughout the day made the competition trickier than normal. Jessica Marks (Yr 9) was extremely unlucky to have one refusal in the 85cm class; Ashley Kelly (Yr 11) went clear, but was unfortunately not placed in the Top 6; and Laura Gordon (Yr 13) was very unfortunate to knock the last fence down in the 1m class. The girls will be back out again, to represent the College, on 8th October 2016.


Jumping for Joy (20/4/16)

Hannah Thompson, Year 12 pupil at Cullybackey College has had many reasons to celebrate over the past few weeks. Not only was Hannah placed 1st at the St Patrick’s day Annual Schools’ Show Jumping event at the Meadows in Lurgan, but she has recently been chosen to represent Great Britain in Australia in the Mounted Games this coming October. Hannah qualified on her horse Crispin and is excited for this next major event in her jumping career and Cullybackey College wish Hannah every success.

Hannah Thompson - Jumping for Joy

Success at The Meadows (17/3/16)

Cullybackey College participated in the St Patrick's Day Schools' Show Jumping event at The Meadows, Lurgan.

Hannah Thompson was on her young pony Tia in the 85cm class, which had 58 entries. The course was tricky and involved a lot of sharp turns in the speed round. Unfortunately Hannah could not get Tia to turn into one of the fences and she finished on 4 faults. 

Ashley Kelly galloped around the arena with ease over each fence, jumping double clear. She just missed out on a place in the top 6.

Jessica Marks had a lovely first round and started her speed class. She ran into difficulty like Hannah trying to get a sharp turn into one of the fences and finished on 4 faults. All three girls did fantastically well on their ponies!

Hannah Thompson then had to rush to another arena to compete on her other pony, Sophi. With 38 entries in this class Hannah had a little bit of pressure on her. Sophie and Hannah jumped a beautiful double clear over the fences and finished in first place.

Cullybackey College Show Jumpers at The Meadows

Cullybackey College Show Jumpers Out in Force!

Year 8 pupil Jessica Mark debuted for the school on Thursday 12th November at Omagh Schools' Show Jumping event, where she jumped a double clear over the course of fences, but was unfortunate not to be placed. Jessica and her new pony have been working hard since the summer to create a team bond and we look forward to seeing their relationship flourish in future competitions.

On Saturday 14th November Emma Hoy, Hannah Thompson and Cullybackey College newcomer Ashley Kelly represented the school at the TRI Schools' Show Jumping event at the Meadows Lurgan. The novice class had a tough section with 56 competitors in total. All three jumped double clears and then it was down to the fastest times to be placed in the top 6. Hannah was placed 5th with the other two just missing out!

Later that afternoon, Hannah with her second pony of the day and Keavy Molloy jumped in the Open Class. Keavy pushed her pony around the course for a fast time but was unfortunate to receive 4 faults; Hannah jumped a double clear in a fast time to be placed 1st!  Well done to all the girls involved, we look forward to their next outing on the 12th December.

Show Jumping (1)


Cullybackey College's Show Jumping Success!!

The college's show jumping stars are galloping to victory after another successful Inter-schools' Show Jumping event. On Tuesday 17th March 2015, the school's show jumping team, Hannah Thompson, Keavy Molloy and Emma Hoy travelled to The Meadows in Lurgan to compete individually in the Saint Patrick's Day event. Hannah, riding Sophie and Keavy riding Misty, both fought off stiff competition to be placed first in their respective classes; Hannah in the Novice class and Keavy in the open class. Although this time, Emma, riding Bounty, was not placed, she is improving her performance each time she represents the school.

This latest success is another in a long line of achievements for both Hannah and Keavy. Hannah won the Inter Schools League earlier this year and qualified for the All Ireland Finals in the eighty centimetre class. She has also been selected for the second time to represent Northern Ireland in the Windsor Horse Show and Pony Club games which will be held in May. Keavy was placed second in the one metre class in the recent Inter-schools' event which was hosted by Cullybackey College.

Their teacher, Mrs J Robinson couldn't be prouder of the girls' achievements. They have held their own in every competition entered, and are becoming a formidable force in the Inter-Schools Show Jumping events.

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Cullybackey College host Show Jumping

On Saturday 21st of February 2015, Cullybackey College hosted their first Inter-schools' Show Jumping competition. The event was held at Connell Hill Equestrian Centre, with over 80 competitors travelling from various parts of Northern Ireland to support the event on a cold a wintery Saturday morning.

A special mention of thanks must go to Nigel Jess the course builder, who designed a technical course with twists and turns that caught a few horses and ponies out.

The college had fantastic sponsorship from local businesses. Doagh Equestrian, Brookevale Tack Shop and Box It and Feed kindly donated saddle cloths, horse meal, vouchers and a rug. Sylvia Thompson made the beautiful Rosettes which were presented to the first six riders/teams in each class.

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Show jumping success at Knockagh

Congratulations to Year 11 pupils Hannah Thompson and Keavy Molloy who were placed 1st and 2nd at the Inter-schools' Show Jumping at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre on Saturday 6th December. Well done girls.


Cullybackey College Show Jumping Team Victorious- Again!

Cullybackey College's show jumping team consisting of Keavy Molloy, riding Diamond Seeker, Laura Gordon riding Jake, and Hannah Thompson riding Sophie, had an early start on St Patrick's day, as the team travelled to the Meadows Equestrian Centre, Lurgan to participate alongside 16 other teams from schools across Northern Ireland.

The Cullybackey girls had a nail-biting two and a half hour wait after they kicked off the competition hoping that no-one would be able to out perform their time.

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Hannah is pictured 2nd from left together with her teacher Julie Robinson, and fellow Cullybackey College Show jumping team mates Keavy Molloy and Laura Gordon as they attend a show jumping ball to receive prizes for coming first overall in the Ulster Schools' League.

Hannah Thompson - NI honours

Click to enlargeAfter successful trials at Danescroft near Lisburn, Hannah was selected to represent Northern Ireland in the Pony Club Games at the Windsor Horse Show in May 2014. She participated in the "Prince Philip Cup" and the awards will be presented by Prince Philip himself. There were teams from the UK and Ireland competing.

Hannah has been a member of the Mid Antrim Pony Club for the past 7 years where she has been competed in several different disciplines. She has also competed at mounted games for 6 years all over the UK and Ireland.

The pony Hannah is riding at Windsor is called Crispin. It has taken Hannah about 18 months to get her pony to the standard needed to qualify for this prestigious event. In the NI qualifying trails, Hannah and 7 other riders competed against each other over 24 games and Hannah finished 3rd overall and made the final team of 5. A great performance on her first attempt at this event.

Representing Northern Ireland at the Royal Windsor Horse Show is the goal every pony club games rider aims for. Riders only have 2 opportunities to try and qualify to represent Northern Ireland at this international event where teams from the UK and Ireland all compete against each other. The competition is based around Windsor Castle from 14th - 18th May 2014 inclusive. Teams of 5 compete against each other twice a day, in front of large crowds and the Royal Family.

The school has experienced this honour a few years ago when Heather McKay made the team.

15th February 2014 - Ulster Schools' Show Jumping - Final Round

Click to enlargeLast Saturday was the final round of the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping. Keavy Molloy was placed 1st, Hannah Thompson was placed 2nd and Laura Gordon was placed 6th in Ulster. The girls will be attending the ball on March 22nd to receive their prizes.

Keavy in action:

Show Jumping Team Sponsors

Thanks to Colin Gordon from Norman Gordon & Sons Contracts and Naomi Blair from NB Beauty, our current sponsors of the Show Jumping Team. Also pictured are Laura Gordon, Hannah Thompson, Keavy Molloy, Mr Donaldson and Mrs Robinson.

7th December 2013 - Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Round 3

Cullybackey College show jumpers competed at round three of the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping League at the Knockagh Equestrian centre on Saturday 7th December 2013. Laura Gordon was placed 4th and Keavy Molloy 10th. Well done girls.

17th November 2013 - Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Round 2

Cullybackey College show jumpers competed at round two of the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping League at the Knockagh Equestrian centre on Sunday 17th November 2013. The trio modelled their new kit and saddle cloths, which were kindly sponsored by NB Beauty and Norman Gordon & Sons Contracts Ltd.

The class was strongly supported with 38 competitors trying to achieve a place in the top 10! The course was exceptionally "twisty" with sharp turns to test both the rider and the horse.

Laura was the first to enter the ring from Cullybackey College, her horse had been recovering from an injury and it had been out of training for three weeks and this was proving a big test for him. Laura and Jake achieved a double clear in a steady time to reassure each other's confidence that they were back on form!

Keavy was next to go, she rode around the arena putting pressure on her pony to achieve the sharp turns and this paid off with a fast time and a 5th place in the event.

Last to go was Hannah. Sophie (pony) had been showing off her high temperament in the warm up arena, but Hannah very quickly let her pony know who was the boss and that they were here with a purpose to achieve. Hannah rode a steady two rounds to put herself into 7th place.

Well done to all three girls and to their families for their continuing support and dedication towards the sport!

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5th October 2013 - Ulster Schools' Show Jumping

Cullybackey College got off to a great start in the Ulster Schools' Show jumping league; this is held at the Knockagh Equestrian Centre. The league runs from October until February with the competitors gaining points if they are placed in the top ten.

The course on Saturday was technical and designed to catch both the horse and rider out, with sharp turns and colourful fences around the arena. The competitors jumped fences 1-8 at a steady pace and then fences 9-13 were timed, to put the rider under pressure to achieve a clear and a fast time!

In the individual class, 30 competitors from all over the Ulster region were in contention for the top 10 places. Laura Gordon was second into the arena, she jumped fences 1-8 beautifully on Jake and as she turned into fence 9 the clock started. Jake unfortunately hit the top pole of fence 10 and it came down, this meant Laura had picked up 4 faults and she had to push for a good time to complete the course, in order to achieve a place. Unfortunately Laura just missed out in a place in the top ten.

Keavy Molloy was next into the arena on Diamond Seeker; she had been watching Laura carefully to check how the course was jumping. Keavy jumped the course well, although she did give her audience a scare as she rattled fence 10, but luck was on her side and the pole stayed in place. Keavy finished the course with a fast time allowing her to be placed 6th overall and achieve 5 points on the League table.

Hannah Thompson was the last competitor of the day; she had a lot of pressure on her shoulders to achieve a clear and with a fast time. Hannah rode the course well, turning her pony Sophie quickly on the corners and galloping between fences to achieve a clear, 1st place and 10 points on the League table.

The three girls have worked exceptionally hard over the summer competing and getting their horses/ponies ready for this competition. A thank you must go to the parents for their support towards the school and transporting the children to the event.

The next round of the league will be on Sunday 17th November at the Knockagh, if anyone would like to support the girls and cheer them on!

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15th June 2013 - Ulster Schools' Derby
Click to enlargeKeavy Molloy was placed 5th in the Ulster Schools' Derby (This was a course of 18 jumps with a mixture of show jumping and cross country fences). Keavy has recently purchased her new pony Diamond Seeker and so far they are achieving a lot of rosettes and cups. Well done Keavy!

2nd February 2013 - Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Awards
Click to enlargeCongratulations to Laura Gordon (Year 9), who finished in 6th place in the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping League. Her Rosette was presented at the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Awards Ball, held in Knockagh Lodge on Saturday 2nd February.

17th November 2012
Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Championships at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre

On 17th November we were represented at the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Championships at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre. Laura Gordon was placed 8th out of 35 competitors. The top ten competitors ranged very closely with their times in the speed round. Hannah Thompson was unlucky to have a refusal and one fence down. Keavy Molloy was unfortunately eliminated in round one but jumped a confident clear in the second round. The last round of the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Championships will be on December 1st.

20th October 2012
Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Championships at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre

Congratulations to Laura Gordon who was placed 5th out of 36 at this competition.

6th October 2012
Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Championships at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre

On Saturday 6th October, Cullybackey pupils Hannah Thompson, Keavy Molloy and Laura Gordon completed in the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping Championships at Knockagh View Equestrian Centre. Well done to Laura who was placed 11 out of 42 competitors.

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11th February 2012
NI Schools' Show Jumping Championships at Connell Hill Stud and Equestrian Centre

Cullybackey High competed in the Novice Secondary schools section along with 10 other teams. The teams had travelled from Limavady, Belfast alongside the local Ballymena Schools, Ballymena Academy, Cambridge House and Cullybackey.

In the first two rounds, the Cullybackey riders all jumped a double clear over a colourful and technical course finishing with no faults and qualifying for the jump off against the clock.

Only six schools qualified for the jump off, three schools with zero faults and three with four faults.

Cullybackey were very unlucky in the jump off, trying to take short cuts around the course to "beat the clock" they finished with faults to put them into 3rd position.

The team consisted of: Hannah Thompson on Crispin, Jamie Boyd on Bacardi and Stuart Gillespie on Billy Boy.

The overall results:
1. Limavady Grammar,
2. Belfast Royal Academy
3. Cullybackey High
4. Ballymena Academy
5. Cambridge House
6. Cambridge House

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19th November 2011
Ulster Schools' Show Jumping League

The Show Jumping team finished up 10th out of 19 in the Ulster Schools' Show jumping League on Saturday 19th November. The team consisted of Laura Gordon, Jamie Boyd and Stuart Gillespie.

In the individual class Hannah Thompson finished 10th out of 39. The jump off was very tight with only 6 seconds between 1st place and 10th place.

22nd October 2011
Ulster Schools' Show Jumping League, Knockagh Equestrian Centre

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Well done to the show jumping team on Saturday. The team consisted of Laura Gordon, Jamie Boyd and Stewart Gillespie; they were placed 7th out of 17 teams in the Ulster Schools' Show Jumping League.

Jamie was first to jump for Cullybackey, he had studied the course and had observed the difficulties which had caused a few problems on the course. He jumped a double clear.

Next to jump was Stewart; he was very focused and kept his pony going very steadily around the course to achieve a double clear.

Last to jump was Laura, her pony had been fighting a few muscular problems and unfortunately she was eliminated in round one but was allowed to complete round two. It was an unlucky day for Laura!

With two clears and needing a third clear to qualify, the boys decided to swap ponies. Stewart decided to ride Jamie's pony, having never ridden the pony before he was putting a lot of pressure upon himself. He was very unlucky to knock one fence down to receive 4 faults.

Cullybackey High qualified to compete in the final against Belfast Royal Academy, Methody, Limavady, Ballymena Academy, Friends, Antrim and two teams from Cambridge House. The two boys rode in the speed round against the clock, to be placed 7th and receive points for the team in the league.

In the afternoon Hannah Thompson jumped in the individual class. This event had 43 competitors and Hannah being one of the younger ones, she had a tough challenge ahead. Her pony Crispin had decided that the course was looking very "spooky" with the witches and pumpkins placed around the jumps. Hannah had to encourage her pony to ignore them and she was unfortunate to be eliminated in round one. The pony settled and jumped well in round two when he realised that the jumps were okay!

This competition was a great experience for the children and thanks again for the parental support!

13th November 2010
Ulster Schools' at Knockagh Equestrian Centre, Greenisland

Two pupils represented the school in the individuals – Kathryn Jackson (Year 9) and Jamie Boyd (Year 10).

Out of a class of forty competitors, Kathryn was unfortunate to have one fence down during her two rounds and did not qualify for the jump off round.

Jamie had never experienced jumping a course before Saturday evening. He was very unfortunate to have one refusal and a fence down. He thoroughly enjoyed his evening out and is looking forward to the next competition on Saturday 27th November.