Winner alright

Our annual Audrey Jacob Team Challenge is behind us, with our neighboring clubs giving us an exhibition of how it ought to be done. Congratulations to all the winners and especially to Judith, who picked up a very impressive second place in her first AIRC dressage competition. As always a big thanks must be extended to everyone who helped both on the day and on the run up to the show. The atmosphere on the day was excellent and I’m sure Audrey was having a good laugh at the antics of Andrea and Bob, and Darcy’s tack!!

AJTC jumps

AJTC dress1

AJTC dress2

Following on from our show in Eglinton we sent a team to the Western Region team showjumping qualifier in Tubberbride stables, Sligo. The day was eventful to say the least, with our second team scuppered by a low flying lorry ramp before they could get going at all. Best wishes to Gary on his recovery. Our team in Sligo met with mixed fortunes and finished down the rankings on a day that saw the more southern clubs rewarded for their journeys. To make up for disappointment in the arena Enda decided to win the game of chicken on the road home and treated his passengers to some adrenaline fueled moments as he narrowly avoided disaster, with  some motorcyclists learning that BBC news presenters driving lorries are not to be trifled with. Fortunately all were able to walk away. Results from Tubberbride are below.

Full Results of Horseware RDS Association of Irish Riding Clubs Team Showjumping Qualifier at Tubberbride Stables
1st – Corrib Team Grey
2nd – Corrib Team White
3rd – Springmount Gold
4th – Donegal Gaeltacht Green
5th – Corrib Gold
6th – Tir Connail Team2

Hot competition

We have twelve showjumping teams contesting the Audrey Jacob Team Challenge this year and some of them look pretty hot…

Team challenge approaching

We welcomed Judith Porter to the Letterkenny ranks on Friday evening at Templemore. Judith, who hales from the Carrigans/St Johnston neck of the woods, rides an old club member on a daily basis. Basil, who was previously getting the ride from Suzanne Carroll, is looking marvelous and no doubt himself and Judith will be a great addition to the ranks. Friday saw an end to the flatwork lessons with Jacqui. The coming weekend will see us all helping out or riding at the Audrey Jacob Team Challenge, which is always one of our yearly highlights. Details of who is needed to do what, and when, will be circulated over the coming week.

Hot on the heels of the AJTC comes the RDS team showjumping qualifier in Tubberbride, followed by the chance to grab some quality r&r at Carrickfinn. Anyone who has travelled to Carrickfinn for our annual camping trip in the past needs no encouragement to attend, and for those of you who haven’t experienced it yet there is no point trying to find words to describe the stunning beauty and tranquility of the place. All are welcome but you need to let Damian know if you plan on going as he organises the paddocks for the horses. Call him on 087 7631911.


Clock’s ticking

This Friday sees us back in Templemore for the last of our flatwork lessons with Jacqui McPherson coaching. Remember to contact Rachel if you want to book in. We then have a great day of sociable entertainment to look forward to in Eglinton.


Festival beckoning

The program for the festival has been released by HQ and there really is something for almost everybody. Multiple categories of showing, dressage, show jumping, prix caprilli, derby…the list goes on. Stabling is available on site at a cost of E65 for the weekend but be warned that these stables will book up quickly so get on the ball if you’re interested. Stabling, and electric hook-ups for lorries and campers,  must be booked through Mullingar Equestrian Centre on the following link

The schedule is available on the following link  rcf_schedule_2018

Our own Audrey Jacob team challenge, in Eglinton on May 13th is a nice prep outing, as dressage is the basis of showing as well as improving your jumping. Leo, Cormac and Dave started their serious training on Friday evening under the watchful eye of Jacqui McPherson. Dave’s new mount decided that flatwork, as part of a group in an outdoor arena, wasn’t her idea of the ideal way to spend a Friday evening and despite Cormac giving her a thorough workout for a few minutes Dave opted for the safety of terra firma and retired early. Cormac and Leo had a great lesson and went home with plenty to work on over the week. Anyone who wants to avail of a spot in the lesson this coming Friday should text or call Rachel on 086-1617087 by Wednesday evening.


Things are getting busy

Thank you to everyone who attended our club meeting in Tir Na nOg last night. It was a very entertaining and humorous meeting which still managed to cover quite a few topics.

The first item, which you should all have received text notification about at this stage, is the opportunity to get some badly needed flatwork done under the highly expert eye of Jacqui McPherson.  These lessons are taking place in the outdoor arena in Templemore, so lots of space. There will be only four in a group which guarantees plenty of attention from Jacqui and this is perfect timing to improve flatwork before the regional dressage qualifiers at our show on the 13th of May. Contact Rachel on 086-1617087 if you want to book a slot in any or all of the next 3 Friday night’s.

This brings me on to the next item on the agenda…the Audrey Jacob Team challenge in Eglinton on Sunday 13th of May. Entries for this show need to be in by sunday 6th May. If you are available for a dressage team or wish to enter the regional dressage qualifiers as an individual, contact Hazel. If you are available to jump on a team contact Francis. For the first time we are also presenting a prize for the Best Turned Out rider (and horse) on the day.As always there is a bit of setting up involved in the show and help would be appreciated the evening before as well as on the day of the show. Hazel will be  coordinating everything in her usual military manner.

The next major event on the calendar is the team showjumping qualifier in Tubberbride Equestrian Centre, Collooney, Sligo, on Sunday 20th May . If you wish to put your name forward for this you need to contact Dawn. She will need to know what horse you are riding and what height you are willing to jump. Each team must have at least one intermediate rider but the other three team members can be graded higher, despite the fact that two team members will jump 90cm. All as clear as mud! Do be warned that any horse you intend to enter on a team must be registered with the AIRC by the end of APRIL. You need to get your skates on if you intend competing on a new mount.

That’s enough info for you for the time being I think. Next update soon.


A quick reminder

Sunday 15th – Interclub ride out and Treasure hunt, Milford mart. Contact Damian Gallagher and Francis McNicholl. The forecast is good at the moment so get out and enjoy it

Monday 16th – Club meeting in Tir Na nOg at 8pm

Flowerhill pictures

As expected the photos and coverage of the hunter trial championship at Flowerhill are starting to pop up on social media. Do please respect photographers who watermark and wish to sell their images. We all need to earn a crust. The first port of call is the following Facebook page (copy and paste the link)

There are some great shots on this and you quickly appreciate the degree to which our club colours stand out when you’re scrolling through thumbnails!

I’ll keep updating this post as I find stuff so keep an eye here.

Another great album of photos. Credit to Giulia Kraemer Photography.

The official photographers at the event were Sagittarian Photography and they have said they will have their photos uploaded around 5pm on Friday the 13th April. See the selection here


Therese Anderson has some great shots on her Facebook page, which are public so follow the link here

Thanks to Ursula Duggan for the following selection

Dawn’s photos…I think I’ll limit my trolling to photos of our own club members, otherwise I wont have time for knee physio I’ll be so busy uploading!!

National success as Donegal clubs shine at Hunter Trial Championships

There are eight classes at the Hunter Trial Championships and Donegal clubs won three of them. That’s no mean feat. We were represented in the top six placings in every single class, with every Donegal club taking home honors. As a county we really should be exceptionally proud of this achievement. The time, effort and diesel that we all put into our sport is truly remarkable sometimes and days like the eighth of April 2018 definitely make it all worthwhile.

The full results can be viewed here Results 2018 NHTC

The heavy going resulted in a lot of people getting time faults on the day and this fact combined with a tricky little chicane near the finish line meant there were relatively fewer clears than in some years. The course rode remarkably well, considering the constraints Oliver Walsh of Flowerhill Equestrian Centre had to work around, and the weather held up remarkably well. We had no competitors in the Advanced Primary Pairs class, meaning we were able to relax and enjoy watching the neighbouring clubs members fly around. Things hotted up for us in the individual division, with Enda partnering Tel Del (aka Kawasir) to an excellent result with zero jumping faults and just a few time penalties. This is an amazing performance from a 28yr old ex racehorse and his far from 28yr old companion.

The Intermediate division is always hotly contested at the championships and this year was no different. Dawn and Jade led the charge for Letterkenny, followed by Anne and Keary, Libby and Rachel, and Cliff (doing his first Intermediate xc) and Francis (on baby Bonzo) bringing up the rear. Libby and Rachel scraped into the placings with a 5th place rosette to bring home after a sticky round resulted in zero jumping but a few time faults.30264454_1895527260479167_3162867499740169913_n Moving into the individual class the riders had a chance to right some wrongs. With quite a few riders coming in on zero jumping faults the time was always going to be critical. Rachel managed to channel Merlins enthusiasm for taking on hedges in a more positive direction when she finished  dead on the optimum time of 6’30, winning the class for the clubs second time, Kerri Chambers having won it a number of years ago. The podium was a strictly Donegal affair as Courtney Greene finished just one second off the time to claim second for Tirconail and Shaun Brennan took third for the Donegal Gaelteachts in a time of 6’33.30441044_1895527650479128_577562610467166092_nDonegals day of glory continued in the higher classes, with all three Schneiders covering themselves in glory (and a few splatters of mud), Tirconails Jason Deward and Stephen Greene, and Stracomers Derek Kane, Karl Dolan and Tara Fergus Sheridan all bringing home prizes.30264668_1895528090479084_832862640662811323_nNo doubt many photos and videos will start to pop up on Facebook over the coming days so keep an eye out here as I try to share what I find. In the meantime sleep easy in the knowledge that you belong to the best riding club in the country (who else has a Marina for looking after their accommodation every year?!) and you share the best county in the country with some amazing riding club friends.