Delayed Derby and autumn updates

Our recent club meeting had a very good turnout and arrangements for the impending Derby show were cemented. Greenacres Equestrian centre has been running it’s own jump-cross league recently and their jumps look fantastic in their outdoor arena. Entries are taken on the day for the jumping at our show but dressage entries should already be in. As always it would be great if our members could come and support on the day, whether by entering or by helping out. The weather forecast is good and a sociable day is pretty much guaranteed at riding club.

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If you enjoy riding club life, and would like to spread your competitive wings a bit, you would be very welcome at any of the events run by our (distant) neighbors in the Western region of the AIRC. The regional calender are is as follows.

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Apart from our own show we are spoiled for local competitive opportunities at the moment. The following are flyers from some local events which are open to all and sundry and afford us all with ample excuses to spend our time out with our horses.

26th & 27th October
Show Jumping 🎖🎖🎖
Dressage 🎩🎩🎩
Showing 🏆🏆🏆
Limited Stabling Available
Pre Book in Advance to avoid disappointment

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A most sociable session

Our annual regional training day, organised this year by the Donegal Gaelteacht  club, was a great success. The weather, barring one minor blip in the morning, was superb, and the company was excellent. Top marks to all who took part. The coaching was top class, with every rider being challenged as well as having their all-important confidence boosted. Thanks as always to Liz Potter for the photographic evidence of the day.

Show Jumping in the sun

The AIRC show jumping championships  has just about wound up in Mullingar. Our club had just one representative at the championship, namely Rachel on Merlin, who finished 12th of the 56 entries in the AI championship. The venue was superbly presented as always and the weather was, if anything, too good. Donegal could be proud of the Donegal Gaeltachts Cassandra McGee, who won both the Open and Advanced Open championship and the young horse class, on Trish Warren’s Well Dun Welby.

The next national outing for our club is the national dressage championship in the 18th August. Before this we have our regional training day in Gordon’s Bay on the 28th July.

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An event. Literally

One of our closest clubs, the Border Counties Riding Club, is holding its annual one day event at Cloncaw Equestrian Centre. Many of our members are aware of how good a venue this is and Cliff in particular has clocked up many miles around it’s undulating cross country course. Details are on the flyer

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June winding down as July starts to rev it’s engines.

I don’t know about the rest of you but in my opinion June has absolutely flown by. With just one week left in the month we can just about draw breath while we look back at the great activities enjoyed over the past few weeks.

The charity ride out at the start of the month was highly enjoyable and was a welcome break from competitive outings. Suzanne did us proud in Mullingar at the riding club festival, bringing home ribbons with her valiant mounts. A good portion of the club’s riders attended the Gaeltachts one day event, which was very well run by all accounts.FB_IMG_1561309733448 With no AIRC events on the local calender for next weekend we can enjoy an outing to Finn Valley show on Saturday while we look forward to the options offered in July.

On a national level we have the Show Jumping Championships in Mullingar on the 14th. There are no prior qualification criteria for this event and the championship classes are run ‘nations cup’ style, with all riders jumping two rounds and a third jump off round used as a decider if needed. There are also accumulator and derby classes so have a look at the schedule and get entering. I have my stable booked already! The schedule is as follows

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Another fantastic opportunity in July is our regional training day, which is being held at Gordon’s Bay on the 28th. All details on the flyer belowFB_IMG_1558782066481

If you need a break from the equines you can sign up for our go-karting evening on Friday 5th July. Details for this will be circulated soon but it should certainly satisfy the competitive nature of the organiser….

The Lone Ranger

Best of luck and congratulations to Suzanne and her two trusty (a description which may be stretching the boundaries of truth a little) steeds. Suzanne is the only Letterkenny member making the journey to the AIRC Festival in Mullingar this year and she is quite literally flying the flag for us down there.

Suzanne is already in the ribbons, having placed in the Ex-Racehorse Showing class on her new mount, Dubai Flyer. Safe journey home.

1 picture = 1000 words

So what’s next?

With both the dressage and the show jumping championships behind us we can look forward to some fun and excitement over the coming weeks and months. As I type this a sizeable portion of the club membership are enjoying the annual trip to Carrickfinn, where sun, sea and campfire dispel all the stresses of the day…well it might only be sea and campfire but as the song goes ‘two out of three ain’t bad’. Tradition dictates that what happens in Carrickfinn stays in Carrickfinn but I’m sure that between them all the campers will manage a few photos for the club archives.

Next weekend, the June bank holiday weekend, brings an opportunity to enjoy a social outing, a good meal and support a worthy cause in the process.  The Tirconaill riding club is running a ride out from Harvey’s Point, bringing riders through stunning scenery before serving up a sumptuous lunch, sponsored by the hotel itsekf. Proceeds are in aid if Riding for the Disabled and registration details are on the poster

Another date of note next week is Friday 7th, which is the closing date for entries for the Gaeltacht riding club’s one day event at Gordon’s Bay. Hosting a one day event is no small undertaking and this event affords a very rare opportunity to enjoy this discipline on our doorstep. There are classes to suit every ability and details are on their poster

The following weekend brings the AIRC Riding Clubs Festival to Mullingar. This extravaganza of showing, jumping and dressage is a mammoth affair and truly caters for every level of horse and rider. Even if you are not competing it is well worth attending to support others from the region and apart from the obvious social aspect of the event it can be very educational to watch the showing classes and see what the judges are looking for. Loads of people camp onsite and the atmosphere is excellent.

July brings another chance to take on the best of the rest in the show jumping arena as the National Showjumping Championship is in Mullingar on the 14th of july. No prior qualification is required to attend this event and all grades are catered for over the day. The facilities in Mullingar are top class and it’s another opportunity to fly the Letterkenny flag on the National stage.

July 28th brings our regional training day to Gordon’s Bay.  Organised by the Gaeltacht riding club this year, this day brings top class coaches to put you through your paces. As with all interclub events there is a strong social element as well as the educational aspect. Details and registration methods are on the poster.

Details from our own club meeting will be published as soon as I get them. In the mean time enjoy your weekend and your horses.

Terrible trio postpone triumph till next year

With Shauna (we’ll dig out a photo soon to prove she does actually exist) Boyle running into mechanical problems on Sunday morning our club team for the RDS qualifiers was reduced to three game riders Colooney. Cliff had jumped on the Chinese sat-nav band wagon and headed for Galway before realising Tubberbride Equestrian Centre was actually on the Dublin road. He landed into a frenzy of activity which saw his team mates, and chef d-equipe Ed, get him tacked up in record time and whipped into shape in the warm-up arena before taking on the technical qualifier course. Unfortunately the team forgot to switch off the Chinese sat-nav and it directed him to Timbuktoo after number nine. Shyla jumped brilliantly and Cliff did very well to finish on just five faults.

With just three riders on the team there was no discard score to spare so Francis entered the fray on Bonzo under considerable pressure. With Bonzo stepping up to the plate in great style all went well till they reached the solid green wall at number eight. Here Bonzo made it quite clear that this was not a suitable obstacle to be faced with in a show-jumping arena and proceeded to eliminate himself in fine fashion and with great determination.

Rachel and Merlin had no pressure to contend with and merrily jumped around, clearing the dreaded wall after a momentary hesitation. Unfortunately Rachel’s effusive praise of his bravery was enough to totally distract him and he proceeded to land smack in the middle of the next oxer!

Fortunately the format of the competition allowed everyone to jump again and all three riders enjoyed excellent second rounds, sending everyone home with smiles on their faces and an enthusiasm for the show-jumping championships in Mullingar in July. As far as the RDS is concerned…roll on 2020. The photos are courtesy of  Therese Anderson, who does a fantastic job of capturing the action every year.