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.


Dressage Championships in our sights

Congratulations to all our club members who accepted the challenges set by the Inishowen Riding Club’s summer show. Our members did extremely well, with one dressage team qualifying for the dressage championships in August, along with a number of individual riders qualifying. In the jumping we had a subdued presence but everyone enjoyed the challenging course built by Seamus McCaffrey and a number of prizes made their way to the western banks of Lough Swilly.

Inishowen Riding Club are to be congratulated on running a very enjoyable and efficient show, as well as dealing with the head ache of the regional dressage qualifier. Many thanks to them for great prizes and some excellent photos from the day.


Next Sunday brings the RDS team showjumping qualifier in Tubberbride Equestrian Centre and with a bit of luck our team will be on the top tier of the podium by the evening. Fingers and toes crossed.

Let battle commence

Times are out for the Inishowen Show at Eglinton Equestrian Centre tomorrow. The weather forecast is mush better than it has been for the past week so shine up the buckles, polish the leather, plait the steed and ride into battle with us at the first of our National Championship qualifiers.

Remember to bring your entry fees to give to Maura. Dressage entry fees must be paid even if you are unable to compete as the club has already ponied up for them.

Busy weekend ahead

This weekend sees many of us head to Eglinton Equestrian Centre to face the challenges of the Inishowen Riding Club summer show, which incorporates the regional dressage qualifier. We have a great entry from the club, with two dressage teams and a number of individual dressage entries. In addition to the dressage there are the usual range of jumping classes AND a training class at each height category. If this show doesn’t cater for you then none ever will! Lets see a big turnout of supporters from Letterkenny as well as the actual competitors. Our dressage teams are as follows:

Vera, Rachel (Merlin), Cliff (Shadow) and Tanya

Francis, Rachel (Sally Clover Supreme), Kellie

Our individual dressage riders are Lorna, Jayne, Eimear, Suzanne, Leo and Marina. Who would have thought we’d be fielding two teams and six individual riders for dressage?!

The following weekend, the 19th of May, sees us field a team for the team show-jumping qualifier at Tubberbride Equestrian Centre in Collooney, Co. Sligo. The final of the team show-jumping is held at the RDS as part of the Dublin Horse Show, and is one of the most hotly contested competitions of the year. Our team this year is comprised of Rachel, Cliff, Francis and Shauna (Boyle, for those of you who don’t know her!!). The qualifier is always a really good days sport and the more supporters present on the day the better. We really need to get Letterkenny Riding Club flags made….

But let’s not jump the guns and let us enjoy this weekends fun and games, where all our club/team mates will be out supporting the neighbors at their summer show (and hopefully whipping their asses, though if we don’t it’s only cause we don’t want to peak too soon!)

See y’all on Sunday

A great AJTC over for another year

First and foremost I must apologise to everyone who arrived at Eglinton today and discovered that stables were not actually available. It was a genuine mistake on our part and we didn’t know that almost all the stables at Eglinton are now locked up and unavailable. That aside I think we can agree that the show ran pretty smoothly and was very enjoyable. Whilst our club didn’t win any red rosettes (though Rachel’s win in the best-turned-out netted her a very snazzy black and gold one) we certainly gave the other clubs a run for their money, especially in the dressage where we came agonizingly close to a win (apologies from Rachel and Tanya, who will honestly endeavor to remember their tests in future).

Huge thanks are due to the trusty core members who both competed and stewarded today and also a special thanks to non-members like Chloe McClafferty, Finbar Rafferty and Eoin Orr, who gave their time to help out on the day. One person who was absent, but who had done great work in the prize shopping department, was Suzanne Deeney-Wylie. Suzanne was at the NIF in Cavan and took the 4th place rosette on her new mount, Jimmy. Well done Suzanne.

Today was a day for firsts in other ways as ‘Bonzo’, aka Ballylennon Duke, produced his first double clear to keep his team in the running for the jumping prizes, while Regina Toland joined us for her first ever team challenge. I have a feeling that Regina may have bought her sat nav from the same shipment as Tanya and Rachel did….we’ll say no more! Today also saw Jayne Robinson join the Letterkenny ranks as a new member. You’re very welcome Jayne. Fortunately we know you of old and know your sense of humor will fit right in. A very special mention must be given to Cliff’s noble mare, Sally Clover Supreme, who rose above the indignity of being called Sally Clover Hill for the day, to jump four absolutely foot perfect rounds for two different teams, carrying both Cliff and Rachel without so much as a swish of the tail in complaint. I hope she got an extra scoop tonight.

Some photos of a great day.

Riding Club Festival around the corner

20180609_114843We’ve reached the time of year when events seem to be galloping hot on the heels of each other. The annual extravaganza that is the AIRC Riding Clubs Festival is taking place on June 8th and 9th in Mullingar Equestrian Centre. Whilst the 8th and 9th of June are still a strong month away you need to remember that entries close on 2nd May….that’s this coming Thursday! Have a gander at the schedule which you can find on the link below, there really is something for everyone.

Online entries open for 2019 Riding Clubs Festival

Crucial to your enjoyment of the festival is having on-site stabling, and a good camping spot if you are camping (which a huge number of people do). The social life is cracking and the atmosphere is very relaxed for such a massive event. My one piece of advice would be “don’t enter too many classes”. It’s one thing to get value for your journey but the pleasure goes out of the weekend if you’re run ragged trying to be in three different rings at once.

Audrey Jacob Team Challenge Time

Our annual outing to Eglinton, our show-with-a-lid, our celebration of a wonderful past member, is almost upon us. Hazel has been doing trojan work getting things organised and all that really remains is to man the various posts on the day. OK, so there’s the small matter of building the course and laying out the dressage arena, but the important stuff such as putting together teams to defend our honour has been done.

In dressage we’ve got two teams vying for first and second place. One team consists of Rachel, Tanya, Francis and Cliff, while the second team is made up of Vera, Erica, Cliff and Leo. Dressage times for the day are set out below and as you can see we have a pretty busy schedule.

The nations-cup style jumping starts at 12 midday and juggling competitors dressage times with keeping the jumping moving, will require a certain amount of patience and understanding from all involved. Our jumping teams are as follows. Cliff’s Chicks are Cliff, riding Sally Clover Supreme, Rachel on Merlin, Marina and Regina. Rachel’s Gofers are Rachel on Sally Clover Supreme, Cliff on Irish Shadow, Francis and Leo. If nothing else is guaranteed on the day at least we can look forward with confidence to plenty of fun and laughter.

As always the rosettes are to die for and the prizes are well worth the effort of taking part so come early, stable your steed and stake out your vantage point. The gauntlets have been well and truly thrown down by our friendly neighboring rival clubs.

Easter eggs bound to hatch as sun is forecast for weekend

We have the best forecast possible for the Easter weekend and I hope you all find time to get out and enjoy it with your equine partners. Tonight, Thursday, sees us at Greenacres Equestrian in Convoy to enjoy the last of our session of gridwork lessons under the tutelage of Alison Higgins. These lessons have been very enjoyable and beneficial for all the horses and riders attending.

On Monday 22nd Lenamore Stables in Muff is hosting a training show to celebrate their relaunch after the tragic fire during the winter. Their over-hauled arena and newly painted jumps would afford a valuable training opportunity for anyone thinking of jumping at the Audrey Jacob Team Challenge, and the show is very reasonably priced as can be seen from their publicity release:

Easter Monday 22nd April Training Show @ Lenamore Stables, : commencing at 12 midday.

Starter stakes up to 1.10m with all heights in between. Prizes and rosettes on the day,this is a show not to be missed

🌟 There is a special prize for the best turned out rider and pony combination in the starter stakes 🌟

Entry fee €/£7 per class special offer 3 classes with same Horse and rider for €/£15



Inishowen Show and regional dressage qualifiers

The show with a lid is back

Details are available on the flyer below for our annual Audrey Jacob Team Challenge. This very special show, held indoors and with free stabling available for all competitors, is held in memory of a very special lady, for whom the AIRC ethos of enjoying equestrian activities was most important. The camaraderie and craic, which are an inherent aspect of this show, are traits which Audrey held very dear. These, combined with a deep and genuine care for our equine team mates, were Audreys trade marks and we’ll be delighted to welcome as many as possible to keep the spirit of riding club alive and kicking on the 28th of April.

NW Team Challenge 2019