Busy, busy, busy

At a very sociable and entertaining meeting on Friday evening we mapped out the club calendar for the coming months. Memberships were renewed, with the necessary photos being handed over, and some talk was given to the dearth of primary and AP riders which we’ll need for forming teams for the Audrey Jacob Team Challenge (the AJTC).

First and foremost, and much anticipated by previous participants, is the annual wii night in Damian and Nadines house. This has proven over the years to be as viciously competitive as any RDS qualifier, with a lot more entertainment and infinitely better catering than the RDS itself can offer. Don’t worry if you haven’t yet renewed your membership as this night is all about the sociability of riding club and acts as a glue for the rest of the year. If you can make it just let either Damian or Nadine know that you’re on the way.

The next event is an inter-club event aimed at providing a few laughs as well as tightening a few muscles. On Friday 1st of February a pilates night, with coach Ruth McCrossan, is on offer ,in a venue to be confirmed when numbers are known. If you are game to give it a try, contact Ruth on 086-3179328 and let her know you want to hook up with the riding club night.

If you can still move after your pilates taster you’ll be ready to take to the saddle as the mounted entertainment kicks off. Sunday 3rd of February is the date for the first leg of the North West Riding Clubs Spring League and as our club is responsible for hosting it we’ll appreciate every hand we can get, both mounted and on two feet. Details will be ironed out closer to the day but, as we need to gather up our own club jumps to boost the venue equipment and ensure a challenging course on the day, we’ll definitely appreciate everyone mucking in.

Full details of events over the coming months will be on the Calendar page but with competitions, gridwork lessons, training shows, team challenges, RDS qualifiers and most importantly the annual camping trip in Carrickfinn, to look forward to, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year with Letterkenny Riding Club.

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Time to plan

Headquarters has confirmed most championship dates and venues for 2019. Start planning your year…

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Calling all members

Our first club meeting of the year is being held this Friday evening. The venue is still to be confirmed. Following on from a very relaxed inter-club meeting on Monday we can sit down and start to pull together plans for our own year. The first leg of the spring league, on Feb 3rd, is rapidly approaching and has the advantage of being an indoor affair at Twin Towns Equestrian Centre. No doubt everybody will be a bit rusty at the showjumping but the league is a great place to get started again and you’re all encouraged to come and support it. You do need to be a paid up member, with your membership card in your hands, in order to take part, but even if you haven’t yet got around to joining/rejoining it would be great to see you come along and enjoy the social aspect of riding club. Remember to bring passport photos if you’ve been a member for five years or more, or if you,re joining up for the first time. The photo-booth in Tescos is a handy place to get them if you need an out-of-hours photography service.

A little light reading

Why not use the remaining dark evenings to get up to speed on the AIRC rule book? As well as educating yourself about the disciplines you normally take part in, this publication throws a lot of light on the workings of the clubs and association in general. Read it at the following link

airc 2019 rules & regulations

New year, new you?

Welcome to the 2019 edition of Letterkenny Riding Club, complete with challenging competitions, sociable shenanigans, enjoyable events, fantastic friends, hilarious horses and inevitable inebriation (purely drunk on fun and emotion). As some of you will have heard we have to offer get-well-soon wishes to our hard working secretary Hazel, who is currently sending you riding club updates from her hospital bed on the wrong side of the Atlantic as she recovers from a very nasty broken leg. No doubt her trusty steed Darcy will be only too delighted to enjoy an extended winter holiday. Also on the recuperation bench is Donegal Gaelteacht member John McDaid, who landed wrong when coming off on the hunting field and is now waiting for four vertebrae to knit before he can return to the saddle. Cormac must be feeling like something of a trend setter at this stage as the competitive ranks of the clubs get decimated! No doubt we’ll see you all back fighting fit before the year is out.

Those who are still able to throw the leg will be glad to see a small stretch in the length of the days now and can look forward to the start of the spring league at the start of February. Dates and details are on the poster below and as you can see the league has received a big shake-up this year as the different legs are in different venues. This should create a very different dynamic and will make for an interesting and challenging league.

If anyone is interested in travelling farther afield over the late winter or early spring then they might like to support our neighboring Western region clubs by attending some of the following events.

Our own North West Riding Clubs meeting is being held this coming Monday 14th January at 8pm in the Glencar Inn. As always everyone is encouraged to come along and get involved in what is happening in the region.

Sowing the seeds of desire

6 Top Horse Adventure Destinations

Winding down as we all gear up for Christmas

Anyone who didn’t make the dinner dance in the Villa Rose is to be pitied. It was a great night, with top class entertainment laid on, a belly full of laughs provided, great food, excellent DJ and fabulous prizes for all the deserving winners. Top marks to the entertainment committee for a great night.

As always the riding club scene is a little quieter over the coming month as people concentrate on other festivities, but there are a couple of dates to put in your diaries. Firstly Trish Warren is running a charity fundraising show on Saturday 29th (so you get time to recover after your over-indulgence on the 25th) in Twin Towns Equestrian Centre. The monies raised will be going directly to the ISPCA’s Donegal Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Ballyare and your support would be greatly appreciated.

The second opportunity for you is in January, when the Stracomer RC is holding a working hunter clinic in Greenacres Equestrian Centre in Convoy. The clinic will see Antonia Donnelly help riders become acquainted with or improve in the growing sport of working hunter. Details of both events are on the posters below.

At the recent inter-club AGM there was some talk of a possible rideout being organised over the Christmas period by John McDaid and Mickey McHugh. If this comes to fruition I’ll let you know.

A grand finale…in the most Irish sense

Twas a grand day in Templemore Equestrian Centre for the final of the autumn league, with sun shining from start to finish. There was a good turnout for the competition and spectators were rewarded with some exciting jump-offs.

It was great to see Suzanne Deeney Wylie out with a new horse being introduced to riding club life in the crosspoles, and I’m sure this pair will be a force to be reckoned with in the spring league. With no primary riders to challenge grace Rodgers the primary division was a quiet affair and Grace will be delighted to accept her just reward at the upcoming dinner dance. The advanced primary has been quite competitive throughout. Despite Inishowen’s Lynne Thompson having an uncharacteristic off-day at the final she still had enough of a lead to snaffle the league title. Our own Kerrie Chambers blossomed today to win the final class and come second overall. One of our other new recruits, Regina Toland kept a very cool head to place second to Kerrie on the final day and third in the overall league placings. The novelty pairs class, for A.P and below, was hotly contested and saw Louise Edwards and Bob take both second and third places, with partners Lynne Thompson and Kerrie Chambers respectively.

The ever-competitive intermediate division has been pretty well tied up by Tir Conail’s Patrick Hunter on the evergreen Eurolady. Cliff Haley managed a fourth placing for our club in the final but earlier strong performances have left him in second place overall in the league. The advanced intermediate has been a three way affair up till the final, when John McDaid gave the other competitors fair warning of his competitive intentions on his handsome new grey. The only rider to finish on zero faultsĀ  he pushed Rachel Carton into second place as herself and Merlin put in an impressive round of jumping but had an uncharacteristic time fault. Fortunately for Rachel, Derek O’Kane of Stracomer had a pole on the ground in addition to his time fault, leaving Rachel to win the league. Cassandra McGee and Bruce Vial have been fighting it out in the open class throughout the league, but Bruce pulled it out of the saddlebag at the final to capture both first and second places. This put Bruce into pole position in the overall league, with Cassandra managing second place. The final class of the day was an accumulator class and Patrick Hunter continued his winning ways, ahead of Mickey McHugh on his versatile chestnut.

Touts were selling tickets for the dinner dance next Saturday and as there is already an unusually large take-up, encouraged no doubt by the central venue of the Villa Rose hotel in Ballybofey, the night promises to be a goodun. Louise and Hazel are the go-to people for tickets and the night is always a great seasons end.

Before we start boogying and partying on Saturday we can get together at the North West Riding Clubs AGM in the Glencar Inn. The fun kicks off at 8pm and everyone truly is encouraged to attend and be part of the decisions affecting us all for the coming year.

Finally a big thanks to everyone who either participated in or helped run the Autumn League. It simply couldn’t happen without ye. The final results are available below

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