2010 : A year in the life of the club

Before racing ahead to get started on 2011, here’s a quick (and very incomplete) look back at our club’s fifth year, 2010.

January began with a big freeze making the year’s first competitive event, a tri-club dressage league, practically impossible to attend. Nadine and Tanya struggled out to one of the legs but the league will go down as one of the worst attended events, from Letterkenny’s perspective.

February and March brought better weather and the return of the North West League for its second year. The format changed in certain aspects from the previous year and, as with all evolutions, it suited some members better than others. There were certainly no complaints from Martina though as she enjoyed competing in her first ever competition, winning the Welcome Stakes for good measure on her gallant Rosa.

April is traditionally the month of Flowerhill, the AIRC National Hunter Trial Championships and 2010 saw a fine crew of competitors and supporters heading down to Portumna. No big winners but Leo & Mick were the club’s heroes as they completed their first championship rounds on Grace & Angel.

Also in April, Valerie taught her much-loved formation riding classes at Harleys on Fridays while our first team show jumping candidates trained on Tuesdays with Will Crean. We even squeezed in some clear round jumping at Cyril’s.

May kicked off with the Team Show Jumping Qualifier in Sligo at the Bank Holiday weekend. No joy with qualification but a great experience all round.

The month continued with a ride-out at Bunlin Bridge in Milford led by Rachel and continued through enjoyable Friday evening activities as far as our Spring Friendly at Lenamore where John blew everybody else out of the water with his stunning effort in the Best Turned Out competition.

And May ended on a high with Damien’s unforgettable camping weekend at Carrickfinn.

June got off to its now traditional start with a ride-out at Declan’s followed by the Gaeltacht’s unique beach show at Ballyness Bay, Falcarragh.

Marina invited us to her farm in St Johnston for a memorable cross country evening and we invaded Audrey & Tanya’s land at Castleshanaghan ten days later on a beautiful midsummer’s evening for another belt around open country.

This left horses and riders fit for the season’s first one-day event in July, at Glaslough in County Monaghan. Tanya and Jack approached the water jump and the rest is history!

Later in the month we ran our third successful annual cross jump at Lenamore and, third time lucky, Libby finally managed to compete, despite Fenway going lame 48 hours before the event. (Thank you, Ais.)

August is traditionally a quiet month in the club but Jackie’s flatwork lessons kept everyone on their toes.

The Benbulben RC cross jump at the end of the month saw Erica and Annie in action alongside Mick and Tanya.

September‘s feature was Millers Hill — almost a wash-out but instead a memorable weekend of laughter.

Later in the month, pure-bred club-member-in-waiting Pippa turned out for Audrey’s second cross country evening at Castleshanaghan and watched her father and lots of others enjoy the last of Autumn’s long evenings.

October‘s Friday evenings were spent at Cyril’s having tuition with Patricia Warren and we enjoyed a Sunday ride-out at Errigal Forest with the Gaeltachts for Coillte’s National Trails Day.

October’s competitive highlight was our Autumn League Show at Eglinton when Cyril jumped his first 70cm round of jumps and the club retained the North West Challenge Trophy (thanks to a mighty jump-off round from Francis & Zak).

The month ended with a Halloween ride-out back at Castleshanaghan and then we all hunkered down for the winter.

Although we had jumping lessons at Templemore with Valerie in November, sent two teams to the Strule Valley Show Jumping Challenge, and competed at the longest show of the year at Kesh (the regional show jumping league final), it was our Christmas Bowling Evening which stands out as the month’s highlight. The bowling was great and the dinner was really enjoyable but it was the pleasure we got from finally presenting Nadine and Damien with their wedding present which crowned the night.

And in December we just spent our time carrying forage and breaking ice on water buckets and troughs, looking forward to a new year when riding can begin once more.

Thanks to everybody who contributed photos and news in 2010.
Keep it coming!

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