Penultimate leg of league delivers further great competition

The benefit of the North West League to club members in this part of the world was evident once again on Sunday as riders and horses showed marked improvement from the early days of February. Seamus introduced an array of interesting jump props with planks, towers, turrets and other features adding visual excitement to the different courses. One particular red, white and yellow jump with roundy-shaped yellow filler decorations seemed surprisingly spooky to some horses but most of the obstacles were accepted without objection.

With Cyril resting his injured shoulder, it was left to Vera and Denis to represent the club in the Welcome Stakes. Both of them performed admirably and Vera demonstrated how well her partnership with Tia is developing as she overcame some fractious behaviour on the mare’s part to complete an excellent round.

With Liz absent, Enda did his best to maintain the club’s excellent standard in the Primary class but had an unlucky two poles down. Tommy McGinley of the Gaeltachts was the major benefactor and returned to his normal winning ways. Martina attended the show this week on just two legs and did a first-rate job on camera duty later in the day.

Leo matched Mick’s performance of a fortnight ago by training on the hunting field on Saturday before delivering a big win in the Advanced Primary class. Leo was undaunted by a strained neck following a fall at the final meet of the season at Falcarragh. The evening’s post-hunt social activities probably helped ease the pain…

The speed training class for the Primary and Advanced Primary grades saw a few lovely rounds. None was better than Joanne’s on Dancer and the combination took first place in an entertaining event. The speed class for the higher grades was abandoned in an effort to keep the day to a reasonable length but all riders were allowed complete a timed speed round, regardless of whether their first round was clear or not.

The Intermediate riders were on time-allowed-alert after the previous show’s time fault fiasco and three Letterkenny competitors made it to the jump-off. Tommy, Francis and Libby each had a pole down leaving Charlie Vial to take the class for Tirconaill with a thrilling round, beating Ruth McCrossan and Finola Murphy.

Tanya jumped a lovely clear round on Al to make it to the jump-off of the Advanced Intermediate class but she too had a pole down in a luckless class for the club. Ruth Stack of the Tirconaills enjoyed plenty of luck with a very wobbly pole to win the class with an otherwise highly accomplished display on the giant Tyler Hill.

With just one week to go to the final, the league table is bound to present a nail biting scenario. We’ll post the results as soon as Roisin has them. In the meantime enjoy the images in the Gallery.

Pictured below: Joanne on Dancer with Tommy and Orla after their victory in the P&AP speed training class; a multi-club group of girls wait for permission to walk the Intermediate course — Mona Vial (Tirconaill), Anne Harkin (Gaeltachts), Finola Murphy (Benbulben), Brenda Burke (Tirconaill) and Libby Carton (Letterkenny); Ryan, Sharon and Mick oblige the photographer.

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