Tuition and competition on an active April weekend

The  North West League may be over but there’s no shortage of activity for members who want to get out with their horses for club activities. Friday evening saw the first of three flatwork lessons with Patricia Warren at Cyril’s arena in Milford. It was good to have John Kelly back in the saddle after a hectic period spent keeping one eye on the Six Nations and the other on daughter Phillippa. He thoroughly enjoyed the lesson.

Sunday, the traditional competition day for riding clubs, saw the usual huge entries at Benbulben Riding Club’s spring league show in Tubberbride. Laura McGowan was delighted with her double clear in the Advanced Primary class and, although she didn’t place on the day, it won’t be long until she’s driving home with rosettes on her dashboard.

At Intermediate level Anne Chambers rode a lovely dressage test on (Kiltown Miss) Molly to finish a highly creditable 6th in a large class. She then went on to deliver a clear round in the show jumping arena to make it to her first ever jump off. Richard Kerins built one of his characteristically flowing courses with eleven jumps, two of which were doubles. There was no shortage of water trays, vibrant planks, lighthouses and the like, making it an ideal away test for horses and riders thinking of their place for the team show jumping qualifier. The results were encouraging with both Libby on Mai (Somhairle Red Tiger) and Francis on Zak (In A Hurry) going clear to join Anne in the jump off.

Francis was the one to produce a truly impressive round to take the lead for a short while and eventually claim fourth place in a huge class. Ruth McCrossan just pipped him to take third spot with the ever-reliable Finola Murphy finishing in second. But on Mothers’ Day, it was an evergreen grandmother who enjoyed a memorable victory. Kelda Morgan’s mother, Glynis Morgan, jumped a beautiful round on her cracking grey to conquer the field.

Pictured below: Francis and Zak in familiar company for the prize-giving at Benbulben Riding Club’s Spring League Show.


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