The Intermediate riders are generally seen as the favoured ones — they don’t have to get up too early and they don’t get home too late. But riding later in the day can have its disadvantages and on Sunday the Primary and Advanced Primary riders had the last laugh as they watched their higher graded club mates compete in pouring rain. No hard feelings. Everybody was just delighted that the rain held off for as long as it did.
The ground at Lenamore is famous for its draining qualities and despite heavy rainfall in the week preceding the event the cross country course was in wonderful condition. A large troop of workers helped with the set-up on Saturday afternoon and the competition got underway with a lovely Primary derby course in the first field. Entries in the class were small with Enda on schoolmaster Teldel taking Christopher’s scalp. Christopher deserved his own award for the manner in which he handled the recalcitrant Frank, a Lenamore resident who was obviously taken aback by the number of interesting new obstacles that had appeared on his home turf.
As Enda and Christopher fought it out on the cross country course, competition began in the dressage arena on the other side of the car park. Vera, looking terrific in her new show jacket and white breeches, was observed by her advisor Maeve as she rode Tia to victory in the primary dressage. Finbar arrived in time to take the reins and filled third spot with Maura and Hannah dividing the pair.
The Advanced Primary dressage was dominated by the Benbulben mother and daughter duo, Glyn and Melinda Morgan. They took first and second place in the dressage arena before galloping to victory in the AP Pairs on the cross country course. Daughter/sister Kelda watched keenly from the sidelines and enjoyed the family victory.
Several Donegal Gaeltacht members were out for a warm-up session in advance of their raid on the AIRC National 1-Day Event Championship in Tullamore this coming weekend. Rachael McCrossan on Roger got the best possible confidence booster with a great win in the AP Individual Hunter Trial class. Connor Gallagher and Patricia Warren had equally satisfactory warm-up experiences when fighting it out in the Advanced Intermediate/Open class. Conor took the top two places with Patricia in third while our own Geraldine Porter was for once let down by Cool who took a distinct dislike to the new coffin.
Connor was on a roll on the day and partnered Marina to victory in the Intermediate & Above Pairs. It was a great cross country debut from Marina’s mare Jenny and Tanya hit a similar milestone when competing Al cross country for the first time in the Intermediate Individual hunter trial. That class produced four error-free rounds over the long, galloping course that had challenged the navigational skills of riders all afternoon. Damien travelled marginally too slowly on Millie to fill third spot while Marina’s pace on the irrepressible Teldel was too fast. It was Mai who came in almost bang on the optimum time to record a great victory and crown a memorable year for Libby on Fenway’s super-subs.
Back in the dressage arena, this time it was Tanya who thwarted Nadine in their ongoing battle for the Advanced Intermediate prizes while Erica and Britney enjoyed a great win in the Intermediate class.
Wrapping up the day Marina was particularly grateful to Geraldine Graham who so generously makes the course and facilities available to us. The improvements to the course added greatly to the enjoyment of the event and we look forward to the further refurbishments she has planned.
A very big thank you to everybody who helped in any way, particularly to the fence stewards who endured a long and progressively wet stand in the deteriorating weather. Thanks also to the Morgans and Paul Hughes who travelled a great distance to support the event, to Brenda, Charlie and Mona from Tirconaill, and to the faithful Gaeltachts who have supported this event from the beginning. And a special thank you to Marina, Cormac and Keary (and Nadine!!) who made the whole thing happen.
Full results to follow and more photos in the Gallery.