Another year under our belts and a bright future before us: AGM 2011

Last night’s annual general meeting maintained the positive and optimistic tone of past AGMs despite the gloomy times we live in. The gathering at Tír na nOg was sociable and constructive as we looked back over a year full of highlights. From the North West League to our Derby show, from Anne’s wonderful victory at Flowerhill to Marina’s rosettes at Stradbally, and from treasure hunts to formation riding — it was a year of diverse activity and immensely enjoyable experiences.

Looking forward to the coming year, we’ve decided to reduce our number of shows to three, giving the cross country event at Lenamore a rest in 2012. The Summer Derby will be our flagship event with the Spring and Autumn league shows in the supporting roles. There’ll be plenty of emphasis on non-competitive activity as well and everybody’s plans and suggestions are welcomed.

Our calendar will be set in smaller chunks and we’ll return to the club’s original rhythm of regular quarterly meetings.

As in the past, members have been ready and willing to step up to the plate and take on official duties for the club. After six years in the position, Francis stands down as Chairman and Damien has been elected to fill his enormous shoes. A very heartfelt thanks to Francis for steering the ship so successfully over his period in office and the very best of luck to Damien in his new role. He has Paddy as Vice Chairman at his elbow to keep him on the straight and narrow.

Sharon, now with two young daughters to look after, has handed over the key of the Treasury to Francis who, with Maura’s assistance, will carry out Treasurer duties in 2012. Rachel stays on as Assistant Treasurer.

Orla has signed up for another year’s hard labour in the Secretary’s position and Anne joins her as assistant Secretary. In their absence, Nadine and Tanya were elected joint Show Secretaries, subject to their agreement.

See the full list of roles on the Club page of the website.

After a discussion about the difficulty of finding venues that suit all members for our Friday evening activities, the ordinary business of the meeting was wrapped up and it was time for the Awards. With Damien absent on the night, Libby, as the winner from last year, read out the nominations. They reflected the talents and qualities of the club’s humans and equids, and illustrated just how highly we regard and appreciate our fellow members.

Armstrong was rewarded for many years of enthusiastic club involvement when named Club Horse of the Year and it was the one and only Paddy Gallagher who took top honours and the Club Member of the Year Award. Well deserved and many, many congratulations to both Armstrong and Paddy.

2011 Club Member & Horse of the Year

Pictured below: Paddy Gallagher, 2011 Club Member of the Year, receives the Laggan Trophy from Francis McNicholl, performing the final duty of his distinguished 6-year career as the club’s chairman.