The Association of Irish Riding Clubs (AIRC) divides the country into eight regions for the purposes of administration and competition (qualifiers for national competitions being a major reason for this geographic breakdown). Donegal belongs to the enormous Western Region which stretches from Ennis in the south to Athlone in the midlands and north to Malin Head.
There’s a wonderful spirit of friendliness and rivalry amongst the clubs in the region and it’s great to be affiliated with such a good group. Our derby, hunter trials, and Spring and Autumn shows form part of various Western Region Leagues, as do at least some of our North West League shows. The downside to our affiliation is of course the geographic spread of the region. Travel is becoming impossibly expensive and the main focus of everybody’s activities is now local.
Regional meetings take place about every six weeks and ideally all clubs should be represented. They cover business such as the allocation of show dates and the arrangement of national qualifiers (e.g. the Team Show Jumping Championship qualifiers). These meetings alternate between Tuam and Sligo, both of which are a good haul on a weekday night.
The region’s Annual General Meeting takes place this Wednesday evening in Markree Castle, Sligo. If any members would like to attend the meeting to represent Letterkenny, please give Orla a shout on 087 643 2458.