Derby course comes together on a magnificent Donegal evening

It’s very hard work building a course on a green field. The logistical task of gathering all the ingredients is the real nightmare but Damien and Francis performed miracles on Friday afternoon so that the bulk of the toolkit was on site for Friday evening’s 7pm course building operation. Manpower was in plentiful supply as most of our local members turned out to help, assisted by long-distance travellers like Leo, Marina and Enda.

Harvey was assisted by Katie, Bruiser and Rusty for the canine part of the exercise and soon things fell into place. From his perch in the bucket, Damien performed a first-class circus act, battering stakes into the ground in between balancing acrobatics as Louise manoeuvred her mechanical monster at speed around the rapidly-drying field. In the dressage area, Rachel and Audrey orchestrated the creation of a perfect (if slightly sloped) dressage arena.

By the time Patricia and Lawrence turned up to pick up official course-building duties, the field had been transformed into an unmistakable showground. 17 fences (and 23 jumping efforts) later, there was the satisfaction of standing back for a few precious seconds of dusk to admire the work and look forward with intrepidation to the big day on Sunday.

Pictured below: Hard labour on a beautiful evening.