Hot competition on a cool autumn day.

A hurried run by Marina to collect some of our club safety cups for the course at Twin Towns Equestrian Centre resulted in a slightly delayed start to the second leg of the North West Riding Clubs but once things got underway they ran smoothly. Our club members did us proud in the catering department and anyone who went home hungry can only have themselves to blame. With Enda on the mike, and Cormac judging, the classes flew through, helped by riders being prompt in their arrival at the ringside in time for their rounds.

The primary division is tied up by Grace Rodgers of the Inishowen club. Inishowen are very strongly represented at the lower divisions, having two competitors at the crosspole height too. Advanced primary competition is hot at the moment and again Inishowen are currently in pole position with Lynne Thompson on 13 points. The title is by no means in the bag though as its always possible for a rider to have an off-day and our own Regina Toland is not without hope in the division. Continuing their control of the league at the moment Inishowen are also in the lead in the Intermediate division, despite Cliff Haley bringing honor to Letterkenny at Twin Towns. This division is very open at the moment and will be down to a nail biting final in Templemore on the 25th. The advanced intermediate saw Stracomer’s Derek O’Kane put in a foot perfect performance to reverse the previous legs placings as Rachel had a pole down to take second, ahead of Courtney Greene of TirConail. With very few open riders in the region it was good to see our own Shauna Boyle back in the arena and nipping second place behind Cassandra McGee of the Donegal Gaeltacht club. Cassandra has inched ahead of Bruce Vial in this height division, but with Shauna back in the game it will all come down to the wire at the final.

Many thanks to everyone who helped out on the day in any capacity. The show went off very well despite being in a different venue to usual. A special mention must be made about the catering. A basket was left for people to make a donation to cover the food and drink and it has to be said that the North West Riding Clubs members are a very honorable bunch as the basket was certainly used during the day and people obviously considered the canteen worth supporting. Thanks everyone.

The league final is back in Templemore Equestrian Centre on November 25th (the day after the Donegal Harriers meet at Peter Smyths!). We hope to see a big turnout of both riders and supporters. Remember that riders are expected to wear correct competition clothing at the final and to show due respect for their clubs by turning out their horses to a high standard.

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