Tomorrow, Sunday 10th’s, leg of the north west riding clubs spring league has been cancelled. The weather forecast for the Saturday night is far from favorable and the roads from the west of the county are likely to be unsafe for travelling with horses. This gives us all an opportunity to sit back and put our feet up for the day.
It also changes the dynamic of the league slightly with competitors no longer having a score to drop over the league, as the rules state that the best four scores are counted. The double points awarded at the final means that most league tables are still very open and Sunday 24th should prove to be a very exciting final in Templemore. As things stand I believe Eimear Carlin is the only competitor who can be sure of claiming first place, though she must take part at the final in order to qualify for prizes. This is down to the rule stating that riders must take part in at least three of the five shows to be eligible for prizes.
In the advanced primary class we have only Suzanne representing us and with tomorrow’s leg cancelled she can no longer fulfill the criteria for riding at three shows. Lauren McLaughlin leads this division but is vulnerable to being beaten by seven other riders. Anyone who has three or more points, and has ridden at two or more legs of the league, could beat her if they won on the 24th and Lauren didn’t place.
The intermediate division has Veronica Lafferty in pole position, with five riders capable of beating her to the final red rosette. Our own Cliff Haley, riding Irish Shadow, and Tirconails Charlie Vial, are tying for second place with ten points apiece, while Cliff also holds third position on Sally Clover Supreme, on nine points. Marina is our other joker in the pack at this level. Herself and Jenny are still in the running with six points. A win on the 24th would shoot her up to twenty points, just enough to beat Veronica if things went uncharacteristically badly for Veronica at the final. Francis and Bonzo are in with a chance of tying for second place…exciting times.
The cancellation of tomorrow’s leg denies some advanced intermediate riders the opportunity to close the gap on Rachel and Merlin, who sit on the maximum available 21 points going into the final. The Gaeltacht’s Mickey McHugh and Tirconail’s dream team of Stephen and Courtney Greene, are all in a position to beat Rachel in the final, with Mark Ward and Derek Kane still in the running for places on the podium.
The open class truly is open. The only person on the league table who is not in a position to win the league is Tara Fergus Sheridan, who has been denied the chance to take part in the necessary three shows by the cancellation of tomorrow’s leg. Cassandra McGee and Bruce Vial are tying for first place with thirteen points apiece.
The 24th certainly looks like it will be an exciting day and should be well supported. Templemore Equestrian Centre is running it’s annual St. Patricks day show for horses on Saturday 18th, followed on Monday 18th by a pony show, so the arena and jumps will be in tip-top order. Remember there is a prize for best turned out at the final so it’ll be worth getting up half an hour earlier to get those plaits in (or at the very least scrub the dung off the legs and brush out the tail!). Also there is a place in a draw for a fuel voucher for anyone who has attended all legs of the league. Currently there are twelve people with a place in this hat. Roll on the 24th.
Before our league final takes place we need to be aware of the opening of entries for the AIRC National Hunter Trial Championships. Entries open on Saturday 15th of March (yes I know…the 15th is a Friday but don’t shoot the messenger!) and close at 12 noon on Thursday 21st. Entries must be done online and details can be seen on the following link
Our club has an excellent record at these championships and the course at Annaharvey is definitely a very good track so the very best of luck to anyone travelling.