With Shauna (we’ll dig out a photo soon to prove she does actually exist) Boyle running into mechanical problems on Sunday morning our club team for the RDS qualifiers was reduced to three game riders Colooney. Cliff had jumped on the Chinese sat-nav band wagon and headed for Galway before realising Tubberbride Equestrian Centre was actually on the Dublin road. He landed into a frenzy of activity which saw his team mates, and chef d-equipe Ed, get him tacked up in record time and whipped into shape in the warm-up arena before taking on the technical qualifier course. Unfortunately the team forgot to switch off the Chinese sat-nav and it directed him to Timbuktoo after number nine. Shyla jumped brilliantly and Cliff did very well to finish on just five faults.
With just three riders on the team there was no discard score to spare so Francis entered the fray on Bonzo under considerable pressure. With Bonzo stepping up to the plate in great style all went well till they reached the solid green wall at number eight. Here Bonzo made it quite clear that this was not a suitable obstacle to be faced with in a show-jumping arena and proceeded to eliminate himself in fine fashion and with great determination.
Rachel and Merlin had no pressure to contend with and merrily jumped around, clearing the dreaded wall after a momentary hesitation. Unfortunately Rachel’s effusive praise of his bravery was enough to totally distract him and he proceeded to land smack in the middle of the next oxer!
Fortunately the format of the competition allowed everyone to jump again and all three riders enjoyed excellent second rounds, sending everyone home with smiles on their faces and an enthusiasm for the show-jumping championships in Mullingar in July. As far as the RDS is concerned…roll on 2020. The photos are courtesy of Therese Anderson, who does a fantastic job of capturing the action every year.