Strong turnout bodes well for coming year

Our club AGM, held in it’s regular haunt of Tir Na nOg, was very well attended by club members old and new. Outgoing chairperson Marina gave an excellent round-up of the activities which our club members both organised and attended over the past year. Considering the slow start our club had, with some of the club stalwarts out of action for various reasons, it turned into quite a busy year. High points of the mounted year were, as usual, the social get togethers involving our four legged friends….these included a most memorable inter-club rideout in the bluestack mountains, the annual club camping trip to Carrickfinn (realistically it is glamping as gone are the days of huddling in soggy tents), and of course the famous Francis and Maura treasure hunt. For once we didn’t have a single entrant in the National Hunter Trial Championships (well it is only sporting to give the other clubs a chance occasionally) and most of us limited our competitions to local events, including a most enjoyable Audrey Jacob Team Challenge and a successful Derby Show.

There was plenty of discussion about what we would like to be doing in the coming year, with a general agreement that we want more educational gatherings, whether mounted or seated on a more stable base. The importance of helping each other out, especially when it comes to guiding newer members in the right direction, was stressed and it was agreed that Marina would act as a sort of mentor for members who feel they need a bit of help or advice in any aspect of club life, whether it is the correct attire for a dressage competition or an explanation of the jumping grades.

There was some great banter as the outgoing officers stood down and the time came for fresh blood to step up to the mark. Happily there was no shortage of people willing to help out and in no time at all the new officers were proposed and seconded. They are as follows

Chairperson: Rachel Carton

Vice Chairperson: Marina Hamilton

Secretary: Erica Robb

Vice Secretary: Vera Keating

Treasurer: Cormac McCormac

Show Secretary: Erica Robb

Grading Officer: Francis McNicholl

Equipment Officers: Damian Gallagher and Francis McNicholl

Public Relations – website and Facebook administrators: Rachel Carton and Erica Robb

Health and Safety: Jenny Coe

Child Protection: Lorna McCrudden, Jenny Coe, Cormac McCormac

Prize Buyer: Suzanne Deeney-Wylie

Club Gear: Jenny Coe

Team Selectors: Francis McNicholl and Vera Keating

Having divvied up the minor roles the important job of announcing club member and club horse of the year was the next order of business. There were a number of nominations for each position, all with very valid reasons given, and the end results were popular. Congratulations to Francis on getting club member of the year, while Shyla, aka Sally Clover Supreme, was the worthy winner of club horse of the year. Both man and beast epitomise what riding club is all about. The evening was rounded off with succulent pizzas and well earned pints.