Third time lucky

The weather forecast for this Sunday, whilst not what you would call clement, is at least not worthy of a name. With some anonymous rain, and the odd gust of bracing wind to contend with, it looks like the third leg of the North West Riding Clubs spring league should run as scheduled. You must be all chomping at the bit by now to get out and make a start so do be sure to turn out and support the day (says Rachel, who will be in Kilkenny!)

The following Sunday, the 8th of March, as well as being the next leg of the show-jumping league, brings a relatively local cross-country opportunity as Ballycastle & Rural Riding Community are hosting a go-as-you-please on Dirraw Farm. First horses out at 12, last horses at 1pm. The ride is suitable for all abilities, fences range from 60cms up to 1.10m. For those not wishing to jump, hack round at your own pace taking in the scenery, the hacking trail is approx 3 miles from start to finish and suitable to canter or gallop on.

The fee for the ride is £15 for BRRC members and under 16s, and £20 for non members. Non riders wishing to eat will be charged at £2. Refreshments will be served afterwards. Photographer Gareth Obrien will be present on the day. The address is Dirraw road, finvoy Ballymoney. Please contact paddy Traynor directly on 07719 677361 if more information is needed.

Talking of cross-country I can tell you that entries for next months Connolly’s RED MILLS National Hunter Trials Championships will open on Saturday 21st March and close at 12 noon on Thursday 26th March. The championships take place on Sunday 5th April at Flowerhill House, Killimor, Co. Galway H53 X6C6. We’ll keep you updated here as details are released but one thing to remember is that members are reminded to register their horse or pony before the 1st April  for free. A fee of €25 will apply for all applications received from 1st April until Monday 8th June 2020.

Further information on how to register your horse is available at this link.

Talking of national championships reminds me that there have been a number of changes made to the way the Dressage championships are being run. With Inishowen hosting our regional qualifier in the forseeable future it would be good for interested members to have a read through the criteria.

Teams riders, who qualify for the final, will now also qualify as individuals while the number of competitors that qualify in the individual classes for advanced primary, intermediate and advanced intermediate will decrease to 3.  This is down from 6. These changes mean that any rider who qualifies as an individual, while also a member of a team, will only have to ride two tests at the final.

The rules regarding reserves are also going to be simplified as clubs will no longer have to name reserves in advance but will only be permitted to make one change per team by a deadline prior to the qualifier and finals.

The rule changes will be available in the 2020 rule book which will be published shortly.

The AIRC National Dressage Championship are due to take place at Mullingar Equestrian on Sunday 16th August 2020.