The first leg of the North West Riding Clubs autumn show jumping league took place at Lenamore Stables last Sunday, the 10th October. The weather gods were good to everyone, providing a fine dry day for spectators to enjoy as they watched the spectacle provided by the ever-enthusiastic riders. With a dearth of Donegal Gaeltacht riders at the show the spoils ended up getting fairly evenly divided between the other four clubs in the region. The primary division fell to Stracomer’s Anne Keaney on her lovely Roxy Of Leckaun, with this partnership narrowly beating Alida Byrne to deny the Tir Conail member top points on the leader board. Inishowen’s Hannah McNelis had to settle for third spot on board Jessie D. Better luck next time Hannah.
Inishowen bounced back with a vengeance in the Advanced Primary division, claiming both first and second spots, courtesy of some fantastic riding from Lynne Thompson and Samantha O’Neill respectively.
Our own youngster, Chloe McClafferty steered stalwart cob Bacardi into third spot ahead of Tir Conail’s Barry McGlynn. It turned out that Chloe was just warming up the crowd for her oul’ ma, and supporters were treated to some highly entertaining riding in the ultra-competitive Intermediate class before Marina proved that she was still a force to be reckoned with by streaking around on Fyfin Eko to bag the red rosette.
Suzanne used the jump-off round as an opportunity to audition for the Red Arrows flying team. If she isn’t snapped up as a definite team member it will be a travesty.
Mark Ward and his lovely Wild Child had everything their own way in the Advanced Intermediate and cruised into pole position on the leader board uncontested. Obviously the style and talent he displayed would have assured him of the same result regardless of the number of opponents, but it was nonetheless a nice start to the league to have a shoo-in on the first day.
The next leg of the league, on October 24th, sees us travel south west to the beautiful venue belonging to Charlie and Mona Vial. The prospect of getting more points up on the board should encourage all competitors to travel down, not to mention that there is no better way to spend a bank holiday Sunday than sharing the banter with a crowd of like minded riding mates. See you there.