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June winding down as July starts to rev it’s engines.

I don’t know about the rest of you but in my opinion June has absolutely flown by. With just one week left in the month we can just about draw breath while we look back at the great activities enjoyed over the past few weeks.

The charity ride out at the start of the month was highly enjoyable and was a welcome break from competitive outings. Suzanne did us proud in Mullingar at the riding club festival, bringing home ribbons with her valiant mounts. A good portion of the club’s riders attended the Gaeltachts one day event, which was very well run by all accounts.FB_IMG_1561309733448 With no AIRC events on the local calender for next weekend we can enjoy an outing to Finn Valley show on Saturday while we look forward to the options offered in July.

On a national level we have the Show Jumping Championships in Mullingar on the 14th. There are no prior qualification criteria for this event and the championship classes are run ‘nations cup’ style, with all riders jumping two rounds and a third jump off round used as a decider if needed. There are also accumulator and derby classes so have a look at the schedule and get entering. I have my stable booked already! The schedule is as follows


Another fantastic opportunity in July is our regional training day, which is being held at Gordon’s Bay on the 28th. All details on the flyer belowFB_IMG_1558782066481

If you need a break from the equines you can sign up for our go-karting evening on Friday 5th July. Details for this will be circulated soon but it should certainly satisfy the competitive nature of the organiser….


The Lone Ranger

Best of luck and congratulations to Suzanne and her two trusty (a description which may be stretching the boundaries of truth a little) steeds. Suzanne is the only Letterkenny member making the journey to the AIRC Festival in Mullingar this year and she is quite literally flying the flag for us down there.

Suzanne is already in the ribbons, having placed in the Ex-Racehorse Showing class on her new mount, Dubai Flyer. Safe journey home.

1 picture = 1000 words

So what’s next?

With both the dressage and the show jumping championships behind us we can look forward to some fun and excitement over the coming weeks and months. As I type this a sizeable portion of the club membership are enjoying the annual trip to Carrickfinn, where sun, sea and campfire dispel all the stresses of the day…well it might only be sea and campfire but as the song goes ‘two out of three ain’t bad’. Tradition dictates that what happens in Carrickfinn stays in Carrickfinn but I’m sure that between them all the campers will manage a few photos for the club archives.

Next weekend, the June bank holiday weekend, brings an opportunity to enjoy a social outing, a good meal and support a worthy cause in the process.  The Tirconaill riding club is running a ride out from Harvey’s Point, bringing riders through stunning scenery before serving up a sumptuous lunch, sponsored by the hotel itsekf. Proceeds are in aid if Riding for the Disabled and registration details are on the poster

Another date of note next week is Friday 7th, which is the closing date for entries for the Gaeltacht riding club’s one day event at Gordon’s Bay. Hosting a one day event is no small undertaking and this event affords a very rare opportunity to enjoy this discipline on our doorstep. There are classes to suit every ability and details are on their poster

The following weekend brings the AIRC Riding Clubs Festival to Mullingar. This extravaganza of showing, jumping and dressage is a mammoth affair and truly caters for every level of horse and rider. Even if you are not competing it is well worth attending to support others from the region and apart from the obvious social aspect of the event it can be very educational to watch the showing classes and see what the judges are looking for. Loads of people camp onsite and the atmosphere is excellent.

July brings another chance to take on the best of the rest in the show jumping arena as the National Showjumping Championship is in Mullingar on the 14th of july. No prior qualification is required to attend this event and all grades are catered for over the day. The facilities in Mullingar are top class and it’s another opportunity to fly the Letterkenny flag on the National stage.

July 28th brings our regional training day to Gordon’s Bay.  Organised by the Gaeltacht riding club this year, this day brings top class coaches to put you through your paces. As with all interclub events there is a strong social element as well as the educational aspect. Details and registration methods are on the poster.

Details from our own club meeting will be published as soon as I get them. In the mean time enjoy your weekend and your horses.

Terrible trio postpone triumph till next year

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.

Dressage Championships in our sights

Congratulations to all our club members who accepted the challenges set by the Inishowen Riding Club’s summer show. Our members did extremely well, with one dressage team qualifying for the dressage championships in August, along with a number of individual riders qualifying. In the jumping we had a subdued presence but everyone enjoyed the challenging course built by Seamus McCaffrey and a number of prizes made their way to the western banks of Lough Swilly.

Inishowen Riding Club are to be congratulated on running a very enjoyable and efficient show, as well as dealing with the head ache of the regional dressage qualifier. Many thanks to them for great prizes and some excellent photos from the day.


Next Sunday brings the RDS team showjumping qualifier in Tubberbride Equestrian Centre and with a bit of luck our team will be on the top tier of the podium by the evening. Fingers and toes crossed.

Let battle commence

Times are out for the Inishowen Show at Eglinton Equestrian Centre tomorrow. The weather forecast is mush better than it has been for the past week so shine up the buckles, polish the leather, plait the steed and ride into battle with us at the first of our National Championship qualifiers.

Remember to bring your entry fees to give to Maura. Dressage entry fees must be paid even if you are unable to compete as the club has already ponied up for them.

Busy weekend ahead

This weekend sees many of us head to Eglinton Equestrian Centre to face the challenges of the Inishowen Riding Club summer show, which incorporates the regional dressage qualifier. We have a great entry from the club, with two dressage teams and a number of individual dressage entries. In addition to the dressage there are the usual range of jumping classes AND a training class at each height category. If this show doesn’t cater for you then none ever will! Lets see a big turnout of supporters from Letterkenny as well as the actual competitors. Our dressage teams are as follows:

Vera, Rachel (Merlin), Cliff (Shadow) and Tanya

Francis, Rachel (Sally Clover Supreme), Kellie

Our individual dressage riders are Lorna, Jayne, Eimear, Suzanne, Leo and Marina. Who would have thought we’d be fielding two teams and six individual riders for dressage?!

The following weekend, the 19th of May, sees us field a team for the team show-jumping qualifier at Tubberbride Equestrian Centre in Collooney, Co. Sligo. The final of the team show-jumping is held at the RDS as part of the Dublin Horse Show, and is one of the most hotly contested competitions of the year. Our team this year is comprised of Rachel, Cliff, Francis and Shauna (Boyle, for those of you who don’t know her!!). The qualifier is always a really good days sport and the more supporters present on the day the better. We really need to get Letterkenny Riding Club flags made….

But let’s not jump the guns and let us enjoy this weekends fun and games, where all our club/team mates will be out supporting the neighbors at their summer show (and hopefully whipping their asses, though if we don’t it’s only cause we don’t want to peak too soon!)

See y’all on Sunday

A great AJTC over for another year

First and foremost I must apologise to everyone who arrived at Eglinton today and discovered that stables were not actually available. It was a genuine mistake on our part and we didn’t know that almost all the stables at Eglinton are now locked up and unavailable. That aside I think we can agree that the show ran pretty smoothly and was very enjoyable. Whilst our club didn’t win any red rosettes (though Rachel’s win in the best-turned-out netted her a very snazzy black and gold one) we certainly gave the other clubs a run for their money, especially in the dressage where we came agonizingly close to a win (apologies from Rachel and Tanya, who will honestly endeavor to remember their tests in future).

Huge thanks are due to the trusty core members who both competed and stewarded today and also a special thanks to non-members like Chloe McClafferty, Finbar Rafferty and Eoin Orr, who gave their time to help out on the day. One person who was absent, but who had done great work in the prize shopping department, was Suzanne Deeney-Wylie. Suzanne was at the NIF in Cavan and took the 4th place rosette on her new mount, Jimmy. Well done Suzanne.

Today was a day for firsts in other ways as ‘Bonzo’, aka Ballylennon Duke, produced his first double clear to keep his team in the running for the jumping prizes, while Regina Toland joined us for her first ever team challenge. I have a feeling that Regina may have bought her sat nav from the same shipment as Tanya and Rachel did….we’ll say no more! Today also saw Jayne Robinson join the Letterkenny ranks as a new member. You’re very welcome Jayne. Fortunately we know you of old and know your sense of humor will fit right in. A very special mention must be given to Cliff’s noble mare, Sally Clover Supreme, who rose above the indignity of being called Sally Clover Hill for the day, to jump four absolutely foot perfect rounds for two different teams, carrying both Cliff and Rachel without so much as a swish of the tail in complaint. I hope she got an extra scoop tonight.

Some photos of a great day.

Riding Club Festival around the corner

20180609_114843We’ve reached the time of year when events seem to be galloping hot on the heels of each other. The annual extravaganza that is the AIRC Riding Clubs Festival is taking place on June 8th and 9th in Mullingar Equestrian Centre. Whilst the 8th and 9th of June are still a strong month away you need to remember that entries close on 2nd May….that’s this coming Thursday! Have a gander at the schedule which you can find on the link below, there really is something for everyone.

Online entries open for 2019 Riding Clubs Festival

Crucial to your enjoyment of the festival is having on-site stabling, and a good camping spot if you are camping (which a huge number of people do). The social life is cracking and the atmosphere is very relaxed for such a massive event. My one piece of advice would be “don’t enter too many classes”. It’s one thing to get value for your journey but the pleasure goes out of the weekend if you’re run ragged trying to be in three different rings at once.