Category Archives: The People


Clubmate, friend and lover of horses. You were taken far too early but you’ll always be with us. Rest in peace.

Orla_showjumping challenge Orla_5187

Social climbers: Enda reveals all

Where do I start – the wrestlers in lycra or the wall. They both had the ladies in a sweat.

More on the men in pink in a moment but first the 12 members who made the journey to Derry on Friday for a mystery evening all rose to the challenge and what a challenge. The highest indoor climbing wall in Ireland in the new Foyle Arena looked daunting at first but in the end it was conquered by all. The most impressive was Paddy “Spiderman” Gallagher who was first to the top in record time. Years of practice scaling walls to raid orchards paid off. There was no stopping Paddy after he figured out how to get back down again. He was so high he was out of ear shot to get his instructions for the descent. After lots of “sorries” the message got through. More impressive performances followed from Hazel “Im not doing this I’m scared of heights” Mahoney, Louise “let me at it” Edwards, Pauric “you need a stronger rope” McCrory and Erin who relished beating her dad to the top.

Not to be out done Suzanne Deeney Wylie, Mary Finneran and our latest recruit Paul O’Kane left many in their wake as they scaled new heights. Then we had the Smith/Chambers combination who wanted to share the one rope but in the end were easily separated when Ann left her fiancee in her slipstream. Enda and Marina also had their own domestic duel. As for the wrestlers next door in lycra – enough said ladies.

Pictured below: No sign of a horse anywhere — club members conquer the wall.

Well done Marina!

Marina rode a blinder at Fairyhouse on Saturday when she fulfilled her dream of riding in a “real” race before she kicks the bucket. She finished in third place, losing second by a whisker, after an impressive run from the back, picking off victims one by one as she progressed relentlessly. The winning post came just a hair too soon but the performance was magnificent.

Very well done, Marina! We’re proud of you.

Baby Matthew joins us with a perfectly timed arrival

Congratulations to Nadine and Damien on the birth of Matthew at 7.12am this morning. He’s a strapping lad and everybody is doing well. He obviously has the riding club’s interests at heart having allowed Daddy to enjoy the league yesterday before politely announcing that he was ready to join the rest of us on planet earth.

Social year off to a flying start at cracking bowling evening in Arena 7

There was a huge turn-out for our annual dinner and bowling night last Saturday at Arena 7. Along with all the usual suspects, the chattering tables included newer members like Lisa Moore and Micháel McClafferty. These two alone are a wonderful example of the diversity of our membership. We come in all shapes and sizes, ages and sexes!!

As well as bona fide members we had several riding club widow(er)s showing up on the night in the hopes of showing that equestrian prowess is not the only measure of a man. Liam, Rick, Cecil and Mervyn, as well as former member Declan, ensured that the boys were twice as well represented as the girls for the big occasion.

As has been the case for the past couple of years, dinner was served first and everyone had plenty of time to relax, let down their guard and do some undercover reconnaissance on the ambitions of their soon-to-be adversaries in the bowling lanes. The meal was as alway very good, albeit slightly unusual in the proliferation of potatoes to the exclusion of any other evidence of a vegetable!

Fueled by spuds, the large party made its way to the VIP bowling suite for the grand challenge. As the session progressed it became clear that the tussle for the Bottom of Table honours was being as closely contested as that for the top. The McClafferty clan were in with a shout in nearly all divisions — male, female, bottom and top.

At the heel of the hunt they pulled off 50% of the prize money with Marina (despite a shaky, ankle-recovering start) topping the girls scoreboard and Micháel elbowing out the younger pretender, Enda, for the Paddy Last title on the mens side. Suzanne bowled with great character and humour to take the equivalent title on the girls role of honour while Rick proved that he has the game in his American blood when topping the overall scoreboard and taking the boys title.

A huge thank you to Marina for organising the evening once again. We look forward to the 2016 edition already.

Sadness as club members and friends lose loved ones

Our deepest sympathies are extended to Mary Finneran, who lost her mother last weekend after a long battle with illness. Mary nursed her mother throughout her illness, making enormous personal and professional sacrifices to make sure she received the care she deserved.

We also extend our condolences to Tanya who lost her granny last week. It’s been a tough year for the family and we would like to offer our deepest sympathy.

Our thoughts are with you both, Mary and Tanya.

January sees club life rekindled

Our riding club years have a comfortably familiar pattern. We recover slowly from the break over Christmas and New Year (bravely interrupted this time by Inishowen’s show) and gradually start setting the mounted wheels in motion to get us to the first big day of the season, the first leg of the NWL on Sunday 8 February. Lessons with Kelda on Friday nights are a pleasant re-introduction to the notion of coloured poles and will also familiarise you and your horse with the arena at Templemore. Book with Anne, if you’d like to join in.

But there’s a whole world of equestrian activity to be enjoyed beyond the Northwest League. To help map it out, make sure you attend the club meeting this Thursday at Tir na nOg where everybody’s ideas and plans for the coming few months will be welcomed. You can use the opportunity to pay your 2015 membership dues, if you haven’t already done so.

Our unmounted activities kick off on Friday 30 January with our annual bowling evening and dinner at Arena 7. Let Marina know as soon as possible if you plan to go along.

On a very sad note, the club extends its deepest sympathies to Christopher who lost his father last week when he passed away suddenly. Our thoughts are with you, Christopher.

Happy New Year

A very, very happy new year to all our members and their families and friends. After a memorable 2014 here’s hoping for a peaceful and rewarding 2015 where our equestrian ambitions are realised and our club activities bring us endless pleasure.

Annual General Meeting 2014 – another fine year under our belt

Inevitably one or two members were inconvenienced by the last minute change of day for the AGM but the very healthy attendance (over two-thirds of our membership) who made it on the night demonstrates how interested and involved in the club everybody remains. In his Chairman’s address, Enda applauded our members’ willingness to take on tasks and share burdens and responsibilities. How right he was.

It was a most enjoyable and constructive meeting during which a couple of notable decisions were reached. Firstly, there was widespread delight at the announcement, made with the blessing of Cecil and Tanya, that our Northwest Team Challenge is to be named in memory of Audrey. The Audrey Jacob Cup will be the perfect symbol of the club spirit, sportsmanship and club ethos that Audrey both championed and embodied. Secondly, we’re going to make our debut in the Facebook world with Louise taking the helm to guide the club ship through these new social media waters.

The election of officers was a good humoured affair with a healthy balance of continuity and change at the top table. Enda stays on as club Chairman and Maura, who successfully husbanded our funds and returned a small profit on the previous year, remains in charge of the club treasury. Paddy and Libby stay on as their righthand men.

After two years of dedicated service to the club, Cormac wisely decided to nominate his erstwhile assistant, Anne, to become the head of secretarial power. She takes over a well organised and efficient machine and we’re all indebted to Cormac for the time and effort he has put into the Secretary’s role during his period in office. It’s very, very much appreciated. Hazel provides new blood in the department as she takes over as assistant secretary.

There are odds and ends of changes amongst the remaining club roles. You can see the full details shortly on the Our Club page of the website.

Club Member & Horse of the Year
To conclude the AGM we had our much-loved club awards and they once again highlighted the different levels on which effort, engagement and achievement are appreciated. Everybody in the club has different goals, different qualities and different personalities — they all add up to make Letterkenny Riding Club what it is.

The deserved winner of the Club Member of the Year Award was Damien, while Tutu and Anne’s Molly shared the Club Horse of the Year honours. There were of course many nominations in both categories — well done everybody.

Club Horse & Member of the Year 2014

Pictured below: Damien receives the Laggan Trophy from Enda while Louise and Anne accept the honours on behalf of their two fine mares.


AGM date changed to Thursday 6 November

Given the exceptionally large number of members who would not be in a position to attend this Friday evening, the AGM has been brought forward by one day to Thursday 6 November.

Everybody is strongly encouraged to attend so that the club can benefit from its members’ input as we chart a course for 2015.

Nominations for our Club Member and Horse of the year should be submitted by Wednesday please.