Festival entries deadline

The AIRC’s annual 2-day Festival at Stradbally Estate in Laois takes place on Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 June this year. It seems a long way away but entries close very early for this huge event. Postal entries (made through the club secretary) must be with the AIRC on Friday 23 April while you may enter directly online by Friday 3 May. If you plan to travel to the Festival, make sure your entries are in on time. Full details and schedule will be available shortly.

What is the Festival?

The Riding Clubs Festival is a huge 2-day show featuring every conceivable type of showing class, a full schedule of dressage classes (including Musical Rides, Dressage to Music and Prix Caprilli), working hunter classes, and an extensive show jumping schedule for individuals and teams. Horses can be stabled on site and riders may camp or find accommodation locally. Letterkenny Riding Club has a fine record at the Festival. Pictured below: Keary Smith and Sakima Warrior, winners of the Individual Primary Show Jumping Championship in 2009 and Mary Finneran and Bart, winners of the prestigious Eddie Fowler Trophy in 2008.

Formation Riding with Valerie Craig

Formation riding? Well, imagine a cross between a military quadrille, dressage to music and synchronised swimming — that’s about as close as we can get to describing Valerie’s classes. Add in serious concentration and plenty of laughter and you’re beginning to get the picture.

The beauty of the formation riding lessons is that you’re concentrating so hard on holding up your side of the show that you don’t even realise that you’re intuitively giving your mount immaculate aids and doing great flatwork almost without trying.

Lessons will take place for the next three Fridays (9/16/23 April) at Harley’s arena in Trentagh. Book with Mick Carroll on 086 828 2280 by the Wednesday before each lesson at latest.

Directions to Harleys · Download

Pictured belowMike Cuffe on Judy gives a victory salute for a line-up finale at Valerie’s 2009 lessons.

Drumlin Hounds Hunter Trial, Cootehill, 11 April

The Drumlin Hounds Hunter Trials next Sunday, 11 April, provide an ideal dry run for Flowerhill with Open and Novice classes, pairs and singles. The course in Cootehill is 100% weather proof, extremely hilly, and has excellent water jumps for schooling. It’s approximately 2 1/2 hours from Letterkenny so easily achievable in a day. Further information from Arlene on 086 192 9939.

The AIRC National Hunter Trial Championships (popularly known by the name of the venue “Flowerhill”) take place a week later on Sunday 18 April. Flowerhill is just outside Portumna in County Galway. Seven club members plan to make the journey and will ride in both the Warm-up Pairs competitions and the Individual Championships.

Ready for spreads?

Ever wondered why Orla never includes spreads when building courses for our clear round jumping evenings? The answer lies of course in safety. Under AIRC rules, course builders may not include spreads unless the back bar is supported by approved “safety cups”.

Today the club took delivery of 6 sets of FEI approved Olympic Safety Jump Cups with Safety Adapters. So get ready to jump spreads, oxers, triple bars and everything else that Orla and Seamus can think of.

EPS training begins

Training for the EPS Team Show Jumping Championship begins on Tuesday 30 March. Eight members have expressed an interest in training for the regional qualifier on 2 May in Sligo — Nadine, Damien, Marina, Sharon O’Donnell, Tanya, Francis, Annie and Libby. Training takes place each Tuesday night for five weeks at Jayne Patterson’s yard in Killygordon. Will Crean will coach the team. All members are welcome to come along and observe and/or assist at training sessions. All support will be appreciated greatly at the qualifier.

About the EPS competition

The EPS is the AIRC’s annual team show jumping championship. The final is held at the Dublin Horse Show in August. The competition is run in Nations Cup format and is open to Intermediate riders and above. Two team members jump a 90 cm course while two jump a 1 m course. There are two complete rounds of jumping. The team captain (who must be Advanced Intermediate or above) is the only one to jump off over a 1 m course, if there’s an equality of faults after both rounds of jumping.

Northwest League Final

The Northwest Show Jumping & Le Trec League 2010 concluded on Sunday 28 March with the final at Templemore. The league, organised jointly by the three Donegal riding clubs, offers members of all clubs the opportunity to train over a series of five shows, competing both at their normal grade and above it, if they wish.

Congratulations to everybody who competed and many thanks to everybody who helped out in any way.

NW League SJ & Le Trec_Final Results · Download

NW League SJ & Le Trec_Final Table · Download

Pictured below: Letterkenny Riding Club member Martina Boyle with her horse Rosa receives the red rosette for the league’s Welcome Stakes from Lawrence Smyth.