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Association of Irish Riding Clubs Members Annual


National Show Jumping Championships


National Dressage Championships


International Show Jumping Championships


Riding Club Festival


National Team Show Jumping Championship


National One-Day Event


Midlands Region


2004 Year Planner


North Eastern Region


South Eastern Region


South Leinster Region


South Western Region


West Leinster Region


West Midlands Region


Western Region Designed & Edited by David Abbott

Photographs by Equestrian Photographic Services

ASSOCIATION OF IRISH RIDING CLUBS Waverly, Church Road, Greystones, Co. Wicklow. Tel: 01-2010780 Fax: 01-2010781

A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN Dear Member, As we welcome our second A.I.R.C. member’s annual let us reflect on the past year. Have we achieved the goals that we set out for ourselves, where we excelled and have we identified areas that needed to be addressed? On the competition front 2003 was a highly successful year. The Festival attracted huge entries to Goff's for a beautiful weekend of fun and competition. The other national events, the Show Jumping Championships, the Dressage Championships, the Team Show Jumping Championships and the National One-Day Event continued to grow in popularity and size. For the first time in our history, the A.I.R.C. hosted the International Show Jumping Championships due to the vision and sheer determination of Kilrainy Riding Club. May I pose a few questions - Are the member's needs catered for? Are their expectations met? What burdens are we putting on our volunteers? What happens when our volunteers reach burnout point? Can we make our Association a positive experience for all? I would hate to answer some of these questions. So let's use this moment to remember the members and volunteers who are the backbone of the Association and without them this organisation could not operate. Each member can answer these questions and should act accordingly for the better of the Association. May I take this opportunity to thank a few people; Hilary, Jane, Máire in the office and David, where would we be without them? The Executive and National committees, the various discipline committees, many thanks for all of your hard work during the year. To all of our volunteers, I cannot thank you enough but from the bottom of my heart, well done for a brilliant job. To our safety officers and stewards, your hard work during the year has paid off with no claims made against our insurance policy during 2003. This is a wonderful achievement and hopefully one that we can repeat in 2004. To our members, each and every one, many thanks and best wishes for the coming year. Our sponsors are also deserved of praise, I ask you to go out and support them at all times. Lastly may I express my thanks to those who have stepped down from committee positions during the year, your contributions were valued and much appreciated. As we look forward to a new year, we have introduced a new competition, a National Hunter Trial championships. I hope we get a positive response! Plans have already started for the various national competitions. A big effort is also being made to look at developing Le Trec within our organisation. Feedback is very welcome and gives us the necessary tools in which to structure the outcomes. Positive feedback gives the necessary encouragement to continue and strive to meet the goals that we have set out on. So I ask you to encourage and support your committees with constructive feedback. May I finish by wishing each and every one of you a fun, sporting and happy New Year and I hope to meet as many of you at the various competitions during the year.

Email: Website: © 2004 A.I.R.C.

Tony Ennis, Chairman.


National Show Jumping Championships

Three Counties’ Niamh Egan was in devastating form with Dotcom to claim the Intermediate championship qualifier and final

By Charles Maudlin

t is an old clichĂŠ to say each year something gets better and better, but for those of us who have been involved in the A.I.R.C. National Show Jumping Championships since the inaugural show at Ballinasloe Showground's in the mid 1990's, there will be very few who would stand back and not agree that the standard of riding, the organisation, the facilities, the ground and the atmosphere were the best yet.


Once again, Mullingar Equestrian Centre, which has become the adopted home for this event, looked an absolute picture, and with the introduction of a full Derby course for 2003, the decoration and variety of jumps meant that there was plenty for riders and onlookers to both discuss and look at. It would be fair to say, that the Derby classes took no prisoners, but clear rounds are meant to be at a premium in this type of competition, and I am sure there will be plenty of training going on before the 2004 event comes around in July.


Derby adds to Show Jumping Feast Entries were very good in the Advanced Intermediate Derby and enthusiasm certainly not lacking. There were four clears, so an exciting jump-off followed. Once again Oakfield RC claimed the red ribbon, this time with Kerrie Anderson riding Oakfield Top Kick. Mullingar Derby Track 33 Intermediate riders tried their hand at the Mullingar Derby Track. Again just 4 made it to the deciding jump-off. Two of them were from the Western Region, determined that Oakfield RC should not have their own way and in fact Martin McMahon won from the first draw,

There were two clears in the Advanced Open Derby with Oakfield RC's Peggy McMullin proving once again she is the one to beat, especially if Oakfield Top Cat is on form. The Open Derby winner, clear rounds in the Greenhills Kate Open were also very Beaumont on Polly scarce and Kate Keane Beaumont, (Greenhill's RC) was the only one to keep a clean sheet for 2003. Hard luck to Sara Hatton from Dundalk RC who returned with just 3 faults.

setting an unbeatable time for Castle Carraig RC on Fountain Shade. I am sure all those who tackled Robert Fagan's course will return and try to improve on their score in 2004.

It was good to see 19 riders in the Open class on the morning of the Championships. Once again Three Counties RC were on top form with Kevin Bartly taking first in the Qualifier. 11 other riders tried to

In the Advanced Primary Competitions, Corrib RC's Regina Fahy took the morning Class, but it was the West Midland's Doreen Egan from Three Counties RC's who took the main honours, just 0.19 seconds off the elusive optimum time. Well done to all the riders in Arena 4. As I have already said, the standard continues to improve, but so does the atmosphere and the encouragement! ABOVE: South Roscommon’s

Biggest Class Trish Cunningham on As ever, the Casper receive Intermediates were the biggest class of the day their Primary and with 19 clear rounds championship trophy from in the morning qualifier, Gerry the standard was as hot Thompson, as ever. Three Counties judge RC continued their rosette quest when RIGHT: Niamh Egan on Dotcom Mary Ryan from took both the qualifier and Devil’s Glen RC scooped the the final!! Not only beating Advanced 18 others in the morning, Intermediate but 12 other clears in the class by storm afternoon's decider. with Igotoo

stop him copying Niamh Egan and taking both classes, but they failed, and Kevin returned to the West Midlands with both classes under his belt! Wonderful Year And so onto the Advanced Open competition. Unfortunately entries for this were again disappointing, but let's take nothing away from Paul Morkan who won both classes for Anvil RC, a club of course that went on to have such a wonderful year. I do hope we can persuade more to compete in the Advanced Open competitions, which represents the pinnacle of the A.I.R.C. grading system. The last class of the day was the consolation Top Score. Entries on the day boosted this class and all enjoyed the challenge. Host club Mullingar RC came out on top with Laura Drumm riding Derragh Amough. She just beat Daly's Grove RC, in their first year of competition, represented by club chairman Mark Delaney with Rookhill Diamond So 2004 is here, and some Regions are already planning their qualifiers. I hope the weather remains kind, and the best of luck to all who make the annual pilgrimage to Mullingar.

National Show Jumping Championships

Individual Championships Of course the real reason for everyone to travel to the Midlands in early summer was the National Individual Championships. Divided through 3 arenas, all the grades had their chance to show their skills and it was the Western Region that proved too strong for everyone in the Primary Classes. Castle Carraig RC's Grainne Maher won the morning qualifier, whilst Roscommon RC's Trish Cunningham took the National title, just pipping Grainne who was out for the double!!

The Advanced Intermediates allowed an east coast rider to take their qualifier and championship when Devil's Glen RC's Mary Ryan won both. Riding Igotoo, she kept the others at bay throughout the day. No mean feat, as a glance at the entry list will reveal!


Broadmeadow Riding Club field top team for dressage By Mรกire Quinlan-Pluck, Dressage Co-ordinater

unday 31st August 2003 proved yet again another successful National Dressage Championships for the Association of Irish Riding Clubs held at Kilcooley Abbey by kind permission of Peter and Faith Ponsonby and family. With a magnificent entry of twenty teams and more than two hundred individuals all vying for the much coveted trophies, the day was long but most enjoyable.

National Dressage Championships



The weather held off very well and with nine arenas going all day, the championships proved to be as popular as ever. Although there was obviously some tension, due to nerves etc., it was great to see everyone gathering around at lunch time to enjoy their picnics in the sunshine. Well attended qualifiers were held in each of the eight regions and numbers are growing with each championship. This day also incorporates a Combined Training competition for each grade which adds a little extra zest for the competitors and extra competition for anyone who has travelled long distance. Each grade of rider is catered for and all competitors ride one test in the morning and a different test in the afternoon. This and the scoring for the combined training certainly gave Jim Collins and his scoring team a 'run for their money'. It is amazing how Jim and his team

The winners, Broadmeadow Riding Club, receive their prizes from Peter and Faith Ponsonby and Tony Ennis, A.I.R.C. chairman

manage to score for such large numbers and send everyone home happy at the end of the day. Great thanks are due to them. Hotly Contested This year Newbridge Silverware were the trophies to be won and

were they hotly contested throughout! The Team Championship was easily won by Broadmeadows Riding Club (Sara Logan on Knockagh, Fran Whelan on Harry, Deirdre Arthur on MacBee and Danielle Roche on Thume Gale) who took an early lead with each of their riders scoring in the seventies for their morning tests. Not an easy feat. They continued with their great scores in the afternoon and finally finished champions with a score of 428. Acorn Riding Club (Tuula Pyysalo on Bruce, Joanne O'Hagan on Fred and Christina Kinsella on Shannon) finished a very close second with a score of 423.4. This was a terrific achievement as they had only three members on their team so all scores had to count. Twinfort Riding Club (Anne Glynn on Maradonna, Judy Devine on Model Farm, Jim Arthur on Moonshade and Fiona Wood on Jack) finished a credible third with a score of 416.7.

LEFT: KiIotteran RC’s Fionnuala Brennan receiving her prize from Tony Ennis, A.I.R.C. chairman for the Primary Combined Training

The Open class was a popular win for Michael Moore of Ashbrook Riding Club riding his home bred Moya's Dream, well ahead of Mary Farrell on Lisheen Lad from Barrow Valley Riding Club. Michael also came third for Ashbrook with Clancey Bay. The Advanced Intermediate class was won by Louise Foley for Castleview Riding Club riding Move Over Darling. In second place was Rosarie Kelly of Kilcarrick Riding Club riding Heather Crest. Largest Class The Intermediate class is always the largest class at the A.I.R.C.'s Dressage championships and is always hotly contested. This years champion was Betty O'Neill (Maxi) from the West Cork Riding Club who dominated this division as they were the only pair to exceed the 300 mark to finish on a score of 313, a clear 16 mark advantage over Acorn's Tuula Pyysalo (Bruce) in second. Third place went to Aurelia Ciblis of Brook Lodge Riding Club on Rascal. First place in the Advanced Primary class went to Jill Moffat of Kenmare Riding Club riding Eagle Light. A close second was Gerry O'Byrne riding Teddy from the Ardcath Riding Club and the Primary class was a popular win for Kay O'Sullivan with Carol Quish from Hillcrest Riding Club taking a very close second. The Advanced Open Riding class is a very popular class indeed and is

The Advanced Intermediate title was taken by Niamh Morrison of West Cork Riding Club riding Jacob from Emily Horne riding Isay's Diamond from the Greenvalley Riding Club. West Cork Riding Club shone again with Maureen Ni Cleirigh riding Xoe sharing the Intermediate title with Deirdre Thornton Junior riding Harvey for the Barrow Valley Riding Club on an equal score which could not be separated. Final Competition The Advanced Primary class was won by Irene Hurley of Russellstown Riding Club riding Errigal's Comet while second place went to Noelle Pecheux on Honey for the Clonlara Riding Club. The final competition of the day, the Primary class, was won by Fionnuala Brennan riding Ernie for the Kilotteran Riding Club in Waterford.

watched by most of the field. It is what we all aspire to, riding in a Top Hat and Tails in wonderful view of Kilcooley Abbey in the bright sunshine. It was a very popular win again this year for Geraldine Bellew of Border Counties Riding Club riding Greystone's Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The prize winners were from all corners of Ireland and it just goes to show that our member's interest in Dressage is growing and we are more determined now than ever before in furthering ours and our horse's education. Many happy members went home at the end of the day, having been photographed with their trophies and rosettes in front of Kilcooley Abbey.

Proving Popular The Combined Training competition is proving to be a very popular addition to the championships and numbers are growing each year. Winners in the Open Combined Training this Border Counties Geraldine Bellew receiving the Advanced year were Open perpetual trophy from Tony Ennis, A.I.R.C. chairman

National Dressage Championships

BELOW: Glengarriff RC’s Gwen Bastian and Flower Power in action at the championships

Carol Geoghegan of Dunamase Riding Club followed closely by Joanna Ryan of Spruce Lodge Riding Club.


International Show Jumping Championships

International Championships add a new dimension By Wilson Porter

osted by Kilrainy Riding Club, the first ever A.I.R.C. International Show Jumping Championships were held from the 27th to 29th June 2003 at Kilrainy Equestrian Centre, Broadford. Co. Kildare. The aim - to give ordinary riders a realistic chance of achieving the highest sporting honour, that of national representation.


South Western Dressage Group from Dorset represented England, Strathmore Riding Club from Dundee represented Scotland, Golden Valley from Wales and a Englands Lucy Pinney secured victory for the English team represented by the South West Dressage Group

combined team from the Moy and Beeches Riding Clubs flew the flag for Northern Ireland. These were the top national clubs at the U.K. championships held the previous

ABOVE: The Irish team, represented by Mill Road Riding Club, of Philip Maher (Hugo), Philip Ryan (Miss It), Laura Roe (Breeze) and Thomas Ryan (Cullahulle Clover) narrowly missed out on winning the inaugural Nations Cup at the A.I.R.C. International Show Jumping championships

September. A qualifier was held at Kilrainy EC earlier in May to select the team which would carry the pride of the Republic, teams being made up of advanced intermediate and open riders. Mill Road earned the right to wear the green jacket in a hard fought class. A Welcome Stakes opened the championships with first blood going to Scotland with Jane Gilchrist riding her own Irish bred Dingle Bay collecting the red. Wales and England also had riders placed. Grand Prix of Ireland Saturday's main class was the International Riding Club Grand Prix of Ireland but there were also classes for all other grades throughout the weekend. Visiting riders were joined by members of


the first six teams from the qualifier back in May who jumped as individuals.

Cavallos Val Ward, winner of the A.I.R.C. International Grand Prix, on Stoney Ridges

Nations Cup Sunday was Nations Cup day. Beautiful weather and a good number of spectators helped set the scene for the parade of nations. The five countries were joined by visiting reserves plus Kilrainy's Joe Moore to form a team representing the European Union. Defence Forces as flag carriers, bagpipes providing the marching music, the solemnity and respect that was shown to each country as their national anthems were being

played - the whole occasion just brimmed with emotion and tension. After the first round, Ireland held a single fence advantage over England and Northern Ireland with the rest somewhat off the pace. In the second round, Ireland still held sway with last in, Philip Ryan, needing to go clear. Coming to the last, the combination, he was still clear, nobody was even breathing, clear A, he seemed to only look at B but it fell. A jump-off!

Penalty Shoot-out The equestrian penalty shoot-out! Between, would you believe it, Ireland and England. Lucy Pinney absolutely scorched around never close to touching a pole. Thomas Ryan took up the challenge for Ireland but a pole pulled and a slower time meant second place. The EU finished third, followed by Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These championships offer the ordinary riding clubber the very real opportunity of representing their country, of wearing the green jacket, of parading behind the tricolour, of taking part in a class of such colour and tension that it will long last in the memory. We look forward to more of the same in June 2004.

International Show Jumping Championships

Without doubt this was an exceptionally strong class. Victory went to Cavallo's very experienced and talented Val Ward operating his own Stoney Ridges. Lucy Pinney of England took the blue, Scotland's Jane Gilchrist was back in the ribbons again in third with Wales's Percy Hynes fourth, a truly international result.

The Mayor of Kildare, Michael Fitzpatrick, presenting the winning English team with their prizes at the inaugural A.I.R.C. Nations Cup


Riding Club Festival

The Champion of Champions: Lecales Nicola Kirpatrick riding On the Edge won the Carl Geisler memorial trophy ahead of some stiff competition in the showing rings

Over 2,100 entries at biggest Festival ever! By Tony Power

t is difficult to quantify enjoyment, but the fourteenth renewal of the A.I.R.C. Festival had all the ingredients that make such a promotion an all round success as a day not to be missed. That the show has prospered and grown through the years is reflected in the total of sixty-six classes decided, which is double the number available to riders just five years ago.


Of course too much growth can be a disadvantage. The show that gets so big that rather than being a reunion of like minded friends it becomes a conveyor belt of classes getting competitors through as fast as Roscommons Karen Lyons and TJ had the pleasure of getting the Festival underway


possible. Happily this has not been the case with the Riding Club Festival which was again a meeting place redolent of the camaraderie of previous years. Goff's Sales complex is

an ideal site and with the backing, and good will, of Thoroughbred Remedies as sponsors of the Festival Show Jumping the competitions involved riders of all abilities from Primary to Advanced Open, and happily the gods smiled on the endeavour to bless the reunion with two days of glorious sunshine. This year the traditional date of the June bank holiday was not used with the show moved to June 14th and 15th. That was a committee decision taken very commendably, to accommodate those people who had loaned horses for the Special

Olympics. It was a feather in the cap of the Riding Club's movement that Dan Butler of the Equestrian

“A meeting place redolent of the camaraderie of previous years.� Federation of Ireland was in attendance on the second day. The experience will have shown the E.F.I. that the A.I.R.C. is a serious segment of equestrian sport here, as well as a healthy and progressive

organisation in the countrywide scheme of things equestrian.

RIGHT: Lakelands RC, winners of the Thoroughbred Remedies Primary Show Jumping receiving their prize from Marita Connors and Ruth Masterson of TRM, sponsors

Needle Sharp All through the sixty-six events on the programme the competition was needle sharp with riders con-

BELOW: Oakfields Kerrie Anderson and Topkick, winners of the Adv. Intermediate Top Score, receive their prize from Ruth Masterson, sponsor and Dan Butler, E.F.I. Secretary General

scious that they were representing their clubs rather than themselves. This applied as much to the individual events as to the team events. For Riding Clubs the team events are possibly the more important and so the Thoroughbred Remedies Regional

championships had an extra gloss. This championship was making its debut here and proved a very worthy addition to the programme. After the first two rounds, three teams had clear rounds these were South Leinster, West Midlands and the Western Region.

Winning Combination In the Primary team championships the Lakelands team came out best. Their pick of Jacqueline Magennis, Liam Murphy, Karen Conaty and Anne Reynolds proved a winning combination beating Coolmine and Redhills into second and third spot respectively. Mill Road Club proved best of the Advanced Primary teams in their championship, Ashling

Mulhall, Mary Noone, Breda O'Sullivan and Margaret Mulloney were a formidable quartet for the club and their clear display was enough to account for the Barrow Valley and Mill Road teams. The Intermediate team event went to a conclusion dominated by the Three Counties Club and the Brooke Lodge Club. After a herculean battle the Three Counties team of Niamh Egan, Sandra Maher, Orla McDonald and Stephen Fogarty proved just that bit the stronger to win from the Brooke Lodge riders with Kilrainy filling third spot. In the Open Top Score competition, Kate Beaumont from the Greenhills Club had a clear cut win beating Laura Garrick from Cheval Club and Julianne Gaffney from Osberstown. The Advanced Intermediate section of the Top Score went to Suzanne Kenny

Riding Club Festival

In the jump-off there was little between the three principals and in the end the clock decided the outcome with the South Leinster team of Eimear Hardy, Anne Glynn, Helena Plower and Peggy McMullin grabbing the honours, and the red rosettes ahead of the Western side with West Leinster third. To their eternal credit the riders on the first two teams home returned with clear sheets at the end of competition.

The Ghoulish Ghosts from Border Counties won the Musical Ride at the Festival



Worthington, Rosemary Bellew and Meta McCormack of the Border Counties Club and known as the Banshees. And there was so much more from cobs, coloured horses, connemara classes and snooker show jumping to keep the public entertained, that it had to make you look forward to the A.I.R.C. Festival in the coming year.

Chevals Rosarie Dunne and Maytime, one of the many Dressage competitiors at the Festival


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Riding Club Festival

Showing Rings In the showing rings the Lightweight Hunter champion was Free Touch shown by Martin King of the Milestone Lodge Club, in the Mediumweight division the champion was Jack Flash ridden by Caroline Jackson of Lecale club while Derek Milner also of Bill and Ben, the flowerpot men, Milestone headed make a brief appearance at the Festival the Heavyweight of Brook Lodge who beat Kerri division with An Ri Ruadh. Anderson of Oakfield, the pair finishing on the same score but Side Saddle Suzanne having the quicker time. The Small Riding Horse championship went to Gill Glynn of In the hunter rings the under 15.2 Brooke Lodge with Cossi and the class saw Antonia de Burgh of the small hunter champion was Greenhills Club beating her clubPatricia Grey with Duncormick mate Kate Beaumont narrowly, Debble. The Side Saddle accowhile the over 15.2 section of this lade went to Nicola Kirkpatrick Performance Hunter class went to with On The Edge and she also Ruth Chadwick from Spruce Lodge won the coveted Champion of a narrow winner from Thornton Champions ribbon. Park's Kathy Fitzgerald. We started with teams so it is fitThe Advanced Primary segment of ting to finish with a team. This this event went to Noreen time with the winners of the McMaster of Red Hills with Sorcha Musical Ride who were Pamela O'Loughlin and Anne Ellis sharing Tierney, Sarah Davies, Julie joint second place. O'Hare, Margaret Bradford, Geraldine Bellew, Kate

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National Team Show Jumping Championship

The winning team from Greenhills receive the perpetual trophy from Tony Ennis, A.I.R.C. chairman

Greenhills top the bill for second successive year By David Abbott

reenhills Riding Club triumphed in the A.I.R.C. National Team Show Jumping Championship final for the second successive year after a pulsating finish at the RDS Dublin Horse Show.


This particular championship continued to draw huge entries at the eight qualifiers around the country. Eight teams representing the eight regions went forward, one from Greenvalleys Suzanne Murdoch and Killiskey Two Tone

each region, for the championship final held in the Simmonscourt Arena and, as in previous years, the standard was exceptionally high with no fewer than 16 riders com-

pleting their first round with a clean sheet. The eight teams paraded around the arena before the competition began while the judges, Heather Camblin, Gerry Thompson and Michael O'Connor, deliberated over the best turned out which was awarded to Mullingar Riding Club from the Midlands region. Greenhills Lorna Keogh riding Sally got the 2003 finals underway with a foot perfect clear round over Peter Gillespie and Tom Holden's 10fence track in the national arena. That set the standard for the defending champions when all four of the Greenhills riders returned faultless. They were joined in the top spot by Corrib, Warrington and Cheval with Mullingar chasing the leading pack on four faults while Mill Road, Greenvalley and Kenmare were further down the field after the first round. The posse of ladies representing


The South Leinster representatives, Greenvalley RC found the going tough but managed to curtail the leak in the second round adding just 5 faults to their opening tally of 16. Team member Ingrid Kane was unfortunately eliminated for jumping the wrong fence in the first round but after that display I think we could be seeing them in the main arena next year! With these three teams out of contention the remaining five got down to the serious business that lay ahead. Mullingar's challenge faded in the second half where they added a further ten faults to leave them on 14 and good enough for fifth place, six faults adrift of Cheval in fourth. Ita Kinahan (Clara), Aileen Bradish (The Rascal) and Eileen Nuzun (Chin Chester) all picked up faults to add to the woes of the North Eastern representatives. Niall Duffy's disqualification meant that Corrib were really up against it and the pressure showed as the Western representatives racked up eight faults to take third place.

ABOVE: Warringtons Marion O'Neill and Ballilynam Lady BELOW: Greenhills Kate Beaumont holds the cup aloft

That left the real battle between Greenhills and Warrington, but Greenhills were in such commanding form that the services of their captain, Kate Beaumont, weren't required in the second round. The Greenhills trio of Lorna Keogh (Sally), John Dooley (Scarlet Surprise), and Sean Rooney (Rosie) returned clear to pile the pressure onto Warrington. Leona McMeel (Ringo Starr) returned double clear for the Kilkenny based club, but a mistake from Caroline Murphy (Choice Flight) could have proved costly in the second round, but thankfully both Miriam Byrne (Galaxy Flight) and Marion O'Neill

The best turned out team, Mullingar Riding Club. (l to r) David Mortell (King Crimson), Yvonne Gunning (Donadea Sandpiper), Pat Whyte (Cortoor Pride), Dympna Airlie (Shrunahella Lady). Also included, Tony Ennis, A.I.R.C. chairman and Marian Mortell, Chief d’Équipe

(Ballilynam Lady) were well used to the cut throat nature of the championship and, after some nerve wrecking moments, both returned clear to force a jump-off. Greenhills Kate Beaumont was drawn first with Greenhills Willow and after some vocal encouragement from the Greenhills supporters the pair set out over the reduced track with a blistering pace to stop the clock, clear in 28.20 seconds throwing the challenge up to Warrington. Unfortunately for Warrington, luck just wasn't on their side as Marion O'Neill, leading rider at the Cavan amateur show last year, hit the first with Ballilynam Lady to hand victory to Greenhills for the second year in a row. The victory for the Greenhills Club was a truly emotional affair as the club, which celebrated its twentieth year, bid farewell to its beloved captain Kate Beaumont, who returned home to England just weeks after the victory. All at the AIRC wish the Beaumont family the very best for the future and congratulations Greenhills Riding Club.

National Team Show Jumping Championships

Kenmare Riding Club who were visiting the Ballsbridge venue for the first time picked up a further 8 faults to finish on 32 and bottom of the table. Mill Road were having a dreadful time of it in the Simmoncourt Arena when after the two rounds the team were resting on 27 faults to take seventh place, a far cry from lasts years third place.


National One-Day Event

The Team Champions: (L to R) Iris Coleman (Anvil), Caroline Geoghan (Dunamase), Jaclie Dow (Borus) and Petriona O’Donnoll (Clonshire) receiving the perpetual trophy from Tony Ennis, A.I.R.C. Chairman

West Midlands scoop first Team Championship By Sean Doran, Eventing Co-ordinator

he A.I.R.C. National One-Day Event proved the perfect curtain closer in the Riding Club calendar as over 190 competitors made the trip to Bennekerry, Co. Carlow with all regions represented underlining just how popular eventing has become.

Despite some valiant efforts from the South Eastern team of Mary Farrell, Nicola Hobson, Mark Hodman and Irene Hurley, they could only manage the runners up slot with a total of 116.2.

Eight classes from advanced primary right up to open gave riders plenty to choose from and with excellent weather conditions and a truly magnificent venue, kindly provided by the Couchman family and Russlesstown Riding Club, riders were given a real treat. The crosscountry course has been designed, built and maintained by the club for the past ten years and although it walked rather well it proved to be deceptively tricky in places for all grades.

Meanwhile in the individual competitions, the Advanced Open was a walk over for Anvil's Paul Morkan and Tyrone, despite clocking up 10 time penalties across country a win was guaranteed.


Competitors set off over an inviting Welcoming Stakes in front of Johnstown House but the real tests were asked later on in the course. The coffin at Couchmans Combination which was followed by an eye-catching Viatech Trakehner took out some of the challengers whilst the CR Wynne Water Complex mid-way round the track


turned out to be the main bogey fence as the first element required jumping into a rather shady and murky water complex. The feature event, the team championship, went to the West Midlands region for the first time after some truly outstanding efforts from team members, Caroline Geoghegan, Patriona O'Donnell, Iris Coleman and Jackie Dow, who finished with a runaway score of 74.9 penalties. Three members topped their classes, overwhelming the opposition throughout.

Caroline Geoghegan continued her winning streak when finishing on her dressage score of 11.4 with BB Miller when taking the Open diviDunamases’ Caroline Geoghan and BB Miller

sion. Geoghegan put in a foot perfect test, scoring an average of 9 throughout the test. Oakfield's Peggy McMullin lied closely in second but disaster struck for McMullin when Oakfield Top Cat came to a halt twice out across the country and clocked up a further 10 time penalties to drop down the field.

Commanding Lead 28 riders contested the advanced intermediate division with Greenvalley's Brian Driver notching up a commanding lead after a superb dressage test to score 26 penalties with Miss Moneypenny. Six riders went clear over the solid timber to leave the pressure on Driver who picked up 4 in the show jumping but his final tally of 30 was still good enough to pick up the silverware. Barrow Valley's Anne Marie Doran (Shadow) finished in second place after a solid cross-country performance moved her up the table with Shadow. A massive entry in the Intermediates required a split into three divisions, the first of those being contested by 22 riders from throughout the country. After dressage, two riders were vying for the honours as Grainne Cassidy (Lord Lush) and Daphane Lush (Mr. Croker) were level

The home side picked up the winners ribbon in section two where Angie McStay finished on her dressage score of 25.3 penalties with Velvet. Clonshire's Bryony Fitzgerald (Jasper) finished in second after a strong cross-country performance. The final section of the Intermediates was a close encounter with plenty of drama in the show jumping and cross-coun-

not have predicted his run of misfortune later on that day when picking up 8 over the coloured poles and a further 60 out across country. Next in line, James O'Hare made sure of no errors with Catwalk Kate when finishing on his dressage score of 31.5 to scoop the honours ahead of Catherine D'Helft who was a single penalty behind with Bolgerstown Cat. Jill Moffat and Eagle Light made the long trip from Kenmare worthwhile when claiming the honours in section one of the Advanced Primary. Moffat finished up on her dressage score of 30.5. Clonmel member Anna Wyse took the runners up position with Copper Charlie on 34 while Redhills Noreen McMaster finished in third on 36.5 penalties.

Anvil's Iris Coleman made up for lasts years disappointment to claim the honours in section 2 with Sully. Coleman led from start to finish and was never really threatened throughout the day and eased over the crosscountry course to finish on a total of Russellstowns’ Angie McStay enroute to winning 30. Irene Hurley the Intermediate Section 2 with Velvet finished just 2.5 penalties adrift try phases. After dressage, with Errigal's Comet for the Oakfield's Emily Lyons (Alberon) Russellstown club while Boru's and Greenhills Lorna Keogh both Jackie Dow took third with Jazz. took the early lead to score well ahead of the chasing pack. Both This year the National One-Day however encounter problems Event will be returning to across country to drop well down Johnstown House, Co. Carlow (with the field to leave Petrina O'Donnell a few new surprises on the crossthe winner on 36.4 penalties with country course!). We hope to see Marshall. Ballycanew's Suzanne al of the old faces and hopefully Maguire (Archer) and Clonmel's lots of new ones. Breda Costigan (Levi) tied for second with the clock favouring Finally I would like to thank all of Maguire on this occasion to leave the judges, fence stewards, and the Costigan in third on 37.6. countless volunteers who gave so willingly of their time and expertise The Green Horse attracted a field to help make it the success that it of 21 starters and dressage penalwas, without their help it would be ties were naturally high. Early have been impossible to run this leader, Kevin McGuinness could event.

National One-Day Event

Foxborough's Catherine Meeke (Flute) and Ballycanew's Sandra Maguire (Twix) battled it out for second place with Meeke holding a slight advantage before crosscountry. Meeke picked up a single time penalty while Maguire cleared to leave the coloured poles decide. Both picked up faults with Meeke adding a further 8 while Maguire added just 6penalties to finish second.

ging on 29.4 penalties after dressage and show jumping. The pressure was really on but again both returned clear to leave the clock decide. Foxborough's Daphane Lush and Mr. Croker ended up the winner when finishing closer to the time ahead of Cassidy in second from Broadmeadow.


s d n a l Mid n o i g e R

By Wilson Porter

f the position of Grumpy Smurf had to be filled from the ranks of midland riding clubbers, then it would almost certainly remain vacant. Taking in clubs from both Leinster and Ulster, the Midlands region is quite a scattered region catering for riders from surprisingly different backgrounds but all united in fun through horses.

Around the Regions


Enthusiasm is the most common factor running through the region. Anna Reynolds tells us that Lakelands have moved to a new venue, Beechlane Equestrian Centre. Apart from starting a Spring show jumping league, long hacks through Castlesaunderson Park and Crom Castle help soothe the soul. Mullingar had a very busy year, hosting the RDS qualifiers and a one-day event where the Mortell's plundered the major honours, Marion taking the Open and David the Advanced Intermediate. The club also represented the region at the RDS last year coming fifth in the class but winning the best turned out.

see Elvis in the Mullingar Park Hotel last Christmas which was said to be even better than Santa.

Loyal trainer and chairperson of Tara, Kay Nolan, had her hard work and enthusiasm acknowledged when the club made a presentation to her at their Christmas fun night at Kells EC. Audrey Furlong won the High Jump in a night of great fun. One of the most vibrant clubs we have in the region is the Keenagh, Co. Longford based Mosstown where Anne Bloomer keeps the itenery packed to capacity. Club visits to the Europeans at Punchestown where Anne was heard to comment that Mosstown would do better themselves, lessons with Captain Gerry Flynn, a most excellently organised one-day event are but a small sample of their fare. Known locally as Mosstown Cupid, the little fellow with the wings and a bow and

Social activities included ten pin bowling, a table quiz and a visit to

ABOVE: Mosstown’s Tom Whyte in action over the Derby fences at the National Show Jumping Championships LEFT: Yvonne Gunning and Donadea Sandpiper along with Pat Whyte, Dympna Airlie and David Mortell picked up the best turned out team for Mullingar at the RDS

arrow has made a lasting impact on the club, the in-house romance of Meave Sullivan and Brian McGinnity resulted in their engagement being announced on Christmas Eve. Continued on page 23




Word has it that we should watch this space for further developments of a similar vein within the club.

sport, some took to it like a duck to water, others struggled and some seemed so depressed that their only consolation would be to light

Anna Reynolds and Prince competed successfully at the National Show Jumping Championships

Christy Hughes gave the club it's most special red ribbon of the year by winning the Primary class at the Festival. Christy is of an age in that he may have stopped growing but he most certainly isn't burning any oil! A year going and Croghan Hill has had no problems finding its feet. Trips to Flower Hill and Dartfield in Galway, which they swear are for training purposes, only were just some of their endeavours. Macken's continue to have good fun with weekly get togethers and compete regularly at regional shows and qualifiers.

Mackens Sue Foley riding Southwood Erigal in the Performance Hunter at the Riding Club Festival

Details of the A.I.R.C. International hosted by Kilrainy are already well documented. According to Kilrainy's Eileen Doran, running such a prestigious event gave the club a feel-good factor 40 and claimed that Carlsberg don't do riding clubs but if they did it would be like Kilrainy! In the national classes, the club's Sarah Farnan was leading Intermediate rider over the weekend with strong finishes from Liam Keogh and Alan Swan in their sections. The ebullient Joe Moore was the Irish representative on the European Union team. Other highlights during the year included the North-South Challenge held in Kilrainy, Coolmine the winners there, the return - held near Belfast - where Kilrainy swept the boards and Liam Keogh winning the Open show jumping at the Festival. Just down the road, the magnificently named Bogtrotters kept the fun flowing with an excellent show in Annaharvey. Not just show jumping and showing, but a section for Le Trec as well. For many, this was their first attempt at this new

up a Hamlet. Their one-day event, hosted jointly with Croghan Hill, is one of those rare occasions where efficiency meets laid-back and both win! Filling the club's pride chest was Dermot O'Connor after winning Champion Cob at the Dublin Horse Show, a special and memorable achievement.

nervous about competing - it is the absolute right of every amateur in a sport to perform as poorly as they like!

Around the Regions

We look forward to an even better year this year with even more club participation at every level. Do remember- if you are hesitant or

Breakfast Ride Talk of Annaharvey and the subject returns to romance. Aishling O'Keeffe and Sam Deverell did it- they got married! Much rejoicing, ie. partying, was unleashed by this event with horses taking a back stall for a couple of weeks. A Breakfast Ride and an one-day event also helped fill the roster with Una Condron and Deirdre Rigney pulling the strings.


n r e t s a E h Nort n o i g e R By Jane Whitaker

he year started off as usual with the indoor show jumping league. The league was run between late January and March in four venues Kilronan, Glaslough, Millbrook, Castle Hill with Kilronan again as the venue for the final on St Patrick's Day. The league was very well supported with record attendances throughout. The traditional raffles held at each of the venues were particularly well supported this year with over €1,000 raised for five separate charities.

Around the Regions



Well done to the league winners; Cheval's Susan O'Scannaill (Primary), Border Counties' Timothy Fagan (Advanced Primary), Border Counties' Mary McAllister (Intermediate), Kilronan's Una McGettigan (Advanced Intermediate) and Border Counties' Rosemary Bellew (Open). Next on the regional calendar was the mixed team show jumping, the venue for which was Kilronan. This competition was held on Easter Monday and was com-

posed of riders from different clubs and different grades forming teams. This competition was the brain-child of Michael Walsh of Cheval and after the success of 2002 it was set to become an annual fixture in the North Eastern Region calendar. This year, it was decided to raise money to support an athlete attending the Special Olympics and €1,300 was raised for this worthy cause. The winning team on the day was composed of Sarah Burke (Broadmeadows), Avril Butler (Bracken

Thornton Park’s Sharon McCabe, winner of the Primary Winter Dressage League BELOW LEFT: The Fingal club on tour. (l to r) Bree Price, Mary Hagan & Mary McLoughlin and Martin O'Brien

Valley) Judy Cody (Broadmeadows) and Michael Moore (Ashbrook). Derby Day May saw the start of the inter-club show season with Ashbrook's Derby Day at Killossery. There were huge numbers attending with dressage going on all day in three arenas in the large allweather, derby jumping in the indoor and performance hunter classes outside. There were also a large number of competitors attending from outside the region as well as several first time competitors. Next up was Cheval's prefestival show at Cheval's showgrounds, Jordanstown. This also attracted huge numbers in preparation for the great national competition the A.I.R.C. Riding

Club Festival at Goffs, Co. Kildare. Dressage, showing, performance hunter and show jumping competitions were all run at Jordanstown. The Copperfield Show, orginally postponed due to bad weather, was eventually held on the August bank holiday and the support from the competitors who attended and the kind sponsorship from local businesses helped to raise over €2,000 for a local charity, Prosper Fingal. Kilronan held the first of their two shows in August and show jumping and performance hunter classes were again proving a good draw. Cheval's annual Derby day was held in September and the beautiful Indian summer weather added to a great

day's competition in the performance hunter, derby jumping and dressage. Kilronan's second show, held on the October bank holiday, realised the need for more dressage in the region and they provided a great day with dressage in the morning and show jumping in the afternoon with a combined training class also on offer.

The Dressage Qualifiers for the National Dressage Championships were held in Dundalk where Broadmeadows pulled out all the stops on the day and indeed at the championships where they brought home the red ribbons for the North Eastern Region. The team comprised of Danielle Roche, Deirdre Arthur, Fran Whelan and Sarah Logan. Also representing us at the national championships were Michael Moore (Ashbrook) who finished first and third in the Open class while Geraldine Bellew (Border Counties) won the Advanced Open Invitational. The demand for dressage in the region was brought to the attention of the regional committee whom in conjunction Laura Glynn of Killossery Lodge Stud, a four week unregistered league was organised. This league was a great success, running from November to early

Huge Success The One-Day Event league was a huge success and the people directly responsible for helping it to run so smoothly were John and

Maria Melvin, Kate Worthington Geraldine Bellew, Jane and Phillip Richardson, Fran Whelan, Jane Bolton and Kevin McGuinness. The league ran for five weeks at four venues - Donabate, Glaslough, Micknanstown, Glaslough (Two day) and the final was held in Tattersalls by kind permission of George Mernagh (Tattersalls Ireland). There were large entries at each event and fourteen clubs in the region provided huge support by helping out at the various venues. The overall league winners were Lakelands Jacqueline Magennis (Primary, Combined Training), Fingal's Bree Price (Advanced Primary), Broadmeadows Fran Whelan (Intermediate), Kilronan's Barbara Bradbury (Green Horse), Castle Leslie's Barbara Johns (Advanced Intermediate)

and Long Acre's Barbara Daish (Open). At the A.I.R.C. Festival the regions placings were simply too numerous to mention but congratulations to you all. The regions oneday event team finished a commendable third in Carlow at the national championships while our team show jumping representatives of Cheval (Ita Kinnehan, Eileen Nuzum, Maria Carrick and Eileen Braddish) slotted into fourth place at the RDS. Once in a Lifetime Event Eight riding club horse owners from the region volunteered their horses and their own time to the once in a lifetime event of the Special Olympics at Kill International Equestrian Centre, Co Kildare. The horses included Mr Mole from Broadmeadows, Jake, Henry and Dancer from Cavallo, Ambrose, Ben and Flame from Copperfield and Shoda from Thornton Park). Out of the 34 competitions these horses competed in, the brave competitors picked up a whopping 13 gold medals, 12 silver medals, 4 bronze medals and 5 placings at the games.

Around the Regions

Spring Dressage League An evening dressage league was held at Killossery in April. The first evening also included a training day where riders were briefed on what to wear and how to ride a test. The league was well supported and the winners included Broadmeadows Sinead Mannion (Primary), Broadmeadows Deirdre Arthur (Advanced Primary), Kilronan's Louise Somers Kilronan's Barbara (Intermediate), Bradbury & Fingals Mary Rockfield Gold Hagan (Advanced Intermediate) and Broadmeadows Felicity Kennedy (Open).

December. The winners included Thornton Parks Sharon McCabe (Primary), Copperfields Jane Whitaker (Advanced Primary), Milestone Lodges Castle Leslie's Liz Curran Barbara Johns (Intermediate), & Kilcrow Girl Tara Hills Edel King (Advanced Intermediate) and Ashbrook's Paul Meehan (Open).


n r e t s a E h t Sou n o i g e R

Warrington Blues and Kilotteran.

By David Abbott

or the most part 2003 will be remembered by the riding clubbers of the south east for the fun, camaraderie and good competition provided throughout the year. A lot of change may have taken place at national level but here in the south east, things remained pretty much the same with events taking place on a weekly basis from early spring through to late autumn.

Around the Regions


For the second year running, the regional summer league came right down to the wire with the top five riders all vying for the coveted regional shield. The league attracted a healthy turnout throughout the five week show jumping and dressage league which started in April and travelled all around the region to various locations before heading south to Waterford for the grand finale hosted by Kilotteran Riding Club on Sunday 1st June. After some heroic performances at the final, Kilkenny based Mary Carter a primary rider from the Warrington club, snatched the title with Baunóg from Barrow Valley's Sally Roberts and Lenta by a mere single point advantage with a final total of 39 points. Barrow Valley continued to dominate the proceed-

ings with Patricia Fisher taking third place with Fiddler, a further point adrift. Liz Lannigan took fourth place for Warrington with Hidden Hero while Russellstown's Irene Hurley (Errigals Comet) finished fifth ahead of Donna Collins in sixth with DLS Golden Gift for Colligan Woods. Delightfully Flowing Twenty-two teams representing eleven clubs contested the Team Show Jumping Qualifier held by Colligan Riding Club, Aglish, Co. Waterford. Noel Phelan presented the region with a delightfully flowing ten-fence track that asked for good riding skills but also asked a few questions. No particular fence was catching the competitors out but faults were notched up all over the course to leave just two clubs with a clean sheet after the first round -

Fortunes changed in the second round as Warrington Riding Club piled on the pressure while the challenge from Kilotteran faded to leave Warrington the deserved winners. Warrington secured their place in the R.D.S. with the first three riders clearing the course while Kilotteran picked up 8 faults. At the final, Warrington put a good fight and finished in second place after a two-horse jump-off with the eventual winners, Greenhills from Kildare. In the dressage qualifier held at Shelmalier Stables, there was a rather disappointing turnout for the event for the second year running. In the team qualifier, Carne Riding Club topped the bill while Barrow Valley also qualified for the finals with two teams. Memorable Year 2003 was also a memorable year for many with the Special Olympics taking place. Many members loaned their horses or gave their time to volunteer during the games but one member from the region took part John Deevy (above, left), a member of Kilotteran Riding Club, participated in three events at Kill International and struck gold in the dressage and silver in the working trials class where riders had to negotiate their steeds through shrubs and poles, testing their precision riding skills. Seven weeks of action packed eventing in the South Eastern region came to a dramatic conclusion at Carrigbeg Equestrian Centre on Sunday 14th September during the final of the Viking Shield Insulated Glass One-Day Event League where many riders were still in the hunt for valuable points to decide the league tables.

Ballycanew’s Eithne Howlett, winner of the Advanced Primary Viking Shield One-Day Event League, receives her prize from Margaret Kinsella, Barrow Valley RC chairperson


Carne’s Lee-Anne O’Keeffe claimed the Advanced Intermediate of the Viking Shield League with Cherriestown Pride

Horetown’s Catherine D’Helft and Marrow Coin

Barrow Valley Riding Club played host and with fantastic weather and beautifully presented arenas and courses, riders were given a real treat. In the Advanced Open/Open division, Nicola Hobson looked set to lift her second title heading into the final weeks of the league but the consistency of Ballycanew's Sandra Maguire (Twix) eventually won out when the pair the won at Russellstown and finished second at the final. Barrow Valley's Mary Farrell (Lisheen Lad) finished second, five points adrift of the leader. Late Shiner Clonmel member Catherine O'Brien (Tomard Benji) has been shining of late in the advanced intermediate having recently upgrading and was again leading after dressage with a comfortable five-point margin over Carne's Lee-Anne O'Keeffe (Cherriestown Pride). Lee-Anne O'Keffee from Carne secured enough points at the final with Cherriestown Pride, where she picked up the blue ribbon, for her to leap frog Shelmalier's Orla Roche and Fantastic Sky on the leaderboard and take the title with three points to spare. Plenty to Celebrate Barrow Valley's Deirdre Thorton and Harvey had plenty to celebrate on home soil as her amazing run of two wins, three seconds and a third earned her a whopping 43 Viking

points to wrap up this highly competitive division well before it concluded. Mark Hodman from Woodstown took the runners up slot with Barbane Prince, some 16 points behind.

Warrinton’s Mary Carter, winner of the Summer League, receives the Shield from Helen O’Byrne, regional secretary

Carne's David Richards may have entered the circuit a few weeks behind the rest but his presence was known straight away as the pair won four straight weeks in a row to claim the spoils with Curracloe Sparkling Diamond. His tally of 32 points outshone his nearest competitor, Thomastown's Jennie Reid (Mr Darcy), by 10 points.

team title but there were many notable performances. The overall results featured many riders from the region to round off highly another successfull season for the riding clubbers of the South East.

Razor Sharp Competition was razor sharp in the Advanced Primary with the final result coming down to the wire. The top three contenders were nail biting close at the final but Ballycanew's Eithne Howlett (Hopscotch) eventually won out over Russellstowns' Irene Hurley (Errigal's Comet). At the National One-Day Event, the team failed to secure the


r e t s n i e L h Sout n o i g e R By Niamh O’Reilly

003 was another jam-packed year for the South Leinster region of the A.I.R.C. The region is made up of thirteen clubs - Bel Air, Brooke Lodge, Carrickmines, Devils Glen, Foxborough, Greenvalley, Hollybrook, Killegar, Long Acre, Marlton, Oakfield, Riversdale and Spruce Lodge, stretching from south county Dublin down through most of Wicklow. The region manages to balance dressage, show jumping and cross-country evenly, along with a sense of enjoyment and a slight competitive edge. There is a high level of interaction between the clubs with many events attracting solid support.

Around the Regions


The regions bookend events are the Dressage League hosted by Foxborough in February and the Greenvalley Show Jumping League in November and December. Encapsulated between these two highly enjoyable events is the regions calendar. At its Bernie Webb, web peak in sumdesigner to the A.I.R.C., warms up mer, competitors can be out with Sherman virtually every weekend on both Saturdays and Sundays competing in various shows and competitions. Once again, Foxborough got us underway for the year as we got back into shape after the Christmas blow-out. The Dressage league was as ever, well supported with about fifty competitors coming along to strut their stuff in the arenas. The combined training league held


in spring, fell foul of the weather, however the final did mange to go ahead, with Ballinacoola being used as a venue. Foxborough's spring show also succumbed to cancellation, but it was re-scheduled for the summer time. It was held in

Monastery with many classes and disciplines being catered for. The Hasset and Fitzsimmons Dressage League was held on Friday nights from early spring going on until mid summer. It is a well-established

competition that is popular among the regions competitors. Different venues were used for each Friday. Brooke lodge held one, as did Carrickmines, Bel Air, Greenvalley, with the final being hosted by Foxborough. The only down side to the competition was the infamous evening traffic which may have put a few people off. Huge Arenas May saw Marlton begin its annual Crossbow Show Jumping League that went on into July. The state of the art facilities in the form of the huge arenas made this a highly enjoyable competition for the whole region. Show Jumping was also on the menu, along with other disciplines, at the Bel Air summer show held on 12th July. Classes on the day included, clear round jumping, graded show jumping, showing classes and working hunter classes. The show jumping attracted the most competitors with an 85cm class, 90cm and a 1m class. Bel Air was also the venue for a one-day event on 14th September. The one-day event had been scheduled as part of a league, however the wider league was cancelled, but Bel Air went ahead with its planned event. Over sixty competitors took part over the five grades and made for some exciting viewing. Lizzie Naughton and Danny Boy from Hollybrook took the Open class. Brian Driver for Greenvalley claimed first place in the Advanced Intermediate class. Emily Lyons won the Intermediate class for Oakfield. Joan Williams and 'Preacherman' topped the Advanced Primary class, while Caoimhe Magee won the

Young Horse class with City Dollar.

hunter trials on the 27th October and the Eurosales Dressage League during the same month. The hunter trials course had been re-vamped with new editions like 'a bridge too far' and the 'horseshoe'.

The regional show jumping qualifier, held in June, was as usual one of the highlights of the calendar. A competitive streak seems to come out of both horses and riders at this time of year and once again, Greenvalley The Eurosales edged ahead of the rest Dressage League and secured their place was a popular in the RDS final on the event in the calen10th August. The team dar. Kay Cullen of Emer Hardy, Ingrid and Eurosales Kane, Susanna Murdoch have generously and Paddy Finnegan, supported the Eamonn Kelly & Glen represented the region event for many well and took 6th place overall at years, which attracts over one hunthe final. dred competitors. Enda Pratt and Barbara O'Reilly, both from Marlton, Another staple of the regions calenwon the Advanced Open class. dar, the Oakfield Team Challenge Ann Kelly claimed the hotly contestwas held on October 11th in Brooke ed Open class, by one point. Lodge Equestrian Centre. Daphne Lush and Mr Crocker took the Advanced Nail Biting Jump-Off Intermediate class. David Fourteen teams turned out to battle Freeney won the Intermediate for this hugely enjoyable and excitclass for Greenvalley; Shelia ing event. The 'Greenvalley Gals' Pidgeon topped the Advanced won the competition thanks to a Primary class. The Primary nail biting jump-off from Celina title went to Fióna QuinlanMcKenzie and Sky. Her teamPluck. Helen Taylor and mates were, Cathryn Tottenham, Master Finance won the Young Amanda Dunne and Sarah Horse class while Peggy Goodbody. McMullin won the Veteran Horse class. Hollybrook was the next port of call for the region. The club hosted The culmination of the year

was held in Greenvalley with the hugely popular Wesenham Show Jumping League. Thanks should go to Gerry Gorman and Wesenham for the sponsorship of this wellloved league. Maricia Byrne and Calvin Kline took the Advanced Primary League. Ruth Henderson won the overall Green Horse league. Emer Hardy and Chief claimed the Intermediate class with almost maximum points. Sharon O'Connor and Molly took the Advanced Intermediate title, while Michael Freely won the overall Open league. 2003 was a very successful year for the South Leinster region. Congratulations to all the competitors, horses, hosts and teams of volunteers for making it such a good year. Here's hoping 2004 will be even better!

Around the Regions

The Wesenham Development League winners, (l to r) Ingrid Kane, Greenvalley S/J Coordinator, Marlton’s Ruth Henderson (Green Horse), Greenvalley’s Michael Freeley (Open), Seaview’s Sharon O'Connor (Adv. Intermediate), Greenvalley’s Emer Hardy (Intermediate), Gerry Gorman, Managing Director of Wesenham Developments, sponsor, Greenvalley’s Marissa Byrne (Advanced Primary), Bridget Gorman, Wesenham Developments, sponsor, Greenvally’s Deirdre Fox (Primary) Michael O'Connor, Secretary of Greenvalley RC. In front are Nathan and Zoe Gorman


n r e t s e W h Sout n o i g e R

Camilla O'Donnell received the Joy Arnold Memorial trophy for the Primary Rider of the Year.

Show Jumping The region holds a By Gwen Bastian show jumping league each year, he year 2003 was a very good and league days one for the South West Region, were held in all corwith many events taking place at ners of the region this year, leading up both regional and national level. Our to its height at the Millstreet Horse competitors excelled in all disciplines, Show. Every year Kerry’s Cassandra Hartigan (Miss bringing home many prizes and doing numbers grow, and Demeaner), winner of the Intermediate us proud. However it is not only the an increasing num- Show Jumping League, receives her prize ber of members from from Jennie Hill, Regional chairperson. competitors who must be praised, but outside the region true South West style. also the organisers, supporters and wish to take part in the final at such a fantastic sponsors of all riding clubs in the This year had a great venue. The final was an emphasis on the promoregion. Without them, events would outstanding success, and tion of our primary riders, not be possible, and many of our fabu- should most definitely not and to facilitate them, a be missed next year. pre-primary class was lous venues would be lost to us. Courses throughout the held at some show jumpleague increased in techus have a look at what Thanks are also due to ing events. This class nical difficulty and height, this year has brought for our fantastic committee was a superb opportunity reaching maximum height our members. that worked so well for nervous or first time in time for the national together over the last competitors to have a go show jumping competiyear. The idea behind at jumping over very Cup Winners tions. Members competed these events and compesmall and easier courses. Lismore's Jennie Hill was and thoroughly enjoyed titions is not only that of the recipient of the these national competicompeting however, but The league winners Attendance of the Year tions, taking in their stride of camaraderie between included Earlswell's Jo trophy, with the Rider of the long distances travhorse enthusiasts, and a O'Callaghan (Primary), The Year going to her felelled, meeting many other Lismore's Sharon great chance to meet new low clubmate, Sharon horse crazy people, and and interesting people. Dempsey (Advanced Dempsey. Kerry's bringing home rosettes in With this idea in mind, let Primary), Kerry's Cassandra Hartigan In the winners enclosure, Duhallow’s Pacella Lehane (Derrianoma Shash), (Intermediate), Kerry's Fiona O'Sullivan (Roger Rabbit) and Louise Murray (Gabe) Pat Enright (Advanced (photo: Intermediate) and Highland Lodge's Mary Nyhan (Open).

Aroud the Regions


Dressage On Sunday 31st of August, the South Western region sent its competitors up to Kilcooley Abbey to the National Dressage Championships. A fantastic day at a fabulous venue added to the eleven placings brought home by our riders. Watch out for next year, because the South West


will be back to reclaim those titles! As for the show jumping, a number of league days were held at different locations around the region. Most clubs offered not only one test to riders, but the possibility of another, or a show jumping round, to make long journeys worthwhile. The league winners on this occasion included Kay O'Sullivan (Primary), South West's Claire Heffernan (Advanced Primary), Glengarriff's Gwen Bastian (Intermediate), Louise Foley (Advanced Intermediate) and Knocknamana's Sheila Corrigan (Open). Eventing Throughout the region, clubs held cross-country training courses at various difficulty levels. This ensured that aspiring event riders could practice for the season ahead, and others refresh their existing skills. A regional training day was organised at Ballindenisk, where clubs had the chance of bringing their own trainer and practising over this fabulous course. All of these training days ensured that riders were ready for the three oneday events held by Clonshire R.C., Kerry R.C. and Blackwater R.C. All three offered great courses at fantastic venues. Members competed at any of these in the hope of completing a course without elimination, with a qualification for the National One-Day Event in sight. Others rode young horses over their first cross-country course, whilst even more took part for the pure enjoyment of the sport. Teams and individual

ers were sent to represent the region at national level and, riding their way to yet even more rosettes, they had a fantastic day. Le Trec With Orlagh Nolan resigning as national Le Trec co-ordinator, no one knew what would happen to this fantastic new discipline. When however Mairead Moynihan was appointed as Nolan's successor, all minds were put at ease, as we were sure that Mairead would work her magic and true to form she did. In October and November she organised two orienteering days, open to all clubs. A lot of Le Trec training is in store for 2004 and all await this impatiently. Training days for primary riders were a big feature this year, including Prix Caprilli training and an introduction to Le Trec. The main issue was to further these riders, as they are a huge part of the Riding Club, and must be supported in their quest to learn and perfect new skills. After all, the Primary riders of today are the team members of tomorrow! A party night was also held in November, where a buffet and live music added to the atmosphere. It is a great thing to allow members to get to know each other away from their partners in crime (their horses, of course) and to chat happily about all things horsy.

Earls Wells Sharon McCarthy competing at the Riding Club Festival with Minister

Earls Wells Jo O'Callaghan at Millstreet

Kenmare’s Jill Moffat riding Eagle Light had an excellent summer culminating with a victory against some stiff competition at the A.I.R.C. National One-Day Event in Carlow

All in all, 2003 was a brilliant year and we are looking forward to the New Year, and all that it may bring.


ASSOCIATION OF IRISH RIDING CLUBS Check out the A.I.R.C. website for the latest riding club news, show dates, regional news and lots more.


he West Leinster Region kicked of the New Year with a show jumping league which ran for five weeks starting at Copper Alley on Sunday 2nd February and ending on Easter Sunday at Callaighstown. The league was kindly sponsored by Newbridge Silverware.


The highlight of the year within the regional activities included the team show jumping qualifier where fifteen teams representing nine clubs lined out to do battle for a place at the RDS. Callaighstowns’ Emir O’Reilly in action at the Riding Club Festival


Leinst er Regio n

By David Abbott & Lorna Keogh

time. Topsy was really up for it on this occasion and encouraged by the vocal support, the pair nearly pulled it off but unfortunately were just 0.22 of a second behind the pacesetter.

The Greenhills team of Lorna

After the first round, nine teams were level pegging on a clean sheet but that all changed as the challenge from Celbridge Red & Blue, Callaighstown Blue, Newcastle Lyons and Kilcarrick Prominents faded. Greenhills Red & Yellow, Phoenix RC and Coolmine Reds kept the pressure up to finish level on zero and went through to the deciding jump-off. Pathfinder, Kate Beaumont riding Royal Willow really put the challenge up when jumping clear in a time of 30.34 seconds. Fellow clubmate, Grainne Alexander riding Romany was drawn next but friendships were put aside for this encounter as Alexander was representing the yellow team but could not catch the target. The crowds really got behind Mark Flanagan riding Topsy as he took up the challenge of Beaumont's

A regional derby league was held during the summer months with competitions at Coilig and Callaighstown culminating with the final at Rathbawn on Sunday 17th August. The league was a huge success and enjoyed by all. The region may not be big into eventing but one or two one-day events were held during the year including one at Marguerite Lodge.

A four-week dressage league, held during the autumn months, A competitor concluded the regional enjoying one activities for the year. The of the many Derby’s prize winners included Keogh Moyglare's Marie (Sally), Gallagher (Primary), John Moyglare's Miriam Marron Dooley (Advanced Primary), (Scarlet Greenhills Lorna Keogh Surprise), (Intermediate), Moyglare's Sean Clare Tuthill (Advanced Rooney Intermediate) and (Rosie) and Kate Beaumont (Royal Moyglare's Orla Marron (Open). Willow) went forward to final at the The prizes were sponsored by RDS Horse Show and demolished Anne Lawless in memory of her the opposition to claim their second horse, Clyde. successive title for the club.

Around the Regions

Coolmine's Maeve Lynch riding Good as Gold was the last to go but lowered a pole to end her clubs hopes for 2003.

the club was also present. Her daughter Deirdre Kane, was announced as the Club Chairperson for 2004.

Greenhills also celebrated their twentieth birthday on 11th July at the Johnstown Inn. The club, founded by Betty Fahy (the owner of Greenhills riding school at the time), has had a strong connection to the Johnstown Inn. Those present included past and present members, friends and supporters of the club. Mary Kane, the only founding member of the club, to still hold membership and play an active part in


s d n idla

M t s e W n o i g e R

By Dermot Brislane

nter club competition in the West Midland region kicked off with the Nations Cup show hosted, as it is each year, by Clonshire Riding Club in early February. This competition for teams of four at three levels, Primary and Advanced Primary, Intermediate, and finally Advanced Intermediate and upward. It is the traditional warm up for the regions league campaign with horse and rider getting a chance to shake off the winter cobwebs.

Around the regions



Boru Riding Club hosted the first leg of the spring show jumping league at the East Clare Equestrian Centre on March 9th. The course builder provided riders with a fair but challenging course. Competitors were fortunate that the early morning rain ceased making the warm conditions much more pleasant.

needed practice. Hillcrest Riding Club, in the shadow of the Galtee Mountains, hosted the regions first one-day event this season in glorious sunshine with over 50 competitors on March 6th. The Open riders were first into action with their dressage starting at 10am. The show jumping course, our first outdoor course of the season, proved difficult with a couple of fences requiring precise execution.

started in the afternoon with the Open riders taking on the challenging course first. The track proved stiff but fair and it rode remarkable well on the day. The 18 fence track proved a challenge and required a high level of fitness from both horse and rider. Full marks must go to the Hillcrest club and their helpers who made it a very successful event. Little Time to Rest With little time to rest, the league competition resumed with Slieve Bloom hosting third round at Birr Equestrian Centre on April 13th where an extra pairs competition was added to the schedule. In April over fifty riders turned out in Clonshire for the first cross-country training session of the year. Three groups under the tuition of Sue and Dan Foley and Yvonne O'Connor gained experience in aspects of riding a cross-country phase. Areas covered included water fences, drop fences, setting a suitable pace and banks.

event later on that month. Over 70 riders, from the western and southern and west midlands regions, turned out to compete at one of Irelands premier crosscountry courses. The fourth round of the spring league brought the region to Gurteen Agriculture College, the new base of the Anvil Riding Club, for the first time in May. The competition took place outdoors with the indoor providing valuable shelter from a number of rather inclement showers during the afternoon. The second cross-country training day, held in Dartfield, Co. Galway, was again organised by Clonshire. The groups gained further experience of jumping water complexes, banks and drop fences. The Riding Clubs Festival saw many competitors participating from the region at Goffs Sales Complex, Kill, Co Kildare in June. Great credit must be given to all the organisers who made such an event possible. The prize winners are too numerous to mention but congratulations to you all.

Clonshire was the next port of call for the second With the training under round and this also our belt we duly returned included a dressage comto Clonshire to put it into petition. The excellent practice at their one-day facilities were well utilised The cross-country phase with show jumping taking place indoor while the outdoor was divided into two dressage arenas and a warm-up for both dressage and show jumping. The dressage competition proved very popular with riders mindful of forth coming One-Day Events and availing of the opportunity to The Three Counties, winners of the TRM Intermediate team show jumping, receiving their prize from Ruth Masterson, sponsors gain some much

At the inaugural A.I.R.C. International Show Jumping Championships, hosted by Kilrainey, took place on the 29th of June. Mill Road, who earned the right to represent Ireland at a previous qualifier, narrowly missed out on winning the prestigious Nations Cup with England lifting the cup.

LEFT: Clonshires Byrony Fitzgerald, winner of the Inermediate Section 2 at the A.I.R.C. National One-Day Event BELOW: Mill Roads Thomas Ryan and Mo Loch Rua at the Team Show Jumping Championship Final

Slieve Bloom's Theresa Jones claimed the Advanced Intermediate title at the Dressage qualifier and in doing so prevented the host Club (Clonshire) from taking a clean sweep of the various grades. Clonshire riders claimed the first two places in the team competition with Slieve Bloom finishing third with Twinfort taking fourth. The region had a memorable day at the A.I.R.C. National Show Jumping

Plenty of Variety Hillcrest's Summer Show provided plenty of variety with dressage, show jumping and a working hunter class on offer. It was also great to see a number of new faces contesting the Primary grade and we look forward to seeing more of them around the region in the future. Many riders won rosettes at the A.I.R.C. National Dressage Championships, the most notable was Carol Quish (Hillcrest) who finished second in Primary while Caroline Geoghegan (Dunamase) claimed first in Open combined training.

The regions third one-day event was hosted by Three Countries and the winners included, Boru's Jackie Dow, Clonshire's Bryony Fitzgerald, and Three Counties Niamh Egan. At the nationals, the team of Caroline Geoghegan, Petrina O'Donnell, Jackie Dow and Iris Coleman claimed the team competition with all three finishing on their dressage score, the regions first team title. The autumn show jumping league provided a competitive ending to the season with five shows hosted by Mill Road, Anvil, Clonlara, Deerpark with the final at Clonshire.

Howard (Intermediate), Devil Bit's John Purcell (Advanced Intermediate) and Mill Road's Anne Cantwell (Open). 2003 was certainly an action packed year for the region with the addition of three one-day events to the calendar provided a challenge while highly entertaining. Many thanks to the national, regional and club committees who made it a year to remember. Many thanks also to the sponsors and volunteers without whom the many events we enjoyed would not have been possible without their help.

Around the Regions

A jump-off between Mill Road and Three Countries decided who would represent the region at the Team Show Jumping Championships at the RDS. Mill Road came out on top after a very exciting jump-off. The Primary and Advanced Primary riders, who are not eligible to enter this championship, were not forgotten on the day with a team competition also taking place for them. Hillcrest piped Clonshire in this class however they did borrow Ruairi O'Brolchain (Clonshire) for the day.

Championships where Three Counties won three titles. Kevin Barkley won the Open class with the mother and daughter combination, Doreen and Niamh Egan taking their respective grades. For two members of the same family to win national titles on the same day is a remarkable achievement. Anvil's Paul Morkan also won the Advanced Open class to bring a fourth title to the West Midland region.

The winners on this occassion included, Mill Road's Carol Purcell (Primary), Mill Road's Deirdre Sheedy (Advanced Primary), Clonshire's Ursula


n r e t s We n o i g e R By Sonja Brodie

he Western Region demonstrated again that it thoroughly embodies and lives up to the ethos of a fun and competitive outlet for the leisure horse owning population. With unprecedented numbers of competitors last year, it was encouraging to see many new faces welcomed onto the circuit. Some clubs built up a momentum with strong squads of riders such as Castle Carraig, Springmount and Dalysgrove. Others like South Roscommon, Tynagh and Ballinasloe maintained their status quo with only a handful of members, but nonetheless managed to achieve success at National Championships.

Around the Regions


The year began with a post-festive season hangover following another famous dinner dance in which Tynagh RC were crowned Club of the Year 2002, winning back the title for the third time. This achievement was made all the more remarkable having only a small membership. January and February saw the usual shut down period after the autumn show jumping and dressage activities. Donegal Gaeltacht became our newest and most northerly club, based around Letterkenny. Their affiliation brought an even wider geographic spectrum to the region, from Donegal down to Co.Clare. Despite being recognised as a show jumping orientated region, as our previ-


sharpening up their competitive edge ahead of the individual and team National Show Jumping Championships qualifiers. The traditional qualification process was abandoned in favour of a strict three-show qualification, with leading riders and leading team chosen by the highest overall aggregate scores based from a points system. This initially caused plenty of consternation, not least as the southerly located show venues (Ballinasloe, Ennis and Ahascreagh) disadvantaged those travelling from Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. Positively, huge attendances in all grades made for the largest field of competi-

tors seen for many years over the 3 shows. The team event to determine our representatives at the RDS Dublin Horse Show in August was a tightly contested four-horse race, which was eventually won by Corrib RC by a short nostril. July heralded another Jump Cross opportunity over Liam Naughton's magnificent Dalysgrove, Ahascreagh. Coloured poles combined with natural obstacles in a hugely popular event in which riders deftly demonstrated a swift transition from pole to log and ditches to oxers. Continued on page 39

ous heritage would acknowledge, we enthusiastically embraced the hybrid, half-bred - Jump Cross. Le Trec disappeared off the competition calendar in 2003 with Jump Cross seemingly having broader appeal. Building on its ever-growing popularity at regional shows, Dressage continued to blossom. Although the region has its enthusiasts and successful exponents, the added incentive of a points-driven league, established in 2002, encouraged many more riders to participate. As the year-end fell, the Dressage league proved as competitive as the Show Jumping across the grades. Arrival of Spring With the arrival of spring, the shows recommenced in earnest with clubs

Corrib’s Jean O’Connor and Park Vixon jumped their way to great success in 2003!


July's annual pilgrimage to Mullingar for the National Show Jumping Championships also produced many western rosettes, but most notably for the first time in seven years, a National Champion in South Roscommon's Trish Cunningham. Trish and Casper claimed the Primary National Showjumping Champion's crown to the delight of this region. The Western team competing at A.I.R.C.'s Festival, Goffs landed the runner-up spot in the Inter-region Showjumping competition with Jean

Advanced Intermediate Championship, while Primary newcomer Honoria Ward of Dalysgrove finished fourth in the Primary Championship.

With 2003 closing, our champions emerged after a long and exciting campaign. Castle Carraig were the runaway and undoubtedly very wor-

ABOVE: The Western team of Jean O'Connor, Niall Duffy and James Cunningham (Corrib) and Martin McMahon (Castle Carraig) finished a close second in the Thoroughbred Remedies Regional Team Show Jumping Championships at the Riding Club Festival RIGHT: Corrib’s Regina Fahey in action at the National Show Jumping Chamionships with Moulin Rouge

O'Connor, Niall Duffy and James Cunningham of Corrib joining Martin McMahon (Castle Carraig) in obtaining the blue ribbon. Likewise in Dublin, Corrib's in form riders embarked on the West's assault at the Team Show Jumping Championships in August. Jean O'Connor, Gary Higgins, James Cunningham and Niall Duffy finished a very commendable third in a fiercely competitive team championship. At A.I.R.C.'s National Dressage Championships, our competitors were few but very good. Despite a solo journey from Galway, delighted Tonabrocky rider Sinead Keys finished third in the Advanced Primary Championship, Tynagh's Sinead Day came home third in the

number of clubs was represented and the weekend went down in club folklore yet again. Every appearance or ribbon gained out on the national stages came with the support of the region's amicable network of followers. There's was no denying the western regionis a real winner in the social stakes with each show as much about the craic as the competitive edge. As autumn leaves fell, the action turned to the eight week spectacle of the Higgins Civil Engineering Autumn Show Jumping League including a most memorable,

Around the Regions

August also saw the inaugural show of South Donegal RC. Their friendly and competitive presence had been seen and felt over the past three seasons at many of our shows, as far down as Ennis and as guests of South Roscommon and Dalysgrove. With South Donegal RC's show in late August, many riders and revellers joined the Bruckless bandwagon for a wild weekend on Donegal's South Coast. Despite some inhospitable weather, a wide

riotous day out in the shadow of the Burren, thanks to Slieve Aughty's hilarious, novelty team-chase. For anyone to witness or participant in such horseplay, it was undoubtedly one of our most defining moments. Castle Carraig also held a Jump Cross under their own steam and a wonderful day it was. The Jump Cross track dipped, peaked and rolled, with all manor of logs and poles to negotiate. All grades were treated to well maintained inviting fences and the general consensus being how good the facilities were. Their riders also swept the boards in terms of wins and placings, which further enhanced their chances of claiming the coveted Club of the Year award.

thy champions thanks to an unrivalled army of competitors. Leading Riders were honoured in their respected grades for show jumping and dressage at the annual dinner dance in December. As the curtain fell on 2003, the year concluded like it began, greeting a New Year and a new club, with Mayo's West Coast RC re-emerging from the ashes. Our competitive Sundays give opportunity for all to gather under that big A.I.R.C. umbrella - not just for shelter from inevitable rainfalls, but as a metaphor for the best of what the west has to offer - competitions, community spirit and craic.


AIRC Members Annual 2004  
AIRC Members Annual 2004  

Our members annual which was originally published in May 2004.