Ennis returned as National chairman for another term

Tony Ennis will serve another term as chairman of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs after he was re-elected at a meeting of the Board of Directors on Saturday.

Ennis was first elected to the post in 2003 and is the longest serving chairman of the Association. Last year he surpassed previous holders Carl Geisler and Eddie Fowler, who held the post in the seventies and eighties.

Kevin McGuinness was also re-elected as vice-chairman, a post he was first elected to in 2010.

Elsewhere, Lawrence Smyth was elected by the National Committee to serve a three-year term on the Executive Committee for the first time. Smyth replaces Emily McDonagh who retired last month from her seat after serving 12 years at the top table.

Kildare-based, Fiona Furey was also re-elected to serve a third term on the Executive Committee.

The elections took place prior to the annual general meeting of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs at the Bloomfield House Hotel, Co. Westmeath.

During the AGM, Helen Mangan was returned unopposed as president for the honorary position for another term, a post she has held since 2005. Gerry Thompson was also returned unopposed for vice president position for another year.

Elsewhere at the meeting, chairman Tony Ennis reported on the progress of the Association during the past twelve months.

Membership of the organisation grew in the past year while the number of events also increased to 350 shows around the country. Entries at National events also increased by over 6 percent when compared to last year.

€24,000 has been designated for regional support and grant initiatives through the regional training bursary and regional administrative grant schemes as both have been increased for 2016.

Auditor, John Matthews reported on a small surplus for the year while clubs were also encouraged to apply for the Club Excellence Award Scheme as they could receive a grant of up to €750.

Concerns were raised about the changes to the rules regarding the grading of riders in dressage and this is to be reviewed.

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