The line-up for the AIRC Team Show Jumping Championship Final is now complete after Gap of the North ran out victors in the TRI Equestrian sponsored Wild Card qualifier at the AIRC Riding Clubs Festival last Saturday.
They were the only team to finish the two rounds of jumping over Seamus Casey’s 11 fence track with 13 jumping efforts on a clean sheet to secure their place in the final at the Dublin Horse Show in August.
Seven of the eight qualified teams lined out in the competition after Rock of Cashel withdrew where after the opening round Clonough and Gap of the North were out in front on zero penalties.
Highland Lodge, Mo Chara and Killcarrick were just off the pace with 4 penalties apiece while Burren was next best with 8 with Coole Lane withdrew from the competition after they racked up 12 penalties in the opening round.
The Clare-based Burren club added a further 4 penalties in the second round to finish on 12 in sixth place.
Clonough, Highland Lodge and Mo Chara were all level on 8 penalties leaving the clok to separate the sides. Clonough dropped down to 5th place with a time of 237.20 with Highland Lodge next best on 218.07 in 4th. Mo Chara were almost seven seconds quicker to tale the yellow ribbons in third place.
The three-member Killcarrick team were the only team on 4 penalties to take the runners-up spot after Gap of the North upped the ante in the second round where Eamon McGuirk (Friar Walk), Kate Kenwright (Templemaley Captain) and Patrick Murphy (Lismon De Reve Cream) all returned with clean sheets meaning their captain, Tom Hogan (Limmerick Jewel) wasn’t required to jump for them as they couldn’t be beaten.
Club chair Conrad McGuinness said afterwards,
Well done to our team of Tom, a builder by profession and new member in our club, Kate, a full time mum, Pat who is an electrician and Eamon a butcher in Dundalk and long-time club member riding his own home bred faithful horse friars walk. All are hardworking, dedicated members of the club and I wish them well in the final at the Dublin Horse Show in August.
The Armagh-based club will be making their third appearance in the final since 2009 and will be hoping to improve on their previous outing in 2010 when they finished down the leader board in 8th place.
They’ll face opposition from Benbulben, Carrickmines, Castle Hill, Greenhills, Headfort, Lismore, Mill Road and Tinahely.
The final takes place on Sunday 21st August at the Dublin Horse Show.