Carrickmines Riding Club will, for the second year in a row, line out at Dublin Horse Show for the AIRC Team Show Jumping Championship after they won the TRI Equestrian sponsored Wild Card qualifier at the AIRC Riding Clubs Festival last Saturday.
The Dublin-based club completed the two rounds over Seamus Casey’s 12 fence track with 14 jumping efforts with a tally of 5 penalties to secure their place in the final in August.
One team, Tir Conaill Riding Club in Donegal, withdrew from the qualifier leaving seven clubs to battle it out for the remaining spot in the final. After the opening round, two teams – Highland Lodge and Moyglare – were level on zero while Carrickmines were hot on their heels with just one time penalty.
The second round proved unforgiving as clubs encountered difficulties. The Kilkenny-based Warrington club finished outside the top six on 39, after they added 24 in the second round.
Golden Grove improved on their opening tally to finish in sixth on 27, while Tara Hill remained in fifth place on 13 penalties. Ashbrook Riding Club added a further 7 penalties to finish on a tally of 12 in fourth place.
Moyglare, who looked strongest on paper after Caroline Sullivan (Killags Royal Ace), Zohra Smyth (Walterstown Juan), and Lisa Doran (Toome Cruising Jimmy) all jumped clear, meaning their captain Maire McGreevy (La Bouveries Clover) was not required to jump. However, the second round took its toll with only Caroline Sullivan jumping clear again. The Kildare club ended up on 12 penalties which was good enough for third place.
The three-member Highland Lodge team of Sally Farrelly (Colorado), Molly O’Connor (BH Best Lad), and Mikey O’Connell (Scottie) had to settle for the runners-up spot after they completed the competition on 12.
This left the Carrickmines team of Martina Delaney (Branraduff Bob), Rory O’Keeffe (Shes The Model), Lucile Riaboff (Whysocoy), and Selina Ann Osborne (RTS Lisa) out in front on 5 penalties after their captain Selina Ann jumped a double clear round while Martina Delaney and Rory O’Keeffe added clear rounds.
Team member Rory O’Keeffe said afterwards, “We were unsure of where we stood in the placings and didn’t realise how ‘down to the wire’ it was so we had only realised that we had won when our chairperson came over to us grinning from ear to ear.”
“We are overjoyed to be heading back to the RDS for the second year in succession,“ he added.
The Dublin-based club will be making their third appearance in the final since 2006 and will be hoping to improve on their third placing at last years final.
They’ll face opposition from Benbulben, Greenhills, Greenvalley, Killossery, Kilrainy, Lismore, Mill Road and Waterford.
The final takes place on Sunday 13th August at the Dublin Horse Show.