Greenhills Riding Club, who last won the TRI Equestrian sponsored Team Show Jumping Challenge in 2010, reclaimed the title at the Riding Clubs Festival at Stradbally Hall Estate, Co. Laois last Sunday after a two-way jump-off.
12 teams representing 8 clubs, including a visiting team from Area 14 of the British Riding Clubs, contested the class where the format was altered from previous years as the four team members jumped one after the other and in the second round, the teams jumped in reverse order of merit.
14 double clear rounds were registered throughout the competition and after the opening round, just four teams had nothing to add. Teams from the British Riding Clubs, Benbulben, Greenhills and Thomastown and District were among the leaders.
Corrib was next best on one-time penalty while Meath and Mill Road were further adrift on 5 penalties each.
In the second round, Meath and Mill Road both added a further 4 penalties to finish on a total of 9 but when time was factored into the equation, Meath edged ahead of the Tipperary club to take sixth place.
Benbulben, Corrib and Thomastown and District were level on 5 penalties but Corrib’s time of 177.48 kept them ahead of the Kilkenny clubs tally of 181.37 while last years winners, Benbulben had to settle for fifth place in a time of 187.15.
Greenhills and the quartet representing the British Riding Clubs ended the day with nothing to add to force a two-way jump-off between Ireland and Great Britain.
The visitors captain, Michelle Lowe was first to take on the shortened track and looked on song to set a quick target but her 12-year-old Belgium warmblood, Electre, knocked the second part of the double but finished in a fast time of 34.59.
Megan Smith opted for a steady clear round and the Greenhills captain pulled it off to keep the spoils on home soil after Orman left all fences intact in a time of 48.77.
Eimear D’Arcy (Sharagh Watermill) and Sean Rooney (Navarone) provided double clear rounds for the Kildare club while Megan Smith (Orman) and Roland Dalton ((Mrs Maggie) also jumped a clear round each towards the team’s tally.
Club chairperson, Mary Kane commented afterwards, “I was delighted with the team’s performance, particularly winning on a zero score. All four horses and riders were in peak form and our Club is very happy and proud of them.”
Meanwhile, Michelle Lowe said, “The festival has been amazing. Our horses were initially tired from the 14-hour journey over here but they’ve been on form all weekend. We met the most lovely people and we’ve made some fantastic memories that I for one certainly won’t forget in a hurry.”