Eileen Doran received a rapturous applause when the Kilrainy member was announced as the winner of the Person of the Year Award at last Saturday’s Association of Irish Riding Clubs Lancelot Awards which took place at The County Arms Hotel in Birr, Co. Offaly.
The club secretary, who is also the PRO of the Midlands region, was noted as a fundamental cog that keeps the region turning. Eileen said after the announcement was made, “I am thrilled and honoured to receive this award and I am so grateful to all those that supported my nomination. The Riding Club community is a huge part of my life and I’ve made so many great friends within the Association and my own club.”
Another Galway based club won the Club of the Year award for the second year running, as Corrib Riding Club picked up the gong on this occasion, following in the footsteps of Springmount last year.
Martin Shaughnessy, chairman of the club, said “We are over the moon to accept the AIRC’s Club of the Year Award as we’ve now completed the double having took home the West region award last month, a first for the club in 22 years.”
Aoife Farrelly won the Club Secretary Award and was described as someone who took on her role with great energy and commitment.
The Mo Chara member said, “It was a great honour to be nominated by my club for this award as they are a wonderful group of people and it was a pleasure to be their secretary for the last three years.”
Kate O’Neill was announced as the recipient of the Club Member of the Year Award from a crowded category which attracted 15 nominations.
The Kilotteran member was described as one of the driving forces behind the Waterford based club.
Kate always volunteers with a cheery smile, a can-do attitude, and often goes beyond what’s required in a friendly, pleasant and helpful manner. Kate takes great pride in her club and was noted as a fantastic ambassador for her club and Association.
Kate said afterwards, “I am so thrilled to receive this national award. Kilotteran Riding Club is one of my greatest passions and I am a very involved member because I get so much reward from spending time and working on ideas and events with my fellow club members. This award is a huge privilege and I want to thank my club for the nomination and all other clubs who voted for me!”
The final award of the day, the Lancelot Award which is awarded to a person or a group who has made a significant contribution to the Irish Sport Horse industry was presented to Sally Corscadden.
Horse Sport Irelands Eventing High Performance Director played an important role in the Irish Sport Horse Industry from grassroots right up to the world stage having experienced success as a rider, trainer and manager.
Sally brought her immense experience to both the Junior and Senior eventing teams, resulting in many successes, most recently being the tremendous performance at the World Equestrian Games, when Team Ireland won their first ever team silver medal.
Sally also gives a lot of encouragement and help to all levels of riders from those in the Riding Clubs to those competing on the world stage.
Sally said afterwards,
It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award from the Association. I’m in a very lucky position to work in an industry that I love and to work with great people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help deliver the success of our Eventing teams.
“It is the people on the ground and behind the scenes that provide our sport with the opportunities to grow and develop at every level. So I would like to thank my family, and all those who have supported and worked with me over the many years of my career as a rider, coach and manager and who have enabled me to be in the fortunate position to receive this award,” she added.
The Lancelot Awards are presented annually by the Association of Irish Riding Clubs to recognise the efforts of its members who regularly go beyond the call of duty in organising or helping at all levels with the Association.