The past year was a memorable one for the Association of the Irish Riding Clubs after a team registered international success at the British Riding Clubs NAF National Championships in August.
The team of Louise O’Hara (Dooraveragh Claire), Breda Perrin (Erronagh Sky), Fiona Tansey (Talbots Lass) and Rebekah Tansey (First Instinct) finished on 4 faults after the two rounds to claim the Superflex 110 Team Show Jumping title for the second time in the Associations’ history, after a quartet from Greenhills won the title back in 2010.
The all-female quartet from Benbulben put in a remarkable performance to finish on their opening round total of 4 faults after all four riders returned with clear rounds. Area 2 were five faults adrift on 9 to take the runners-up spot while last years champions, Solihull Riding Club, had to settle for third place on a tally of 12.
Meanwhile, an Irish team representing the Association at the CSO Mondial des Clubs (World Club Tournament) at the Generali Open Clubs de France in July finished in sixth place after a strong performance.
The Irish team of Aaron Evans (Killmarley Sunny Jim), Roisin Ni Rioc (Colin Clover), Dean O’Neill (Rapide d’Elle) and Amy Smyth (Mallard Spark) finished on 23 penalties after the three round contest in sixth place overall.
Twelve nations contested the tournament over two days, including Belgium, Cambodia, Chile, Great Britain, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey and the hosts, France. Great Britain won the contest on 5 penalties with Italy closely behind in second on a total of 8.
On the national front, Mosstown Riding Club won the Horseware Team Show Jumping Championship after a two-way jump-off as the show drew to a close in August
It was fitting that in the year the Dublin Horse Show celebrated a century of lady riders, the all-female team quartet of Edel Whyte (Able Star), Alice Whyte (Ardagh Epic), Patricia Newman (Joltin Joe Dimaggio) and Claire Mulleady (Mosstowns General) won the title for the Longford based club.
Similar to last year, the team captain, Edel Whyte, proved pivotal to the winning team after she had to produce a clear second round to force a jump-off with Greenhills Riding Club. The Longford resident went on to seal the clubs first championship title in its 21-year history on her 8-year-old dun ISH gelding in the jump-off.
Drynam Riding Club won their first ever team championship title at the Connolly’s RED MILLS sponsored AIRC National Dressage Championships at Mullingar Equestrian in August.
The winning team of Sophie Marks (Granpas Grey Mist), Stacey Forsyth (Grey Dawn Rebel) Cathy Sayers (Alderbrook Maxima) and Paula Dowling (Lassban Minstrel Jones) finished on a total of 437.36% to claim the title for the first time in the clubs nine-year history.
The Carne club took the runners-up spot after their team of Melanie Hammel (Taylor Slaney Cruise), Vicky Cloney (Gentle Bouncer), Caitriona O’Brien (Templemichael Siogra) and Darren Rossiter (North Dakota Dawn) ended the competition on 434.45%, almost 3% behind the winners.
Border Counties Riding Club retained the Team Eventing title for a record fourth time at the AIRC National Eventing Championships in September.
9 teams, from seven regions, declared for the final club championship of the year which took place at Lisgarvan House just outside Ballon, Co. Carlow.
Just five penalties separated the top three teams with Border Counties claiming the spoils, on 94.3 penalties, for the second year in a year and a record fourth time since the championship was introduced in 2009.
Calliaghstown narrowly missed out on the top spot when the Dublin based club fell short by just 2.1 penalties on 96.4 to take the blue ribbons home ahead of Mosstown in third on 99.1 penalties.
The Association of Irish Riding Clubs would like to take this opportunity to thank Connolly’s RED MILLS, Horseware, Horse Sport Ireland and The Irish Field for their continued loyal support and sponsorship of our national championships.
The Association of Irish Riding Clubs would also like to extend a very merry Christmas to our members, officials, sponsors and volunteers and wish you a happy and sporting new year.