Tinahely Riding Club qualified for the final of the AIRC Team Show Jumping Championship final last Sunday after a thrilling two-way jump-off.
15 teams from 10 clubs throughout the South East took part in the qualifier organised by Thomastown and District Riding Club at Fernhill Sport Horse Centre in Co. Kilkenny with thanks to NutriScience and The Equine Warehouse.
After the opening round, just Tinahely Riding Club returned with a clean sheet over Tony Ennis’s challenging track but they were followed closely by teams from Ballycanew, Clonmel and Coole Lane on 4 penalties each.
Coole Lane and Tinahely were level after the second round on four penalties each forcing a two-way jump-off after the Coole Lane club, with only 3 riders, produced a faultless second round and were carrying just their 4 faults from the first round.
Leonard set a blistering pace on Lightening Spirit for the Coole Lane club but a navigation error left them 4 penalties in a time of 50.05.
Tinahely’s Denise O’Brien kept her nerve Tommy B Good to secure victory of book their clubs place in the final after they left all of the fences intact in a time of 51.32.
O’Brien along with her team mates – Mandy Hayden (JMF Deadly Buzz), Sarah Donohoe (Empress Star) and Miriam Davies (UC Tamworth) – will contest the final at the Dublin Horse Show in August.
The Coole Lane team of Ciara Shannon (Browneshill Barney), Trish Carey (IHRP Bella) and Leonard Reamsbottom (Lightening Spirit) will have another chance to qualify at the AIRC Riding Clubs Festival next month.
Carne Riding Club completed the podium in third place after the Wexford based club picked up 7 penalties.
(Image: Louise O’Brien)