The West Leinster region of riding clubs qualifier for the AIRC Horseware National team show jumping championships took place recently at Coilog EC in Kilmeague.
Twelve teams battled it out over two rounds to win a place in the championship. The Horseware Team Show Jumping Championships is open to club teams of four riders. Eight qualifiers take place throughout the country with the winning team qualifying for the final which takes place at the Dublin Horse Show in August.
The qualifier invited teams of four riding club members graded intermediate and above to compete over two rounds of fences in a nations cup style competition. Two riders on each team competed over a 90cm track with the other two competing over a 1m track. With each team allowed to discard their lowest score in each round, the goal was to complete the two rounds and end up with the lowest amount of faults. The course took its toll on riders early on in the first round with several riders incurring eliminations. At the end of the first round, with the lowest score on each team discarded, just three teams were left on a first round total of zero faults – Abbeylands Green, Winterdown Navy and Maynooth. Calliaghstown Green, Greenhills Rooney and Greenhills Casey all finished round one with a team total of four faults.
In the second round teams jumped in reverse order with the teams who had the most faults in the first round jumping first. The second round shook up the scores and once again the track proved a challenge for horse and rider. Winterdown Navy, who were on zero faults after round one, collected four faults in round two to leave them on an overall score of four faults. Greenhills Casey and Greenhills Rooney had an improved performance in round two completing it with zero faults leaving them on an overall total of four faults. While Calliaghstown Green were on four faults after round one, the second round showed a reverse of fortune and saw the team collect twenty faults leaving them on an overall score of twenty four. Just two teams remained on zero faults after round two and in contention to win the qualifier – Maynooth and Abbeylands Green.
Abbeylands Riding Club won the 2011 qualifier in the West Leinster Region and were keen to earn another chance in the championships this year. It was all to play for as the two team captains prepared to face off in a two way jump off against the clock to decide a winner. Christina O’Grady and Borora Breeze from Maynooth Riding Club were first to take on the shortened jump off track. The pair had an unfortunate four faults at the double and finished in a time of 52.45 seconds. Pauline Costello jumped off for Abbeylands Green on grey mare Camalau Z. The pair were clear in 52.82 seconds securing a win for Abbeylands Riding Club.
The Abbeylands Green quartet – Pauline Costello, Liz Power, Imelda Staunton and Rachel Power will compete at the Association Of Irish Riding Clubs Horeware National Team Show Jumping Championships at the Dublin horseshow in August. Maynooth have earned themselves a place in the wildcard competition, a last qualification chance for all teams placed second in a regional qualifier. This wild card competition will take place at the riding clubs festival in June at Stradbally.
1st Abbeylands Green: Camalau Z (Pauline Costello), Thamesford (Liz Power), Petroushka (Rachel Power), Leon Da Vinci (Imelda Staunton). 2nd Maynooth: Borora Breeze (Christina O’Grady), Quality Blonde (Helen Reilly), Knock On Jake (Denise Munnelly), Quantum Quest (Zena Ryle). 3rd: Winterdown Navy - Knockalane Silvano (Liam Gaffney), Alphaville (Marcella Gaffney), Quick to Please (Mary Gill), Gringos Little Rose (Ciara Higgins)
4th: Greenhills Rooney, Navarone (Sean Rooney), Orman (Grainne Alexander), Marwood King (Meadhbh Woods), La Chica Bonita (Samantha Fitzsimons). 5th: Greenhills Casey - Plan B (Maryann Casey), Benny Hill (Roland Dalton), Furzevaleslim (John Dooley), Royal Silver Flight (Jamie Berney). 6th: Riverside - Troyson (Sarah Jane Devaney), Tigs N Jigs (Lindsay Graham), Lenamore Queenie (Becky Surman), Kermit The Horse (Allison Aldridge)