DESPITE poor weather, the leg of the AIRC South East Region Autumn Showjumping League series, hosted by Barrow Valley Riding Club, went ahead at Carrigbeg Riding Stables as planned last weekend, with the kind permission of Susan Patterson.

The first class to take place under the eye of judge Rory O’Sullivan Hennessy was the newly introduced 50/60 progressive class where four competitors battled it out for the red ribbon. This went the way of the host club member Catriona Doran riding Madame Rouge, second went to Horetown’s Caroline Mason, third to Russelstown’s Una Wall while Barrow Valley’s Shona Maguire took fourth.

Following a quick course height adjustment, the RC70 Open class commenced. Clear rounds were hard to come by but Horetown’s Anne Hayden crossed the finish line on Son of Sal double clear and closest to the optimum time to give this partnership the red ribbon. Second place went to Neunne Farm’s Corinne Doran Ennen, the only other rider to achieve a double clear. Third spot stayed with the host club and went to Catriona Doran.

The RC70 class saw six riders go head to head, battling it out for those coveted league points. The win here went to Wendy Murphy riding Dee Girl, representing Coole Lane RC, with a double clear and closest to the optimum time while fellow club member Hayley O’Shea placed third. Second place stayed with the host club when new member Grace Cantlon took the spoils.

Next up was the RC80 Open where Barrow Valley topped the podium when Louise O’Neill and her young horse Derrylackey Emma finished with a double clear closest to the optimum time. Second place went to Melanie Behan (Coole Lane) and Lauren Cushe (Ashwood) took third spot.

The RC80 class proved the biggest class of the day with 16 competitors intent to gain points. Horetown RC featured heavily in the top three line-up as Stephanie Bryan and her horse Hazelwood Levi came out on top, leaving all the poles standing and within hundreds of a second of the optimum time. Anne Hayden placed third leaving second place to Paul McDonald (Nuenna Farm).

Honours in the Young Horse class went to David Ryan (Warrington) riding Lawnview Diamond, a very flashy upcoming talented horse for the future. The RC90 Open spoils went to Ashwood Riding Club as Edwina O’Connor and Ashwood Reggie stopped the clock in a speedy 27.91 seconds, closely followed by Olivia Forrestal (Horetown) and Claire Grannell (Ballycanew).

The fastest clear of the day was recorded in the RC90 when Melanie Behan (Coole Lane) stopped the clock on 24secs, with her second mount of the day, Alora Dannan.

Rachel Power (Waterford) put in a powerful performance to come in just 5.5secs slower to take second place while Carne’s Joy Ffrench filled third.

Competitive action

The final event of the day saw 10 competitors take part in the nail-biting RC100 class, with the winning round going to Ashwood as Edwina O’Connor shaved a fraction off her time from the RC90 Open, this time stopping the clock on 26.62secs for her second win of the day. Thomastown and District member Carol Fogarty wasn’t far off the mark, finishing in 28.43secs to go into second and it was another third for Claire Grannel (Ballycanew) with her second mount of the day.

Many thanks to all those who made the event such a success including photographer John O’Carroll, Coffee Cobs, Bagenalstown Country Store, Julie Corrigan Art, Carlow Dog Training Club, Bagenlstown Pharmacy and Euro Farm & Garden Supplies Ltd.

The action now moves to Butterfly Farm tomorrow (Sunday) as Horetown RC hosts the penultimate leg of the league.