WEXFORD Equestrian’s Tomhaggard venue hosted the final of the Primary Schools and the Novice Secondary Schools Interschools final last Friday. The added bank holiday offered the ideal date to host the final which started last September. With six legs in total and points and half offered in the final, all was to play for on the day with many teams close on scores.

The primary teams competition kicked off first with the Celtic Equine-sponsored classes with the 55cm class riders tackling Pat Peare’s track followed by the 75cm class. The riders who have gained much competition experience over the months showed their talents with 10 out of the 16 participating teams getting through to the jump-off.

Going into the final, Piercestown NS were leading with 26 points followed closely by Rosslare Strand/Kilrane NS, Screen NS, Ballindaggin/Riverchapel/Gaelscoil Arklow, all headed into the final with 22 points each followed by Kiltealy NS with 12 and others followed behind.

The jump-off was thrilling with 75cm riders tackling the course followed by the 55cm class riders forward. The eventual winners of the overall league was Kilrane NS/Rosslare Strand’s Noah Murphy jumping 75cm on his superb stallion Riverdales Goliath (clear in 29.93) with Hannah Rose Roche on Angel (clear in 32.21). A combination of 62.14 offered the fastest time to win the class and the overall league with 37 points. Team mates were Charley Mai Murphy with BBS Buddy and Eva Murrell on Rubble.

The second league place was picked up by Piercestown NS who placed third to gain nine points with Sarah O’Reilly on Caldrum Columbo and Tommy Codd on Bally Pic C, posting two clears in the jump-off in a joint time of 68.93 with team mates Joe Codd on Ballymai Pride and Jack Codd on Kato Star. This placed them second overall in the league on 35 points. They were just behind Kiltealy NS who picked up the 12 points with Aimee Bowe on Titchey Strider and Jodi Brennan on Carrigane Lass, clear in 65.81. This brought them up the leaderboard to third place overall with 24 points. Fourth place in the league went to Ballindaggin/Riverchapel/Gaelscoil Arklow with riders Freya Fitzgerald riding Toffee, Lia Brennan on Ollie, Lauren Timmons on Nova and Kayla Brennan on Tom Sparrow finishing on 23.5 points. Fifth place was scooped up by Screen NS on 22 points from Mary Kate Kelly on Bubbles, Alicia Corrigan on Barney, Ellen Cash riding Little Rocket and Faye Kelly on Bubbles. Sixth place on 11 points was Scoil Diarmada Castledermot with riders Mya White on Pippy, Anna Curry on Dolly, Oisin Phelan on Belle and Eimear White on Melody.

Sashes, tophies and medals adorned all the top three riders with rugs sponored by Celtic Equine Supplies for the top three teams and the amazing trip to see Cian O’Connor’s Karlswood Stables will be a real treat for the overall winning team with a guided tour by Cian himself.

Win for Sinnott

The Primary Individual classes on the day enjoyed great support with the 55cm competition won by Judy Sinnott from Murrintown NS on Thunder, clear in 31.07, with Hannh Hoffheinz from Kilrane NS on Buffy in second (32.77). Third went to Mya White from Scoil Diarmada Castledermot on Pippy (34.41).

The 70cm Individual class was won by Aoife Murphy from Our Lady’s Island with Phoebe in 28.24, followed by Aimee Bowe from Kiltealy NS on Titchey Strider (29.62) and in third was Hazel Slattery from Kilrane NS on Breoile Mist (30.45).

Novice teams final

Ten novice teams lined up for the final of the Secondary Schools Novice League. Wexford Equestrian’s owners Orla and Pat Peare started this league five years ago as many of the local novice teams were not in a position to travel to all the national novice league interschools fixtures.

The six legs and the final are incorporated in most of the dates for the Interschools Ireland League. Presentation Wexford have been triumphant for the past three years so Loreto Wexford and St Declan’s Community College were determined to give them a run for their money at the final. The competition was stiff with only two of 10 teams getting into a jump-off.

Loreto Wexford, drawn first with rider Faye Murphy (Leo) taking on the track to go clear in a blistering time of 26.34. Presentation’s Grace Kelly (Arnie) went clear in 39.10 while Loreto’s Ashley Durack on Curraghmore Sparrow made a superb effort posting 33.75 but with four faults. The last rider for Presentation Wexford was Kate Moran on Scooby who held a steady clear in 39.75 to give them a team zero total to win along with team mates Mia Meyler on Jags and Eva Mulligan on Teddy to pick up 15 points. This was not good enough to win the league however as Loreto Wexford with the above riders, along with Kiera Crowther on Tomoka Spots and Cora Finn on Shakespeare Romeo, gained 12 points for an overall of 56 points to lift the title.

The overall result saw the win going to Loreto Wexford on 56 points, in second was Presentation Wexford on 47 points while third was St Declan’s on 47 points with riders Kiera Reilly, Aoife Lenihan, Darrah Walsh, and Lucy Jane Reilly. In fourth was St Mary’s New Ross on 14 points with riders Molly Hennesy Murphy, Eva Kent, Katie Costello and Ava Donovan. Fifth place on four points went to St Peter’s College with riders Evan Kennedy Power, Jack O’Reilly and Sean Bishop.

Other teams from Loreto Wexford competed with the white team of Caoimhe Murphy, Lilly Mai Berry, Jessie Murphy and Katie O’Connor placing fourth on the day. Fifth went to Loreto Wexford’s brown team with Amy Griffith, Aoife Creane, Sarah Cousins, Isobel Walsh and in sixth was St Mary’s New Ross as above. The perpetual trophy gained a new home in the Loreto Wexford trophy cabinet for the year. The TRI Equestrian Interschools National Final takes place on April 10th at Wexford EC where all teams will battle it out for the national title.

Walsh claims victory

The Secondary Schools Individuals 80cm class riders fought it out on the day for the championship with Darragh Walsh from St Declan’s Community College winning on Hugo in a time of 30.82 while second went to schoolmates Kiera O’Reilly on Zeus in 32.31 and third went to Grace O’Hanlon on Peachy in 34.21. In fourth place was Jack O’Reilly from St Peter’s College on Ballaboy Le Tang in 36.67 and fifth was Danny Costello from Good Counsel on Ruby Jer in 39.82 while sixth went to Leah Murphy on Tom from Loreto Wexford in 43.70.