THE West Leinster region of riding clubs held their qualifier at Redhills Stud last Sunday for the AIRC National Dressage Championships. The qualifier, hosted by Cill Dara Riding Club, saw competitors vying to achieve qualification at team and individual level. With the efficient Sara Wood at the helm, it was no surprise that the day ran smoothly and proved enjoyable for all.

In what was an incredibly close contest, out of a field of 12 teams, Moyglare, Dunbyrne and Killcarrick took the top three placings to qualify for the AIRC National Championships which will be held at Barnadown in August.

Moyglare RC took first place with a combined team total of 212.99 just ahead of Dunbyrne RC (212.25). Killcarrick RC took third with a total of 211.08. The winning team of Caroline Sullivan (CDS Curheen Freddie), Zohra Smyth (Walterstown Juan), Caitriona Harrison (One in a Million) and Catherine O’Leary (Lynamore Jeff) were thrilled to be awarded with beautiful rugs sponsored by Foran Equine. Not surprisingly Caitriona Harrison’s score of 72.73 earned her the overall win in the P2 competition with her aptly-named cob One In A Million.

Second place went to Dunbyrne RC’s team of Suzanne Conroy (The Lady Yeats), Evin Foley (AHG Whiterock Highland), Myriam Bunter (Star of Rubykan) and Lorna O’Hare (DBS Second Chance). Having only transitioned to dressage from show jumping in the past year, Myriam has had an incredibly successful season with her former racehorse Star of Rubykan (aka Beau). The pair were also rewarded on the day with a rug and goodie bag for their win in the recent West Leinster Spring dressage league.

Killcarrick RC took third with the team of Fergus Maughan (Vally View Sammy), Liz Burbage (Kedra Hugo Boss), Nadine Friel (Wardtown Macha) and Martina Sherman (The Flying Colours). Both Fergus and his coach James O’Reilly were delighted with his performance which earned him the highest score of the whole day, 75.63%, which also made him the winner of the P1 class.

The individual qualifiers were sponsored by Carr & Day & Martin and Foran Equine and lucky prize winners went home with goodie bags containing products from both companies. While Fergus Maughan topped the results in the P1 class, second went to Blainaid Sharpe from Dunbyrne RC competing with her chesnut mare Miss Ruby Independent. Club mates Suzanne Conroy and The Lady Yeats took third place. The P2 class, won by Caitriona Harrison from Moyglare RC, saw second place go to Nadine Frei and Wardtown Macha from Killcarrick RC. Third place went to Lynn Cadogan and Shooting Star Joe.

In the very competitive P3 class, the winner was Aileen Byrne from Killcarrick RC. Aileen competed with her black gelding Stan Laurl to win with 70.22% ahead of Niamh Daly and HHS Babylon from Moyglare RC in second with 70%. Third place went to Caroline Aragane and Ross ML from Foxborough RC.

The N class was won by Emma Dillon from Ballyteague RC who earned 73.65% with Thistletown Nordic Clover. Regulars on the eventing circuit, they proved what brilliant all-rounders they are. Second place went to Myriam Bunter from Dunbyrne RC and third to Zohra Smyth and Walterstown Juan from Moyglare.

In the E class, Melanie King and Connemara pony Gortacleeva John from Corrib RC won with 69.66%. It was worth the long drive from the west as they also went on to win the M class. Second place in the E class went to Abbie Walker and If Ever a Rogue from Rathangan RC with Terry Farrell and Uraanl from Calliaghstown in third place. Second and third place on the M class went to Lorna O’Hare from Dunbyrne RC with DBS Oisinn and DBS Second Chance.

The West Leinster region and Cill Dara RC thanked Foran Equine and Carr & Day & Martin for their generous sponsorship. Tribute was also paid to judges Lindsey Ilona Brady and Jane Whitaker and to all who volunteered on the day.