LAST weekend’s Horse Sport Ireland/Eventing Ireland national championships were considered a resounding success by most and even the heavy rain on Sunday failed to dampen spirits, although it was disappointing after such wonderful weather on Saturday.
“This year’s weather has caused its own problems, those that come with running events on a working farm,” said host Clive Corrigan who designed the cross-country courses along with the Brady brothers, Paul and Allan. “With the mixture of very dry periods followed by bouts of heavy rain, it’s all about land management and moving stock about.
“The fine weather broke before the championships which got a bit of moisture into the ground while that heavy rain on Sunday helped keep the dust down! Seriously though, the land was well able to take the rain which did ease off in the afternoon. This was our second year to host the championships which now go out on tender.
“We had a new water fence since the last event here and there were route changes. The 120 track was over the maximum distance and had the maximum amount of jumping efforts. In fact, all the course were right up to the max which is only good and proper for a championships. As ever, I’d like to thank all the volunteers who turned up to help over the two days and the team here at home who, week in, week out, help build the courses and take them down again.”
Corrigan had the added pleasure of seeing his 15-year-old daughter Kate finish second in the EI100 (P) championship with Fortane Silver Fox on whom she placed third at EI90 (P) level 12 months previously.
The hospitality provided by the Corrigan family was very positively commented on by more than one of the volunteers and agreed with by Eventing Ireland’s technical adviser, David Lee, who further stated: “This was a very successful championships. While some of the dressage judges were the same for a couple of the classes, I moved them around so they weren’t always judging at the same place.
“The show jumping fences were of a high standard and were up to height in all classes which was probably reflected in the results. The going on the cross-country was as good as you would get anywhere while the courses were excellent. It’s a pity that some riders chose not to support our national championships but those that did could have no complaints about the all-round standards, and apart from two hold-ups on Sunday, everything ran like clockwork.”