PETER Fell and his team can give themselves a pat on the back following last week’s international horse trials at Ballindenisk which was organised in three days following the disappointing cancellation of Kilguilkey House due to weather conditions.

“With the big sand arena catering for the dressage and show jumping phases and a lot of facilities on site, I could concentrate on the cross-country courses and the ground,” said Fell. “We were fortunate that a lot of the officials transferred across from Kilguilkey while people very quickly, and kindly, volunteered for the many other roles.

“We put a cap of 100 entries on the event as that would be as many as two ground juries could manage in one day of dressage. While I would have been happy enough to see Irish judges across the board, the FEI, who were thinking about MERs and not setting a precedent, insisted that we bring in a three-star judge from abroad. I got in touch with Britain’s Tim Downes and he kindly agreed to come over at short notice.

Mourning Michael Hennessy

“It was a weekend of mixed emotions for us here as, on the Wednesday, we learned of the death of our very good friend Michael Hennessy. We are heartbroken for his sister Pearl and brothers Lorcan and Coleman. Michael, who was a great friend also of our show jumping course builder here Tony Hurley, would do anything for us during an event when, as well as running the bar, he would drive people all around and help anyone out – he was a kind, generous man who will be much missed.”