THE late George Mernagh was a favourite visitor to northern vendors when selecting horses for sales at Tattersalls Ireland and it was good to see so many young event riders in the region being awarded bursaries by the George Mernagh Memorial Fund.

Among the pony riders, the EI110 competitor Molly O’Connor, who rides Coolnaleen Rebel, is to receive a second-place bursary worth €5,000 while Alex O’Hare will benefit to the tune of €7,500 having come first at EI100 level with Greylands Diamond Girl.

Three Junior riders will also benefit from the Fund. Due to receive support worth €7,500 is Rachael Broome who came first at EI110 level with the thoroughbred mare Natures Blossom. This nine-year-old bay by Fruits Of Love out of the Perpendicular mare Perpendicular Girl, was unplaced in three runs in the summer of 2019 when trained by Tom McCourt.

At the same level, the second-placed Abby Cummiskey, who rides Crackerjack VIII, will receive a bursary worth €5,000 while Anna White, who came third at EI110 level on Kilcoltrim Dora, has been awarded a bursary worth €2,500.

Roger Casey, who took over the role as general manager of Tattersalls Ireland following Mernagh’s death and who has since left the sales company, remains as Director of the Fund, commented: “On behalf of the GMMF we would like to congratulate all the winners of the 2022 bursaries.

“These bursaries honour George’s unique legacy and aim to support youth participation in Irish equestrian sports and the education and development of Irish riders to the highest possible standards.”

Poots launches CAFRE strategy

EDWIN Poots, the Agriculture Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, visited Greenmount Campus this week to launch the new CAFRE College Estate Strategy 2021 – 2030.

The new Strategy aligns the work of the CAFRE Estate to the principles within the Future Agricultural Policy Framework Portfolio of increased productivity, environmental sustainability, improved resilience and an effective, functioning supply chain.

Minister Poots said: “I am pleased to launch the new CAFRE College Estate Strategy 2021 – 2030. The Strategy includes targets which will be challenging to achieve but will place CAFRE in a good position to demonstrate the new and emerging innovations which will enable our agri-food and equine industries meet the goals of future agricultural and environmental policy.

“The key asset of our industry is the people who work within it. The CAFRE Estate plays a key role in the demonstration and transfer of knowledge to the industry stakeholders, whether that is students at the College or those working within the wider industry. This strategy ensures the continued relevance and importance of that knowledge and innovation going forward.”

Martin McKendry, Director of CARFE, added: “While this strategy document sets out our objectives and targets for the decade ahead, CAFRE as a college are already rising to the challenge of working towards these targets.

“Our estate is being used to demonstrate to students and industry what is possible, whether through the elimination of peat in our horticulture centre, preserving blanket bog on our hill farm or reducing anti-microbial usage in our livestock enterprises.”

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