AS it falls bang in the middle of the busy hunter trials season, there are very few equestrian mothers who can contemplate a lie-in and/or breakfast in bed on Mothering Sunday and it was no different for author and food/farming journalist Suzanne Campbell last Sunday.
However, instead of attending the Ward Union hunter trials in Abbeyfield Farm where her husband, RTÉ news reporter and presenter Philip Boucher-Hayes and elder daughter Anna were competing, Suzanne supported younger daughter Robin at a local GAA match in Kilmacanogue.
At Abbeylands, both members of the Boucher-Hayes family contested the novice singles class where not only did Anna finish ahead of her father – unlike at Punchestown where Philip and his ‘aged’ mare Moomin were fifth and she was unplaced – but the 13-year-old won the 60+ strong class on Brambles Bartholomew (aka Bart).
Bart had done little other than hunt when Anna took over the ride on the 148cms pony last year but after a lot of hard work and perseverance the combination qualified for the Irish Pony Club Under 12s eventing championships at Tattersalls as a member of the Co Wicklow Branch and the rider now has her sights set on competing with Eventing Ireland.
Meanwhile, having outgrown her 122cms working hunter pony Toby, 11-year-old Robin is concentrating on football, a sport Anna also plays when she has time. Having suffered a badly broken leg as a result of a kick from another horse out hunting two years ago, Anna wasn’t able to see out her minimus career but hopes to be fit enough soon for Tetrathlon.
First winner for Andy Burke Ott
A former Pony Club member to strike over the weekend was Andy Burke Ott, a graduate of the Duhallow Branch, who rode his first point-to-point winner at Lisronagh on Saturday when Zela Bella, owned and trained by his father, Alex Ott, landed the five and six-year-old mares’ maiden.