IT’s now the second weekend of April and not one Eventing Ireland-affiliated event has taken place this year with owners and riders very much hoping that Tyrella and Crecora get to run next Saturday and Sunday ahead of the first international at Ballindenisk (April 24th to 28th).

“We are in regular contact with the venue owners who have gone over and above in their efforts to run but the weather has gone totally against them,” said EI chairman, Niki Potterton. “They are all trying so hard and we on the board appreciate their efforts – as should all the members.

“The board are in constant contact with one another and have another meeting planned with the venue owners next week while we are also in discussion with the rules committee regarding MERs which were changed at the end of last year.”

While the event planned for Tyrella last Saturday was cancelled early, there was a late call of Saturday for the fixture at Lisgarvan on Sunday.

This weekend, both were called off early, Lisgarvan having hoped to run tomorrow in place of the scheduled Hillcrest 1. The next EI event scheduled for Hillcrest is on May 12th but, on Saturday, April 27th, the Irish Pony Club/Mackey national hunter trials championships are due to take place there and this has attracted an entry of 500 with 100 more on a wait-list.

Dressage Ireland-affiliated shows have been taking place since the start of the year, with the odd cancellation, but last weekend the organisation’s national winter finals in Mullingar were called off in stages and then finally cancelled.

With a yellow wind warning due to come into place, it was hoped on Thursday and Friday that the fixture would go ahead as planned.

However, as the wind picked up early on Saturday morning, with some very strong gusts, that day’s programme was called off around 9am and, at roughly 4pm, the ground jury of Joanne Jarden, Jo Graham (one of four overseas judges who were on site) and Lucinda Blakiston Houston made the call to cancel the two-day fixture.

With a full schedule of shows already in place, the finals have been abandoned.

Hunter Trials

Frankfort Stud, which was scheduled to get the EI season underway last month, was unable to host last Saturday’s Island Hunt hunter trials while the Limerick Harriers have been forced to cancel their hunter trials which were due to run tomorrow at Ballycahane, Crecora, where the EI event is listed for next Sunday.

The Laois Hunt hunter trials were meant to take place at Stradbally on Saturday, March 30th, but were called off a couple of days in advance and the hunt has suffered a further fund-raising blow with the cancellation of its point-to-point which was due to take place at the Cosby family’s estate tomorrow.

Having already been postponed from March 24th, the joint Ballycanew/Tinahely Riding Clubs’ hunter trials which were rescheduled to tomorrow at Coolboy, have been cancelled.

Yesterday morning, the Association of Irish Riding Clubs announced the cancellation of their Connolly’s Red Mills national hunter trials championships at Flowerhill on Sunday next, April 21st.

“Following a course inspection, the decision was made to cancel the championships due to the adverse weather conditions which have prevented works being undertaken as this would have caused significant damage to the land. The forecast does not look favourable in the coming days to allow the course to be completed in time.”

Show jumping also took a weather-related hit last weekend with the cancellation of fixtures at Killossery Lodge, CoilÓg, Warrington, Ballinamona, Riverview and Tubberbride.