SUNDAY’s fourth running of the Brianna Lynch Memorial Race was “by far the best to date”, according to Brianna’s mother, Arabella Scanlan, who organises the race to raise awareness of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) and epilepsy in general.

Run over two miles on the flat following the last official race at the North Tipperary Foxhounds’ point-to-point outside Nenagh, the race attracted 18 riders aged 18 or under. They were all weighed out by Frankie Ward, who had a large tub of sweets on hand to calm the jockeys’ nerves.

First past the post on his third ride in the race was Lucas Neville riding the first horse home, Who’s Kitty. The 12-year-old rode in the colours of his late grandfather, Jimmy Neville, silks which were worn in bumpers some years back by Lucas’ father, James Neville of Hunting Attire Ireland, who gifted a handmade stock and tie pin to the day’s prizes. Lucas bought Who’s Kitty himself, trains him and hunts him.

The “absolutely delighted” first pony rider home, and second overall, was Rathangan’s Abi Byrne on board her mother Daphne Scholts’s KSS The Cooler. 12-year-old Abi and the 2015 bay gelding were fifth in their 143cm working hunter class at the Dublin Horse Show last August and are now on the pony eventing development squad.

Lucas and Abi were presented with perpetual cups and €100 each, sponsored by Fiona Crowe and Joanne Quirke, plus an hour’s veterinary physiotherapy with Sarah Barry. No matter where they finished, all the riders had a great day and went home with a bag of goodies, which included base layer bottoms and tops plus a bobble hat sponsored by Connolly’s Red Mills and a tube of Zarasyl equine cream.

Jennifer Kennedy, Mary Davern-O’Regan and Killaloe Sport Horses sponsored prizes of €100 each for the best turned-out horse, cob and pony and these were selected by Captain Donald Swan, Ronnie O’Leary and Paul Hillis, breeder of last year’s Aintree Grand National winner, Corach Rambler. Paul is a member of the Ramblers, who own Corach Rambler and brought a set of their colours to the meeting.

These were worn by a delighted Imogen Lawless Greene, who was the recipient of a €50 note, as she was selected by Arabella as someone who had to put in extra effort to ride in the race, as her mother hasn’t been well. Another presented with €50 was epilepsy sufferer Ali O’Brien, who won the race two years ago.

The youngest rider was eight-year-old Robin Lyons Teehan, who got the leg up on the 24-year-old Little Dolly and was presented with €50 by Patricia Hoey, while the winner of the prize for the smallest pony and rider combination, sponsored by Leslie Brown along with Joe and Vicky Townsend, was Seanan Farrell.

The most appropriately glamorous lead-up groom prize of €100, sponsored by Susan O’Connor, was won by Ciara O’Connell.