riders leap ahead at airc despite rain
Wet derby course tests showjumpers to limit
The weather may have been more like November than July, but even the rain couldn't put a damper on the AIRC/Farming Independent National Showjumping Championships on Sunday.
Mullingar Equestrian Centre was full of riding club members, horses and supporters from an early hour and the packed schedule ran according to plan. There were 17 classes in all, running across the four competition rings.
The derby bank in the grass arena did its job, causing some unorthodox approaches from a few riders, which only added to the entertainment.
While riders were acutely conscious of the slippery surface caused by rain on the grass arena, there were no such concerns on the sand arenas, where riders really let the handbrake off in the jump-offs.
The winner of the Primary Championship and the Primary Mini Derby was Jacqueline Magennis, riding Bradlieve Delight, from Lakelands RC. The Advanced Primary Championship went to Mary Duff, on Cullen Mor Class, from Castle Hill RC, and the Intermediate Championship went to Niamh Egan, on Hallo Belle, from Three Counties RC.
The Advanced Intermediate Championship was won by Clonmel RC member Marie Byrne, on Kelley's Choice, the Open Championship was won by Patricia Warren, and He's A Dandy, from Donegal Gaeltacht RC, and the Advanced Open Championship was won by Elaine Murphy, on Eurisco, from Dalysgrove RC.
Lawrence Smyth and Jenny's Jigsaw, from Donegal Gaeltacht, made their long trip worthwhile by taking home the trophy for the Advanced Primary Derby.
The Intermediate Derby was won by Joyce Dempsey, on Cleggans George, from Hollybrook RC, and the Advanced Intermediate Derby was won by Laura Whitney, and Mojito, from Carne RC.