Carne Riding Club qualified for the final of the Horseware Team Show Jumping Championship for the fifth time after they won the wildcard qualifier after a three-way jump-off at the Riding Clubs Festival last Saturday.
The runners-up from each of the eight regional qualifiers lined out in the TRI Equestrian sponsored main show jumping arena where Seamus Casey provided the challenge over the coloured poles in glorious conditions at Mullingar Equestrian.
After the opening round, five teams were in contention for the top spot. They included teams from Carne, Killcarrick, Mo Chara, Rock of Cashel and Springmount. Highland Lodge was just off the pace on 4 penalties while Castle Leslie and Hollybrook were further back on 16 each.
Castle Leslie withdrew from the second round while the three-member Hollybrook team picked up a further 12 penalties to finish on 28 and out of the top six. Highland Lodge added another 4 penalties to finish on 8 which left them level with Killcarrick. The Kildare clubs time of 258.42 however, gave them the edge over the former champions who were almost five seconds slower on 264.15.
The newly formed Rock of Cashel club had to settle for fourth place after they picked up 4 penalties in the second round.
Carne, Mo Chara and Springmount finished the second round on a clean sheet to force a three-way jump-off where the Wexford club looked strongest after their captain wasn’t needed in the second round.
Springmount’s Nicola Burke returned with a pole on the floor from Ashwell Clover in a time of 40.38 while Mo Chara’s Liam Keogh could not do any better as Queen Ruby picked up eight penalties in a time of 40.42.
Ann Lambert riding, Killinick Bouncer, opted for the steady clear round and the Killinick resident pulled it off as the 14-year-old Irish Draught put in a foot-perfect round in a time of 57.89 to secure the win for the Wexford club.
Lambert said afterwards,
It was great to get a second chance at qualifying for the RDS at the Riding Clubs Festival in Mullingar. The facilities were fantastic and the three girls were in top form with three double clears between them.
“Super sub-Paula Moriarty filled in for a very disappointed Breda Rowe who had booked her holiday and couldn’t make it. I was very lucky in the jump-off to be last to go and just had to pull off a clear round and Bouncer obliged,” she added.
Alannah Lacey (Baby Bouncer), Christine Keymer (Dazzling Star) and Paula Moriarty (Goran Allo), who was a last minute change to the team, all produced double clear rounds for the winning team.
The Wexford club which previously won the championship title in 2009, will contest the final for the second year in a row and will be hoping to improve on their fifth place last year
Brooke Lodge, Clonshire, Corrib, Earl’s Well, Killossery, Ross House, Thomastown & District and Winterdown will provide the opposition at the final in August.