Outgoing champions, Killossery Riding Club, will return to the Dublin Horse Show next month to defend their title in the final of the Horseware Team Show Jumping Championship after a thrilling four-way jump-off at the Riding Clubs Festival last Saturday.
Eight teams lined out in the TRI Equestrian sponsored main show jumping arena at Stradbally Hall Estate, Co. Laois for the wild card decider where the runners up of the regional qualifiers had a final chance to qualify for the Dublin Horse Show.
After the opening round, four teams were level on zero penalties over Jerome Foley’s eight fence track which included 10 jumping efforts. The leading pack included teams from Carne, Castle Carraig, Killossery and Winterdown. Brooke Lodge picked up one-time penalty while North Cork, Mill Road and Ross House were further adrift.
In the second round, North Cork and Ross House were left out of the top six as Mill Road took sixth place rosettes ahead of Brooke Lodge in fifth. The South Dublin club improved on their opening round to finish on their first round tally of one-time penalty.
The four leading contenders after the opening round, all kept the pressure on in the second round to force the competition into a four-way jump-off.
Janice Guinnane was first into the arena for Castle Carraig riding an eight-year-old ISH, Barracree Lux Q. The Ennis resident stopped the clock in a time of 37.85 with all fences intact.
Aoife Maguire, who replaced Brian Cassidy at the last minute for the Killossery team, was next in to take on the challenge on Mane Attraction.
The Enfield resident produced a very quick clear round on her 13-year-old ISH who crossed the beam in a time of 32.75, just over five seconds quicker.
Carne’s Ann Lambert tried valiantly on Killinick Bouncer, a 12-year-old ID, but fell just short of the target as the clock displayed 32.94. This gave the Wexford club second place ahead of Winterdown as their captain, Liam Gaffney, couldn’t match the pace on Wembley who recorded a time of 35.03 to claim third place ahead of Castle Carraig in fourth.
The Killossery captain, Aoife Maguire, said afterwards,
It was a tough competition with half of the field reaching the jump-off. After watching Janice’s round, I knew I would have to be clear and fast as there was some tough competition to follow.
I was very proud of my mare who gave it everything out there. She loves jump-offs and really takes on the fences. Carne’s Ann Lambert gave it a cracking shot and she took a fantastic turn to the second and I thought she had it but luckily we managed to keep the lead, but only just
The team of Elizabeth Robinson (Crannaghs Boy Finbar), Mary Harkness (My Claren Beauty), Jacqui Boland (Maverick Na Ri) and Aoife Maguire (Mane Attraction) will face Cheval, Coolbell, Greenhills, Greenvalley, Highland Lodge, Hillcrest, Mo Chara, and Springmount at the final at the Dublin Horse Show in July.