Coolbell Riding Club emerged triumphant at the South East qualifier for the Horseware team show jumping championship after a two-way jump-off last Sunday.
21 teams took part in the qualifier at Ballinamona Equestrian Centre, Co. Waterford where Noel Phelan provided a strong but inviting course which asked just enough questions.
The course required concentration and skill in order to negotiate the many related distances and dog legs and at the halfway stage, just three teams were on zero penalties. They included teams from Carne, Coolbell and Three Rocks.
This was reduced to two teams after the second round when Three Rocks dropped out of contention and had to settle for third place.
The Carne and Coolbell teams maintained the pressure in the second round with both completing the day with nothing to add.
Both clubs had reached the final in recent years and knew what was at stake. Gina O’Brien from Coolbell was first to take on the shortened track on her chestnut mare, Parkmore Boher Belle.
O’Brien went for a fast time but unfortunately left two on the floor to give the West Waterford club a total of 8 penalties in a time of 29.36.
Ann Lambert opted for a steady clear round on Killinick Bouncer but it was almost too steady as the Carne rider crossed the line in a time of 50.35 with all fences intact. It seemed like they were on their way to the Dublin Horse Show but the judge announced that the Killinick resident picked up8-timee penalties meaning Coolbell were through the final.
Carne will contest the Wildcard qualifier at next month’s Riding Clubs Festival.