DRESSAGE in the south east of the country is growing strong with 57 horse and rider combinations attending the sixth leg of the AIRC South East Regional Dressage League hosted by Coole-Lane Riding Club in Doyle’s Equestrian Centre, Rathvilly. The spring league has been running for a number of years now and each year it goes from strength to strength.
The Open riders provided a master class in dressage on the day with high scores from all three but it was host member Antonia de Burgh riding Gypsy Cobra Cruise who took home the red rosette to Dunlavin while Ian Grace riding Brocknass Orb from Carne earned second place and their place in the final. A very close third was Susan Patterson from neighbouring Carlow Club Barrow Valley riding Fear Liath.
Like previous events the AI class was again well attended. It’s been a close battle at the top throughout the league with Melanie Hammel from Carne RC enjoying a good run of red rosettes, this leg being no exception and ‘Cruising’ her way into the final next weekend. Annaharvey RC member Lorrainne Kennedy made the long trip worthwhile bringing home the blue rosette. Clinching third position was closer to home Castledermot RC member Lorraine Kelly riding Mullycar while The Prodigal Son returned home to secure fourth place for Coole member Lisa Mulhall.
The highlight of the day for many was the Side Saddle class. Although only one entry, host club member Antonia de Burgh and her ever graceful Gypsy Cobra Cruise provided what can only be described as the most elegant test of the day. The Carlow venue provided an excellent training day for the talented pair who are quietly preparing for the big stage in Hickestead later in the year where the pair have qualified for the working hunter and side saddle classes as part of the Longines Royal International Horse Show.
Carne club member Gemma Cousins and Bridgetown Dancer have been enjoying a great run in the Intermediate class this year. Hot on their hooves however has been Irene Hurley and her horse Lisduff Flash from Russellstown RC. There was a clean sweep with four out of four wins for the Carne rider scoring with an impressive 77.08 against Hurley’s 72.29. Dancing their way into third place in the Intermediate section was Carne member Nessa O’ Sullivan and Moondance on 71.88.
The Advanced Primary class proved to be the largest class of the day with 15 competitors enjoying the views of the Wicklow mountains from the open doors of the indoor venue in Rathvilly. Carne rider Anne Clune and horse Ragazalla Bella have shown consistency throughout the league, however they could only manage the blue ribbon when neighbouring club member Margaret Byrne on Marshall Curtis from Barrow Valley RC ran away with not just the Advanced Primary class but the whole leg by scoring the highest score of the day with an impressive 77.29%.
Fellow Barrow Valley member Isobel Gould and her horse Foxy Furisto who made the leap from the Primary grade to Advanced Primary this year proved she had made the right decision to upgrade bringing home third place.
For the past number of weeks the primary class has felt like a battle of the riding clubs with Coole-Lane RC V Ballycanew RC and this leg was no different. Coole members Sandra Doody and Martin Carroll have been competing hard throughout the league for the host club whilst always up against the might of Ballycanew family members and Deirdre and Patrick Deegan. This was a family affair with Liz Carroll entering the arena. She and her horse Jackie powered through their dressage test ensuring that this is the first event of many for them this year. Home turf suited husband Martin and fellow club member Sandra Doody who ensured that the first and second place stayed firmly on Carlow soil while Deirdre and Patrick had to settle for third and forth place on their return trip to Wexford.
Primary: 1st Ardlea Indian Lady (Martin Carroll) Coole-Lane; 2nd Paddy (Sandra Doody) Coole-Lane; 3rd Dexter’s Pride (Deirdre Deegan), Ballycanew; 4th Derryvale Princess (Patrick Deegan) Ballycanew; 5th Jackie (Liz Carroll) Coole-Lane
Advanced Primary: 1st Marshall Curtis (Margaret Byrne) Barrow Valley; 2nd Ragazzalla Bella (Anne Clune) Carne; 3rd Foxy Furisto (Isobel Gould) Barrow Valley; 4th Derryvale Princess (Lorne Deegan) Ballycanew; 5th Kildoon Trix (Valerie Crean) Barrow Valley; 6th Icarus Argentus (Ruth Dalton) Coole-Lane
Intermediate: 1st Bridgetown Dancer (Gemma Cousins) Carne; 2nd Lisduff Flash (Irene Hurley) Russellstown; 3rd Moondance (Nessa O’Sullivan) Carne; 4th User Friendly (Anne Lynch) Waterford; 5th Ultiem (Keith Smyth) Barrow Valley; 6th Myshal Gerry (Sally Roberts) Barrow Valley
Advanced Intermediate: 1st Taylors Slaney Cruise (Melanie Hammel) Carne; 2nd (Lorraine Kennedy) Annaharvey; 3rd Mullycar (Lorraine Kelly) Castledermot; 4th The Prodigal Son (Lisa Mulhall) Coole-Lane; 5th Julieanne Kelly (Dandyman) Castledermot; 6th Currabawn (Anthony Gillespie) Russellstown
Open / Ad Open: 1st Gypsy Cobra Cruise (Antonia De Burgh) Coole-Lane; 2nd Brocnas Orb (Ian Grace) Carne; 3rd Susan Patterson (Fear Liath) Barrow Valley
Side Saddle: 1st Gypsy Cobra Cruise (Antonia De Burgh) Coole-Lane