The All Ireland Finals were held at Tubberbride Equestrian Centre on Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th of March. This year is the first year where all young riders wishing to attend the National Training Clinic have to qualify through a selection process to gain entry to the clinic.
Each region held an assessment weekend from which ten young riders were selected to attend the All Ireland Finals. These forty riders were then assessed in flatwork and jumping.
Niall Quirke judged the flatwork on Saturday where each rider was given five minutes in the arena to display the skills they have learnt at the many training sessions held throughout the country. Niall was very impressed at the standard of riding and commented on the huge improvement in the athletes emphasising the benefits of attending training.
On Sunday the showjumping section was judged by Neal Fearon, with the riders having to show their skill over a technical 1.20 track. The athletes had to demonstrate their ability to ride related distances, bending lines and other disciplines required to compete at a high level.
At the end of a long but hugely successful weekend the results were announced, where the top three from each region gained entry along with the next highest scoring eight riders. The successful riders were Munster: Pat Sheehan, Hannah Bendon and Madeline Roberts-Allen, Ulster:Aishling Doherty, Victoria Clarke and Mark Harley, Connaught: Michael Duffy, Jack Dodd and Kate MacDonagh, Leinster: Hayley Dunne, Ciara Morris and Kate Bruton. The other riders are Sophie Dalm, Olivia Burns, Eimear Kelly, Sorcha Tarpey, Patricia Stewart, Emily Horgan, Suzy Short and Shannon Mackenzie.
Chairperson of the National Training Committee Katy Saunders thanked Francie and Noeleen Kerins for their fantastic facilities, hospitality and dedication to detail over the weekend, also the regional reps Liam Murphy, Rosemary Rice and Paul Mackenzie for all their hard work and Mackey Ireland for their sponsorship of this very exciting initiative to train the top young riders in Ireland.
The training committee wishes all these athletes a very successful and educational week at the clinic to be held at Barnadown from 16th – 20th April and for great results during the up coming season. The trainers for the clinic are Flat –Niall Quirke, Anne Marie Dunphy and Anna Dangerfield and Showjumping – Ian Fearon, Cian O’Connor and Neal Fearon. (Photos below courtesy of Monica Flanagan, Moylaw, Crossmolina, Co Mayo, 087 2757121)