Finally… the time had come. Lorries and vans all packed up, horses loaded and the long journey ahead began. Liz and Ryan were first to make the trek down to Portumna and were on hand to offer the others a refreshing cool beer as the convoy of lorries and trailers pulled into Flowerhill on Saturday afternoon.
The glorious sunshine, beautiful scenery and good company ensured that the course walk was an enjoyable, although somewhat nerve wrecking experience!! With the horses settled in their stables for the night, the usual “few sociable” drinks followed as everyone gathered round the heat of the stove in the big house.
Sunday brought another beautiful day as trailer after trailer arrived in Flowerhill, and the usual flurry of tacking up and getting ready enfolded. The first club member to compete was Tommy, followed by Liz and Ryan in the Advanced Primary Competitions. All three had great rounds with Tommy securing a fourth place rosette in the pairs competition.
In the Intermediate Championship we had Roseleen, Carla, Rudy, Rosaleen, Manus & Micky competing. Everyone came back smiling and happy with how well their rounds went, and when the results finally came in, it was fantastic to see Manus and Killi had been placed 3rd in the individual competition.
With John & Sally competing in Advanced Intermediate, Emily in the Open and Laura in Advanced Open it meant the club was respresented in every competition on the day. All did very well in their rounds and both Emily and Laura were placed 2nd in their Individual classes.
Club members Trisha, Lawrence, Rosaleen & Shaun were on hand through out the day to help out and act as judge fences, instructors, grooms and photographers!
With the hard work all over, it was time to relax and enjoy a night’s craic. The party started up in Rosaleen and Shaun’s lorry, before hunger finally took hold, resulting in the annual trip to the Chinese. Later on, heading to the warmth of the big house again, the celebrations continued on, with Micky and Manus kindly putting on a puppet show as entertainment.
Monday morning saw a sigh of regret, as the realisation hit that it all over for another year. However the opportunity of a final pop over the course saw horses being saddled up once again before the long journey home.
Well done and congratulations to all our competitors and winners, and congratulations to the winners in Letterkenny and Tirconnail & Inishowen Riding Clubs also – you did Donegal proud!