The CWD sponsored Spring Tour for Children On Horses and Ponies moved to the opposite end of the country from the last leg and was held at the Maryville Equestrian Centre courtesy of Alan and Jennifer Molan.
Kerry native, James Tarrant crossed the border for the day as the appointed Course Designer and provided technical and educational tracks, these ensuring great competition throughout the day.
Unfortunately the weather proved to be quite challenging and with an amber warning in place for strong winds, this proved to be all too accurate creating quite a few headaches for the arena party and judges alike in the outdoor arena. Nevertheless some 160 animals jumped in spite of the elements providing great excitement and showcasing the talent that this league encourages from the early part of the year.
In the Children On Horses class there were only two double clear rounds jumped from eleven starters and those gaining their valuable three points were Jennifer Kuehnle on ‘ Deita De La Bouverie’ and John Gallagher on ‘Valentinas Tilia’.
Following this was the second of the 148 1.30 competitions where thirty two combinations were vying for points towards their selection for a coveted place on the team travelling to Fontainebleau in April. Six of these went through to the jump off where Harry Allen was double handed, proving invaluable as his first mount Acapella Z picked up four faults in 30.37, leaving him as penultimate competitor on ‘Cassandra Van Het Roelhoff’ with a feel for the track as this pair left everything intact in a time of 30.01 to take the win. This relegated a superb round from Grace O’Donnell and ‘Orchids Vienna’ as they were also clear in a slightly slower time of 32.94 ahead of Patrick Hickey and ‘New Forge Lady’ the only other clear taking third in 34.61.
The 148 1.20 CWD Spring Tour class concluded the action in the outdoor arena and saw fifty six starters with twenty of these producing a first round clear. A very exciting jump off followed where Leinster athlete Patrick Hickey stole the show from the two local ladies Holly Sweetnam and Hannah O’Shea. Hickey hails from Foulksmills in Wexford and took the win on ‘Shercock Rose’ leaving everything standing in a time of 31.84. Sweetnam from nearby Bandon and ‘Temple Spartacus’ took second, also clear in a time of 33.52 this only a fraction quicker than O’Shea from Cork as she partnered ‘Cinderella Girl’ to third place going clear in 33.63.
The younger athletes were accommodated in the indoor arena where the action was fast and furious in the 128 CWD Spring Tour as Tom Wachman took his second win of the league on PARC Epic heading the field of fifty five starters with a zero score in 23.44. Twenty one combinations went through to the jump off where less than a second separated second to fifth place. Ashley Dunne and ‘Wingland Heloise’ stopped the clock in 24.11 to take second with Max Foley and ‘Sparkel’ hot on their heels in 24.29, fourth place went to Ellie-Rose Cassidy and ‘Little Ceaser’ 24.50 and fifth to Amy Reape and ‘Heartbreaker’ 24.87.
Concluding the action was the CWD 138 Spring Tour where thirty eight started and twelve made it into the jump off. Sean Foley and ‘K C Lady’ set a very fast target of 30.90 early on and had to wait to the end where despite the challenge of Jack Ryan and ‘My Little Lady’ winners of the last leg they held onto the win as Ryans time was 31.06. Third place went to Robyn Moran and ‘Western Oreo’ as they broke the beam in 31.76.
Once again many thanks go to CWD for their support of this league which continues to draw large entries and produce excellent competition. The action moves to Cavan Equestrian on 15th March 2015.