The Ard Chuain Equestrian Centre opened its doors to host the final of the CWD sponsored Children on Horses and Pony Spring Tour. With the added bonus of glorious sunshine the idyllic setting on the outskirts of Ballina lent itself to a very exciting final and as always the Reape family extended a huge welcome and great hospitality.
Rafael Suarez was the appointed Course Designer and once again created technical and testing tracks throughout the day.
CWD representative Reece St John left his stand in Cavan to be on hand for all the presentations throughout the day and was thrilled to witness some of the best pony jumping Ireland has to offer.
The Children on Horses were the first of the finalists to get underway where their class was jumped off for placings. With thirteen starters between the 1.10 and 1.20 sections, six of these went through to the jump off where Jack Ryan produced the only double clear of the competition on ‘Cavalier Teaca’ this combination stopping the clock in 39.88 and picking up valuable extra points for the zero score. Taking second in the class was Jennifer Kuehnle on ‘Deita De La Bouverie’ 0/4 44.65 only two hundredths of a second quicker than Emma McEntee on ‘Miss Tonic’ 0/4 44.67. This result changed things around at the top of the leader board with Jack Ryan claiming the title of CWD Childen On Horses Spring Tour winner 2015. Runner up was Jennifer Kuehnle with Theo Van Cauwenberghe taking third place on the podium.
It was also final trial day for those wishing to travel to Fontainebleau, thirty five started in this 148 1.30 class with thirteen of these gaining the valuable zero first round score. Kate Derwin started a great day for this family as she claimed the first win of their hat trick, riding the Carol Gee owned ‘Springhill Annora’ this pair produced one of five double clears in a time of 39.64. Incredibly there was a tie for second place as Abbie Sweetnam ‘Spartacus Reape’ and Jack Ryan ‘Sixmilewater Blaze’ both broke the beam in 41.56 leaving Cormac Foley and ‘Crown Jewel’ to take fourth in 42.62.
Continuing in the 148 arena the CWD 1.20 final attracted a field of fifty five with twenty nine of these battling this out to the end. Patrick Hickey and Hannah O’Shea had only one point separating them at the top of the leader board and with both into the jump off the atmosphere was tense. Unfortunately neither of these athletes picked up any points as Oisin Aylward and ‘Coppenagh Tom Sparrow’ claimed the win with a clear round in 37.52 ahead of Cormac Foley ‘Another Destiny’ 39.23. Third place went to local lad Ciaran Nallon with his new ride ‘Javas Lady Bug’ 0/0 40.82. Hickey had earned enough points to see him crowned CWD 148 Spring Tour Champion with O’Shea also safe to retain runner up spot, leaving Aylward moving up to finish third in the league as points and a half were on offer on the day.
In the 128 CWD Spring Tour Final Francis Derwin won the second leg of the Derwin treble as he emerged victorious on ‘Buachaill Baire’ clear in 36.84 from a field of forty eight. Max Foley and ‘Sparkel’ was second as he produced a lovely double clear in 38.28 ahead of Natasha Kerr and ‘The Nut Cracker’ 0/0 40.63. League leader Tom Wachman and ‘PARC Epic’ picked up four faults in the first round, but had earned enough points to take his first major title of a budding young career as he was crowned CWD 128 Pony Spring Tour winner. Giving the winner a great run for his money was Max Foley, this Leinster athlete already has several titles under his belt and is a seasoned campaigner already. Foley amassed 18.5 points for second place with Ulster region athlete Natasha Kerr and ‘The Nut Cracker’ finishing in third with 14 points.
The Derwin onslaught concluded with Kate taking the win in the CWD 138 1.10 class, riding a relatively new mount in ‘Buttons Two,’ this pair jumped the fastest of the twelve double clears, 33.50, from thirty nine starters. Harry Allen and ‘Fountain Ranger’ finished in second 36.82 with Derwin also taking third on ‘Small Titan’ 36.96. This saw a turnaround at the top of the leader board as Derwin climbed to the top and was crowned CWD 138 Spring Tour champion with 14.5 points, runner up was Harry Allen on 12.5 with league leader Jack Ryan dropping to third with 12 points.
With the conclusion of this league there is a short break before the Pony Premier starts on 26th April at The Galway Equestrian Centre.