The Glenstal Abbey School Equestrian Team triumphantly took First place in the Equestrian Interschools open 80 centimetre Showjumping competition that was held in Clonshire Equestrian Centre on Friday 12 April, 2019.
The winning team comprised of :
- Calum Blake (2nd year) riding ‘Curious Pebbles’
- Ben Quinn (1st year) riding The ‘Affinator’
- Aonghus Cooke (2nd year) riding ‘Ardfry Caspian’
- Michael Barry (2nd year) riding ‘Lucy’
- Chef d’Equipe: Ms Aungier.
Friday commenced with an early start at 6am for most of the team. It involved washing and grooming ponies, cleaning tack and riding boots along with organising horseboxes and transportation of the ponies to the venue in Clonshire which is based outside Adare Co. Limerick.
The Glenstal Abbey Equestrian team was one of 22 secondary schools competing across schools from counties Limerick and. Kerry. We had a long wait as Glenstal were the last team to compete on the day but this did not discourage our spirits, we were rearing to go - “as ravens fly together” (but in this instance, ponies!).
The Showjumping course consisted of jumping two courses with nine jumps in each in succession, one course in the Indoor arena and the second in the Outdoor arena - both courses set with a completion time of 90 seconds each against the clock and no faults (no pressure!).
Aonghus and ‘Caspian’ took to the course with gusto and speed, followed by Michael and ‘Lucy’ who had style and pace throughout the course. Calum and ‘Pebbles’ delivered the first double clear followed by Ben and ‘Alfie’ which enabled the team to qualify for the jump-off for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place - the excitement was unbelievable.
The team nominated Ben and ‘Alfie’ for the jump-off. Whilst he took to the arena for the final jump-off, we huddled on our ponies and watched through our fingers as one by one he cleared each jump, ultimately declaring Glenstal the outright winners in 1st place. What a fantastic win and great team effort, we could not have been happier - the riders and ponies really did fly today!!
A big thank you to Ms Aungier, Fr Denis Hooper OSB and Felix Ross for organising the many training events, support and organisation on the day.
It was a super day, a great team win, and an equally super equine experience for Glenstal. I would strongly encourage any Showjumping enthusiasts and riders to consider putting their names forward for next years Equestrian Interschools event and be part of a winning team!