New Centres Group not hanging around

THE recently-formed Irish Show Jumping Centres Group (ISJCG) is not hanging around.

The group rose out of the recent dispute over insurance cover between ShowjumpingIreland and Millstreet’s Noel C Duggan, but is adopting a broader, more positive brief, according to chairperson Anne Waistell. In that respect, she says the group will hold a meeting next Tuesday and she is confident it will be productive.

“It is an open meeting, mainly for show centre owners, but there are no restrictions on attendance. It will be a chance to meet each other and discuss ideas for the betterment of the show centres and the industry as a whole. We are also finalising our constitution for approval on the night,” said Waistell, proprietor of the long-established Ballyrafter Centre in Lismore, Co Waterford.

She said the insurance issue will be among a number of items on the agenda.

“We will have full information and we think we have the best solution for show centres, but we need to ensure everyone is satisfied with it.

“We are also planning a spring championships; riders must qualify for this through the spring leagues that take place countrywide. We need to discuss a format for the championships and decide on a venue,” she said.

Waistell feels ventures such as this are at the core of what the ISJCG is about.

“We firmly believe we can have a positive impact on the industry. As many as 80% of the approximately 80 show centres in the country have joined our organisation and we feel confident we can get things done as a body. To date, centres have been working as individuals, with the ISJCG, we speak as one voice.”

The meeting is scheduled for 8pm next Tuesday in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, Co Laois.

- KEITH GRIFFIN, organising committee member for the recent Owners Young Riders and Pony Charity Show in Millstreet, agrees the event has become a victim of its own success,

Such were the entries, which reached a record 3,870, that competition did not finish until 3am on Monday morning. Griffin was obviously delighted with such interest, but vowed there would be no repeat of the early-morning finish.

“Obviously, a 3am finish is unacceptable and will not happen again. I can guarantee that.

“We will review the structure of the show. Maybe have qualifiers to limit the numbers jumping in Sunday’s grands prix, or, perhaps, we could move a competition. An additional arena is also an option, such is the versatility of Millstreet.

“This will all be discussed at our next meeting as we look forward to our 25th anniversary in 2011.”

One rider that left happy was Galway’s Michael Duffy, who scored a double, taking the 1.30m young riders grand prix on Killard Horizon, while also triumphant in the junior section of the 1.20m grand prix on Dusky Clover.

The Young Riders section was won by Clare’s David Blake on Newmarket Clare.

In the 148cms 1.20m grand prix, Wexford’s Paraic Kenny and Cappagh Romeo proved best.

Sligo’s Tristan Gray came out tops in the 138cms grand prix on Melview Black Diamond, while the 128cms grand prix went to Cork’s Hannah O’Shea, riding Mickeybo.

Bursaries were also presented by Horse Sport Ireland chairman Joe Walsh. Aileen Desmond, Midleton, Cork, won the 128cms bursary. The battle for the 148cms bursary saw Waterford riders Jayne McGuire and her friend Aine Treacy tie for first place on points. While Jayne won out by 0.2 of a second after five competitions, it was decided to offer bursaries to both riders.

The 138cms bursary went to Anna Moloney, Ennis, Co Clare.

The Tommy Harold Trophies for the leading boy and girl riders were won by Waterford riders Ian Fives and Liz O’Donnell

- CORK’S Billy Twomey is the Irish selection for this weekend’s World Cup show in Verona, Italy, but he will be joined by Jessica Kürten and Cian O’Connor, who were both issued with personal invitations.

With three of the 13 qualifiers completed, Kürten lies in 14th place on the Western European League.

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