At the National Association of Irish Riding Clubs’ (AIRC) two day Festival in Stradbally, Co Laois, which is the largest amateur equestrian event in Ireland, and attracts 3000 entries, Rudy Schneider, Belcruit, Kincasslagh, a member of the Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club, was 2nd in the National Advanced Primary Show Jumping Competition on his own horse, My Boy Boysie.
The competition, one of the largest at the Festival, started at 10.30am and finished at 3pm, and attracted 102 riders from all over Ireland. Only 22 of the 102 riders managed to get double clears on Tony Ennis’ challenging course.
Rudy was one of the first to jump and he set the standard for the day with a double clear in a time of 61.16 seconds. Lawrence Smyth, Falcarragh, riding Jenny’s Jigsaw, completed the course in 62.22 seconds. The two Donegal men were in 1st and 2nd places for most of the competition.
And it was near the end of the competition that Rudy was dislodged from the top spot, while Smyth’s time was bettered by a number of riders and he finished in 7th place.
Schneider and Smyth (Team Captain) combined with two Mayo riders, to form a four rider team in the National Advanced Primary Team Show Jumping Competition.
Fifteen teams from various parts Ireland competed and competition was keen. Philip Byrne, and Adrian Corcoran, who are both members of Barnacarroll Riding Club in Upper Mace, Co Mayo, slotted in well with the Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club pair, and the Donegal-Mayo team finished in third place, just behind the Co Kildare, and Co Galway teams.
Laura Schneider, UCD Vet student, Rudy’ daughter, was placed 5th in the Open Show Jumping Competition on Chloe Lass, while Patricia Warren, Dunfanaghy/Falcarragh, took the 4th place in Open Dressage to Music on her horse, The Colourado Kid. On the same horse, Patricia was placed 6th in the Working Hunter Showing Class, which attracted over 60 entries. Later, she was in the rosettes again, collecting the 6th place in the Open Tale Your Own Line (TYOL) competition.
Conor Gallagher, Meenbanad, Dungloe, competed well in Open Show Jumping, TYOL, and Open Power & Speed. He rode Jenny’s Jigsaw, The Colourado Kid, and Burinex, from Killult Stables. Although rosettes eluded him, the young riding instructor showed why he is so highly regarded.