The venue was WolfTrek Equestrian, a fabulous facility with a large arena and a range of paddocks, which lent itself to an exciting and challenging competition and 27 riders entered to take on the challenge.
The MA corridor of 50m was laid out in a flat grass field, very tempting for the faster horses to go a little too fast on the day! But as the scores showed, many riders got good marks for their walk, the lovely springy turf inviting long strides.
On then to the PTV course. First challenge, an In Hand obstacle, was also in the grass field and utilised part of the cross-country obstacles already there. A large grassy mound lent itself to In Hand Incline Up, followed by a tricky Mounting on the top which caused some problems, horses being distracted rather than fascinated by the wonderful distant view of the Wicklow Mountains!
After that riders continued mounted for the next few Obstacles, including the One Handed Figure of Eight, Gate and Immobility. On then down the driveway to a second grassy paddock – on a slope! Here the Ridden Corridor was laid across the slope and near a corner. Ambitious Open riders who tried to canter came to grief, and missed the obstacle, as their horses decided that down the slope was much easier than across it. The Novice class did a lot better here, most deciding to trot to gain points.
On then to the Big Bogey Obstacle – a Ditch! Not too deep, not too wide, but definitely one that few riders achieved over the day. Out of the paddock next and into the lovely surfaced arena. This section started with the S-bend and surprisingly a good few riders lost marks here as their mounts, perhaps still feeling a little onward bound, kicked over the poles. But next came a nice run of Obstacles, the Tree Trunk, Low Branches, Hedge, Slalom, all encouraging a nice forward flow. And finally towards the end of the course, the Reinback, just to settle horse and riders again followed by some In Hand obstacles once more.
After riders finished the course, hosts Louise and Ronan Wilson had already laid out tables and chairs in the stable yard so everyone could sit and enjoy the fine sunny weather and gather together for much chat and discussion about how they had got on with each obstacle, until the Results came out. It was a great day and we thank the Wilsons for their hospitality. We are also extremely grateful to our Sponsors, TRI Equestrian. who provided wonderful prizes.