Highland Lodge Riding Club Enjoy Victory
Writes Paula Falvey
The Cork club, based in Hitchmough’s Riding School, Monkstown, won the Association of Irish Riding Club’s Horseware Team Show Jumping Championship in Simonscourt Arena at the RDS on Sunday the 24th of July 2016.
Over 135 teams took part in the Association of Irish Riding Clubs nationwide qualifiers during the year, culminating in a nine team final at the RDS. It was a real team effort on the day from the Highland Lodge club. The team, which was kindly sponsored by Equestrian Surfaces comprised Louise Horgan on Ringwood Sahara, Niamh Mulcahy on Coronado Clover, Tara O’Brien on Larrainn and Captain Maria Blomen on All Dun Up. They were guided to success by the brilliant Chef d’Equipe Jill Twomey of Hitchmough’s Riding School. Jill is the mother of International Irish showjumper Billy Twomey, who won the Best Irish International Rider at the RDS on Sunday also.
Highland Lodge was in the lead on 0 faults after the first round. With the other eight teams hot on their heels they managed to produce more clears in round two. Team captain Maria Blomen was the very last rider to jump and when All Dun Up left all the fences intact, the team victory was sealed.
This was the third time the much sought after cup ended up with Highland Lodge. The club also won in 1989 and 2013. In the last few years teams from Highland Lodge have managed to qualify for the RDS final four times. Considering that two of the riders on this year’s winning team, Niamh Mulcahy and Louise Horgan, are only 18, the future of the club is looking very bright.