Thirty-six competitors braved the elements to attend the latest leg of the AIRC North West League. Hosts for the day were the Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club.
Club Chairman, Lawrence Smyth thanked the course builder, Seamus McCaffrey and judge Liam Barry for their work and encouragement over the course of the North West League.
With four legs of the AIRC Northwest League complete, the competition is hotting up for the final.
Mick Carroll of the Letterkenny Riding Club currently heads the leader board on 14 points, with his wife Suzanne Carroll in just two points behind in second place. Fellow Letterkenny rider, Leo Porter is tied with Suzanne on 12 points. Donegal Gaeltacht riders Diane Cannon and Rosin Magee currently hold the third and fourth spots with 9 and 8 points respectively.
The Primary grade class is very much in the hands of Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club with their members holding the top four positions on the leader board. Tommy McGinley is in first place on 20 points, with Rosaleen Harkin 2nd on 18 points; Lawrence Smyth holds 3rd place and Shaun Brennan 4th.
The high points of the Primary riders are matched by close competition in the Advanced Primary grade. The current leader, Mona Vial representing the Tir Conaill Riding Club has edged ahead on 22 points. A gap of three points separates the second placed rider, Paddy Gallagher of the Letterkenny Riding Club (19 points), with Donegal Gaeltacht's Carmel Ferry holding third place with 17 points.
The tightest competition of the league is in the Intermediate grade where just two points separate the top four riders, all representing the Letterkenny Riding Club. Marina Hamilton and Damien Gallagher share the top spot on 22 points, with Nadine Burns and Conal Waters sharing second on 20 points. Donegal Gaeltacht competitor Stephen Greene is hot on the heels of the leaders however with 18 points and some excellent jumping on Sunday past.
In the Advanced intermediate grade, Ronnie Wilson of the Donegal Gaeltacht Club has edged well ahead of the opposition on 12 points. Letterkenny's Mary Finneran is in second place on 7 points, with Charlie Vial of the Tir Conaill Riding Club in third.
The Le Trec/Obstacle course competition is a fun event which challenges the communication between horse and rider. The obstacles to be negotiated include mounting and dismounting, bending poles, a canter corridor of just 50cm wide, footbridge, rein back and trotting poles while carrying a cup of water. Of the primary grade riders, Donegal Gaeltacht's Tommy McGinley is again the man to catch with Letterkenny Rider Suzanne Carroll and Orla O'Reilly holding second and third respectively.
Rachel Carton has claimed an 5 point lead over the competition in the Advanced Primary grade, with her sister and fellow Letterkenny club member, Libby Carton in second. Third place is shared between Letterkenny's Paddy Gallagher and Donegal Gaeltacht's Carmel Ferry.
Of the Intermediate competitors, Nadine Burns (Letterkenny) consistent success over the course of the league leaves her on 19 out of a possible 20 points.
Second place currently rests with Letterkenny's Sharon O'Donnell. Sharing third spot at the moment are Packie Ferry of the Donegal Gaeltacht Club and Tanya Jacob of Letterkenny.
While in the Advanced intermediate section, Tir Conaill's Charlie Vial has attained a nine-point lead over his club mate, second placed Dympna Lonergan.