Wicklow club wins team dressage championship after a five year gap

Team ltor Dervilla Glynn Joanne Logue Patricia Gray Gillian Crawford with Laura McDonaldHollybrook Riding Club reclaimed the Connolly’s Red Mills sponsored team championship at the Association of Irish Riding Clubs National Dressage Championships at Mullingar Equestrian Centre , Co. Westmeath last Sunday.

The winning quartet of Gillian Crawford (Mr Aero), Patricia Gray (Ballypatrick HDC), Dervilla Glynn (Ballustree Oki Doki) and Joanne Logue (Whitetree Sky) accumulated an average score of 72.10% to secure the title for the club, bringing to an end a five year gap since they last won it in 2009.

They were the only team to average above seventy percent after a stunning morning performance where all four riders recorded scores in the seventies.  Patricia Gray achieved the highest score in the championship when she recorded 77.74% in the morning session.

Club chairperson Mary Cairns said afterwards, “This was a well-deserved win for the team as the ladies put in a lot of hard work to achieve this.  We are so proud of their accomplishment.”

“Three of the four horses only competed at the RDS the week before in the team show jumping championship so it’s been a rollercoaster of week,” she added.

This year 19 teams qualified for the final last Sunday where just under three percent separated the top two teams.

Clonshire came close as John Glynn (Shanaclough Tory Hill), John Myers (Beterthanbankshares) and Rachel O’Doherty (Candrel Clover) scored in the seventies.  Rachel O’Doherty was the start performer for the team as the advanced open rider recorded 77.33% to give them a solid start.

However the gap was too much to bridge as they couldn’t close in on Hollybrook in the afternoon session to finish in second place.

Their average of 69.91% kept them above third placed Killarney Riding Club who finished on .

Killcarrick, who previously won the team championship in 2010, finished in third place on 68.42%.

This year saw a 65% increase in the number of teams trying to qualify for the championship final.  This followed a review undertaken by the Executive Committee in 2012 to try and increase participation in dressage.

Almost 70 teams sought qualification but changes to the team structure and format allowed fewer teams to reach the final.

Caption: The winning Hollybrook team of Dervilla Glynn, Joanne Logue, Patricia Gray and Gillian Crawford with Laura McDonald from Connolly’s Red Mills. Credit: David Abbott