Downshire are British Showjumping champions

A SQUAD of five riders representing Downshire Riding Club set off for England on September 13 in pursuit of some much coveted British Championship titles at the British Riding Club National Championships in Lincoln.

Making the journey was an open show jumping team made up of Laura McCann on Audrey, Sarah McLean on Diamond Obelix, Amy Richardson on Monclone Girl and Amy Munroe on Forthill Sharamai, along with intermediate show jumping individual Janice Reddy on Mero. Also accompanying the Downshire squad was Shorlagh Harper on Suila Ban representing Killkeel Riding Club in the junior novice show jumping.

Janice Reddy and Mero jumped in great form showing that top notch working hunter horses can also be top class show jumpers. Janice picked up just 12 faults over the two rounds finishing in great style in a hot competition.

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The open team show jumpers got off to a fantastic start with Laura McCann, Amy Richardson and Sarah McLean jumping clear rounds in the first round and putting Downshire into an early lead. The second round saw a change of course and Downshire pick up 8 faults forcing a jump off for 1st and 2nd place with Maidstone Riding Club. A nailbiting jump off saw Sarah McLean and Amy Munroe jumping clears and Laura McCann and Amy Richardson picking up faults, all in extremely fast times. In the end the two teams finished on the same jumping score and so it all came down to the times. However, with a massive 15 seconds to spare, Downshire were crowned British Open Showjumping Team Champions 2012 to the delight of riders and supporters alike.

But it wasn’t over yet. Having jumped double clear in the first two rounds Sarah McLean and Diamond Obelix had to jump off again for individual places. A very tired Diamond Obelix picked up 8 faults, her only faults of the entire weekend, but was still fast enough to finish 9th Individual.

A massive thanks goes to trainer, Chef D’equipe and driver, Mickey McCann, to the other wonderful driver Sylvia Reddy, to Sport Lisburn who helped to subsidise the costs with generous grants, to all the supporters at Downshire Riding Club and also to the British Riding Club Organising Committee for hosting a wonderful competition in fantastic facilities.

The new club year has just commenced after the AGM last week and membership for the year 2012/2013 is now open – all new members, junior and senior are very welcome and information and contact details can be found on the website

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