A Very Successful Festival 

As usual a large contingent from Benbulben RC made their annual trip to Stradbally for the AIRC Festival which was held on Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th June.

Once the horses were safely bedded down in their stables on Friday evening, everyone battled the high winds to erect the camp for the humans and once everything was in position it was time to get out the barbecues and feed the masses. The trip to Stradbally is as much about the social aspect as it is about the competition and there was plenty of food and drink shared among club members.

Saturday morning seen the competitions get underway and as usual Benbulben members performed extremely well & collected several prizes.

In Show Jumping Avril Burke was 1st in the Intermediate Show Jumping while Anna was 6th and Anna & Finola took 1st & 2nd respectively in the Veteran Rider Show Jumping. While in the Show Ring Jane was 2nd in the Middleweight Hunter.

The success continued on Sunday with Avril adding yet another red ribbon to her collection winning the Intermediate Power & Speed. Lorcan, Emma, Zara & Katy were 6th in the Intermediate Team Show Jumping while Kean, Louise, Fiona & Sharon had a fantastic win in the Team Show Jumping Challenge. In the Dressage arenas Sharon was 2nd in the Intermediate Prix Caprilli, Jane was 5th & 2nd in the Advanced Intermediate Dressage and Anna & Rachel were 4th in the Fancy Dress Pairs.

The club also picked up a few prizes in the raffles which were held throughout both days, so a very successful & enjoyable weekend was had by all.

Donegal Gaeltacht RC win Team Show Jumping Championship Qualifier

On Sunday May 17th Benbulben RC hosted the Western Regional Quaifier for the A.I.R.C Team Show Jumping Championship in Tubberbride Stables. Twenty teams took part on the day in what proved to be a nail biting competition.

After the first round, just three teams were on a 0 score, Benbulben Amber, Donegal Gaeltacht 2 & Tynagh but it was still all to play for and with teams jumping in reverse order in the second round, the pressure was on right to the end.

Donegal Gaeltacht put in another faultless performance in the second round which seen them finish on 0 faults and secure their spot in the RDS.

Donegal Gaeltacht Team 2 winners of the Team Show Jumping Qualifier. L-R: Laura Schneider, Shaun Brennan, Sally Mahon & Carmel Ferry

Donegal Gaeltacht Team 2 winners of the Team Show Jumping Qualifier. L-R: Laura Schneider, Shaun Brennan, Sally Mahon & Carmel Ferry

Benbulben Amber finished in 2nd place on 4 faults which secured them a place at the Wild Card Qualifier in Stradbally.

Results of the Team Show Jumping Championship Qualifier are as follows:

1st – Donegal Gaeltacht 2: Shaun Brennan on Falcarragh Kili, Carmel Ferry on Pepe Lad, Sally Mahon on Graf Landlord and Laura Schneider on Burinex

2nd – Benbulben Amber: Jane Gaffney on Somhairle Bertie Wooster, Avril Burke on Rookery Apache, Edwina Ruane on Kilathurley Elvis and Breda Perrin on Erronagh Sky.

3rd – Letterkenny 1: Shauna Boyle on Ardnaglass Boy, Keary Smith on Trial and Error, Anne Chambers on Condors Lucky Star and Damien Gallagher on Drumnacart Lass

4th – Springmount 2: Joanna Hyland on Star Amir, Janna Duane on Fair Lady, Marita Shannon on Nautica and Norman Tierney on Enzo De Reve.

5th – Benbulben Green: Emma Lawrence on Benny Ace, Zara McGovern on Olmars Mandys Clover, Melissa Monaghan on Icefore Cruise and Sharon McGowan on Somethings Gotta Give.

6th – Benbulben Black: Katy McAleenan on Larkhill Rose, Anna Burke on Rookery Sparkle, Seanna Kane-McCaffrey on Two Rivers and Deirdre Dolan on Nisquellay De May

Benbulben Team Amber, 2nd prize winners at the Team Show Jumping Qualifier. L-R: Avril Burke, Bredan Perrin, Edwina Ruane & Jane Gaffney

Benbulben Team Amber, 2nd prize winners at the Team Show Jumping Qualifier. L-R: Avril Burke, Bredan Perrin, Edwina Ruane & Jane Gaffney

Team Show Jumping Championship Qualifier

Association of Irish Riding Clubs

Team Show Jumping Championship

West Regional Qualifier





By Kind permission of

Kerins Family

May 17th 2015


10.15  Course open for inspection

11.00 – 12.25 approx  First round Intermediate Riders

12.25 – 12.35 approx  Course Walk AI & Above Riders

14.00 Lunch break

14.30 approx Second round

17:00 approx Presentation of Prizes
(The winning team must be mounted)

The winners from today’s qualifier will go forward to the championship final at the Failte Ireland Dublin Horse Show in August.

The runners-up from today’s final will go forward to a ninth “Wild Card” Qualifier to be held at the Riding Club Festival in June.

The organisers of today’s event would like to thank the following:

Sponsors: Horseware Ireland

Hosts: Kerins Family

Judge(s): Noeleen Kerins & Martha Saba

Course Builder: Richard Kerins

Safety Officer: Darragh Ruane

The organisers would also like to thank all of our volunteers/stewards who have given of their time to help build and steward this competition.


Teams must have declared their reserves on the official entry form 30 mins before the start of the competition. Reserves cannot be added or altered once the competition has begun.

All team members must wear numbers on the day, please remember to bring your number bibs, a limited number of bibs will be available to purchase on the day.

Please ensure one member from each team declares the team and collects the team numbers from the enquires desk in the kitchen prior to 11am.


The first two members of each team will jump a 0.90m track while the remaining two riders will jump a 1.00m track.

Round 1: Competitor’s will jump in strict numerical order as shown in the programme, with the first rider from each team going first followed by the second rider from each team and so on.

Round 2: Team order based on total Team Faults

N.B A 45 second rule will apply from when horse/rider gets the bell.

There will be two rounds with the best three scores to count from each round.

In the event of a tie for first place only, the nominated captains will jump-off against the clock. In the event of a tie for a placing lower down, the teams will be separating by adding the times of the best three scores of their second round. The fastest accumulated time finishes higher than the rest.

1    Finola Murphy – Barna Mist
21  Damien Tansey – Brighten up your day
41  Fiona Tansey – Cloon silver cloud
61  Vanessa McDonald – Vanessa’s Pride

2    Moria Glesson – Mo’s Maggie
22  Martin Shaughnessy – Putchacuans Flying Coloures
42  Jean O’Conner – Leilani
62  Colm Kelly – Monard Rose Of Castlerea

3    Charlie Vial – Captain Corelli
23  Ultan Doherty – The Farriers Friend
43  Shane Harley – Diamond Lillie
63  Stephen Greene – Indian Puzzle

4    Joanna Kearns – Westcoast Dreamer
24  Elaine Wilson – Premier Butterfly
44  Deirdre McDonald – Care Bear
64  Aaron Perin – Knockavalley Aine

5    Rudy Schneider – He’s a Dandy
25  Mickey McHugh – Simply Mitch
45  John McDaid – Smithy Breeze
65  Emily Schneider – Ray Lady

6    Skye Stago Navarra – Navarra
26  Ailise Corry – Prince Wild and Free
46  Seamus O’Grady – Lichnaun Billy
66  Kieran Walsh – Pride of Boherdeel

7    Lucia Canavan – Melodiva B
27  Martina Heffernan – Palmyra
47  Luke Egan – Chicago
67  Marita Shannon – Lady Clamentine

8    Katherine O’Brien – Castanetta Mirah
28  Mary McMahon – Aylroe Boy
48  Brendan Dolan – Care Bear
68  Diarmuid Lang – Whats up skippy

9    Amanda Haugh – Lookout Master Moonshine
29  Ashling Hughes – Fullset Fred
49  Matty Loonam  – Harrys Master Plan
69  Rebecca Goode – Santiago

10  Emma Lawrence – Benny Ace
30  Zara McGovern – Olmars Mandy Clover
50  Melissa Monaghan – Iceford Cruise
70  Sharon McGowan – Somethings Gotta Give

11  Michael Dolan – King Buddy
31  Aoife Mulry – Ballydult Stanly
51  Jack Guinan – Banagher Coronado
71  Paula Cosgrave – Lady Ooh La La

12  Shauna Boyle – Ardnaglass Boy
32  Keary Smith – Trial and Error
52  Anne Chambers – Condors Lucky Star
72  Damien Gallagher – Drumnacart Lass

13   Jane Gaffney – Somhairle Beartie wooster
33  Avril Burke – Rookery Apache
53  Edwina Ruane – Kilathurley Elvis
73  Breda  Perin – Erronagh sky

14  Shaun Brennan – Falcarragh Kili
34  Carmel Ferry – Pepe Lad
54  Sally Mahon – Graf Landlord
74  Laura Schneider – Burinex

15  John McArdle – Glen Legand
35  Emma Hynes – Diamond
55  Thomas Daniels – Barnaboy Jackeen
75  Oliver Staunton – Ben Beag

16  Sarah Louise Keane – Black Beauty
36  Alan O’Brien – Little Joe
56  Margaret Kelly – Code Red D’Arcy
76  Erin Walsh – Winestone

17  Katy McAleenan – Larkhill Rose
37  Anna Burke – Rookery Sparkle
57  Seanna Kane-McCaffrey – Two Rivers
77  Deirdre McDonald – Nisquellay de May

18  Joanna Hyland – Star Amir
38  Janna Duane – Fair Lady
58  Marita Shannon – Nautica
78  Norman Tierney – Enzo de Reve

19  Rachel Keogh – Signal Fire
39  Amanda Haugh – Killeheen
59  Megan Farrell – Rhineroe Willow
79  Damien Carey – Dromelga Troy

20  Lisa Moore – Rathdrum Boy
40  Shauna Boyle – Drumdot V-Tec
60  Marina Hamilton – London Jen
80  Cormac McCormack – Lenamore Santa Fe

Great Day for Benbulben at AIRC National Hunter Trials Championship

The National Hunter Trials Championships took place on Sunday 19th April in Flowerhill, over a challenging course designed by Oliver Walsh. As usual there was a large turnout of horses & riders from the club and a very successful day was had by many members with 3 National Titles claimed by the club.

The day got off to a good start in the Advanced Primary Pairs, where Caroline Shiel on Mellow and Stephanie Haiber on Stracomer Super Mario took 5th spot. Stephanie Haiber and Stracomer Super Mario also put in a fantastic preformance in the Advanced Primary Championship winning the class to claim the Advanced Primary Championship National Title bang on the optimum time of 7’18”,

In the Intermediate Pairs Joanna Kearns on West Coast Dreamer & Katy McAleenan on Larkhill Rose were 6th.

In the Mixed Pairs Benbulben RC took the top two spots, husband and wife duo Kean and Louise O’Hara took first place riding Seamus Of Annaghmore & Charisma of Annaghmore while 2nd place went to Daire Diver on Stracomer Hidalgo and Derek Kane on Monart.

In the Advanced Intermediate Championship Benbulben riders took 3 of the 6 prizes on offer. Sharon McGowan stopped the clock on the optimum time of 6’36” riding Somethings Gotta Give to claim the Advanced Intermediate Championship National Title. While Daire Diver on Stracomer Hidalgo and Fiona Tansey on Cloon Silver Cloud finished 4th & 5th respectively.

Brendan Dolan picked up his second successive National Title riding Nisqually De May to claim the Advanced Open Championship National Title ahead of last years winner Laura Schneider on Chloe Lass of Donegal Gaeltacht RC.

Benbulben 10th Anniversary November Show

Benbulben RC’s 10th Anniversary Show will take place in Tubberbride RC on Sunday November 16th this show is part of the Dressage & Showjumping League currently taking place in the region & is the final qualifying show before the final in Claremorris RC on November 23rd.

We have some super prizes on offer to include Horseware amigo fleece run , Horseware corrib jacket, a 6ft6 all pro turnout from tagg equestrian ,a fab pair of Mac wet premium gloves from Darragh equestrian and lots lots more from Celtic equine , Mackey equestrian , & http://www.horseworld.ie We have a very special prize for the winner of our “Tredstep Top Score class” a Tredstep outfit! Worth waiting for! Looking forward to seeing everyone on the day!


Remember to get your dressage entries in to Anne before Thursday, you can text  0873748981 or email  horseworldballina Please include your name, Card Number , Grade for dressage Horses name and if you’d prefer to go before or after jumping & what grade you are jumping at ( this cannot be guaranteed but we will do our best to accommodate you ! 
Tests are:
Primary AIRC 7 (2008)
Ad Primary AIRC 5 (2013)
Intermediate AIRC 10 (2008)
Ad Intermediate AIRC 26 (2010)
Open/Ad Open AIRC 25 (2009)
All tests are available on the AIRC website

Benbulben do well at Masters Series Final

On Sunday September 14th several horses & riders from the Cub travelled to Mullingar Equestrian Centre for the Equest Pramox and Hit-Air sponsored Masters Series final. The day got off to a great start with three riders from the club in the ribbons in the first class of the day, the Intermediate Welcome Stakes, Benbulben RC dominated the class with Avril Burke on Rookery Apache taking 1st place, Gavin Keenan on Ardgaineen Waltzer in 2nd & Rachel Burke on Rookery Blue in 3rd.

In the Intermediate Table C Speed the Burke sisters were again in the ribbons, Rachel was 2nd on board Rookery Blue while Avril was 3rd on Rookery Apache and in the Open & Advanced Open Table C Speed the McDonald sisters took yet more ribbons back to Benbulben RC, Vanessa took 1st place on Vanessas Pride while Deirdre was 3rd on Nisqually De May.

Competition between the Burke sisters was fierce as they headed into the Intermediate Grand Prix with Avril holding a two point lead over Rachel on the leading rider league table. Rachel unfortunately didn’t make it into the jump-off in the Grand Prix, which left the door wide open for Avril who took full advantage and put in a foot perfect round with Rookery Apache to win the class while Gavin Keenan on Ardgaineen Waltzer finished 3rd. In the Open & Advanced Open Grand Prix the McDonald sisters both collected ribbons for Benbulben RC, Deirdre was 2nd with Nisqually De May and Vanessa was 6th with Vanessas Pride.

Avril Burkes win in the Intermediate Grand Prix seen her secure her place at the top of the Intermediate Leading Rider leader board with a total of 69 points, Rachel Burke & Rachel Lawson of Clonshire RC both finished on 56 points, but as Lawson finished higher in the Grand Prix she took 2nd place & Rachel Burke was 3rd while Gavin Keenan was 5th with 45 points.

In the Open & Advanced Open Leading Rider both the McDonald sisters finished on 23 points, but as Deirdre placed higher in the Grand Prix she took 4th spot while Vanessa was 5th.

Avril Burke was also the overall leading rider on the day which seen her win a Hit-Air safety vest worth approximately €450.

Sixteen Benbulben combinations qualified for Masters Series Final

After some great Jumping in Mulingar on Sunday last Rebekah Tansey on Brighten Up Your Day finished 2nd in the Intermediate, Deirdre McDonald on  Nisqually De May were 2nd in the Open & Brendan Dolan was 6th in the Open on Sink Hope Caspian, this brings the total of Benbulben horses & riders qualified for the Masters Series Final in Mullingar to 16.

The Benbulben combinations who have qualified so far are as follows:


  • Avril Burke & Rookery Apache
  • Avril Burke & Rookery Blue
  • Avril Burke & Rookery Sparkle
  • Gavin Keenan & Ardgaineen Waltzer
  • Edwina Ruane & Tullavilla Too
  • Rachel Burke & Rookery Blue
  • Rebekah Tansey & Brighten Up Your Day
  • Therese Anderson & Killian Boy

Advanced Intermediate

  • Gwen Mc Dermott & Carlton Spice
  • Myles Mc Gowan & Journey Man
  • Seanna Kane Mc Caffrey & Two Rivers
  • Tara Fergus Sheridan & Tirconnell River Rose

Open & Advanced Open

  • Brendan Dolan & Sink Hope Caspian
  • Deirdre Mc Donald & Nisqually De May
  • Donna Mc Gowan & Clover Winds
  • Vanessa Mc Donald & Vanessas Pride

For anybody who would still like to qualify, the final qualifer will be held in Roscrea Equestrian Centre, Co. Tipperary on August 31st.

The Final is taking place in Mullingar Equestrian Centre on Sunday September 14th.

Great Result for Benbulben at the RDS

On Sunday August 10th a team from Benbulben RC consisting of Gavin Keenan on Ardgaineen Waltzer, Rachel Burke on Rookery Blue, Louise O’Hara on Seamus of Annaghmore, Vanessa McDonald on Vanessas Pride & their Chef d’Equipe Mary Lang reresented the Western Region at the AIRC Team Show Jumping Championships in the RDS.

The team was impeccably turned out and even the torrential rain that fell throughout the competition couldn’t take from the immaculate turnout of both horses & riders and they were declared the Best Turned Out Team of the competition.

The weather conditions were less than favourable, but this didn’t deter Benbulben who all jumped superbly, Rachel & Smithers and Louise & Seamus both put in clear rounds, while Vanessa & Bruno were unlucky to have a pole down and Gavin was unfortunate to part company with Waltzer which meant they finished the first round on a total of 4 faults which put them in joint 2nd place with 3 other teams, just behind Clonshire RC who were the only team to finish the 1st round on 0 faults.

In the second round it was still all to play for, especially with the shock elimination of one of the Clonshire riders. Some lovely jumping from the Benbulben team, another super clear round from Louise & Seamus, a clear from Gavin & Waltzer and just one fence down for both Rachel & Smithers and Vanessa & Bruno seen them finish round 2 with just another 4 faults to add giving them a total of 8 faults which seen them finish in 3rd place overall.

The support for the team was amazing, they were easily the best supported team on the day, or at least they had the noisiest supporters! Once the jumping was over and the horses were safely back in their stables thanks to the very obliging Andrew Thornton, the team & their supporters headed to Bewleys to celebrate!

Preparations are underway for the RDS!

 L-R Vanessa McDonald, Rachel Burke, Gavin Keenan & Louise O’Hara

The Benbulben Team who are off to the RDS on Sunday August 10th L-R Vanessa McDonald, Rachel Burke, Gavin Keenan & Louise O’Hara

The countdown is now on for the A.I.R.C Team Show Jumping Championship in the RDS next Sunday August 10th and Benbulben’s Team of Gavin Keenan & Ardnageen Waltzer, Rachel Burke & Rookery Blue, Louise O’Hara & Seamus of Annaghmore and Vanessa McDonald & Vanessas Pride and Chef d’Equipe Mary Lang are waiting with bated breath for the big day. The black & gold team kit has been ordered, the horses are been trimmed, pulled & polished to perfection and tack has been cleaned & polished till it gleams.

The Black & Gold Team Kit

The Black & Gold Team Kit

Getting the team to the RDS & kitting them out in style is no easy matter and these things don’t come cheap, the team kit was sourced as usual from Anne in Horseworld.ie whose amazing service is second to none. To help cover the costs of getting the team to the RDS and of course to build Team Spirit before the big day the club held a number of fun fund-raising events over the past few weeks.

The O’Hara Family kindly allowed us to have a Cross Jump Schooling session in Annaghmore on Friday June 27th to get our RDS preparations started. A very enjoyable evening was had by all who attended.


We then headed up to Knockadoo in Coolaney on Wednesday July 2nd to join Sandra Stuart for a lovely Ox Mountain Trek with BBQ afterwards. This was another very enjoyable evening with plenty of food & drink for everybody.


Next up we had a Mini Midi Maxi Show Jumping night in Tubberbride on Tuesday July 8th and again a great night was had by all who attended.


Then on Sunday July 20th we headed off to Coney Island for a lovely beach trek again followed by a BBQ which was very enjoyable even though most of us came back from Coney Island soaked & covered in sand, although a change of clothes and some delicious food & drink soon had that sorted and a lovely evening was had.