International success for Longford Pony Club

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Longford Pony Club team members, Aisling McGreal, Rebecca Yorke, Edel Whyte and Rebecca Lyons,representing Ireland, were crowned International Show Jumping winners at the recent UK Championships

Longford Pony Club, representing Ireland, were crowned International Show Jumping winners at the recent UK Championships.

Having won the Irish Open Show Jumping event in Mullingar at the end of July the Longford Ladies Team comprising Aisling McGreal, Rebecca Yorke, Edel Whyte and Rebecca Lyons travelled to Chomondeley Castle in Cheshire for the UK Championships.

Chef d’Equipe, Gerry Whyte from Legan with the support of Club members and parents organised the logistics of transporting horses and riders to the venue and guided the team throughout.

The team of four competed against sixteen qualifying teams at the show jumping event which is run in the same format as the RDS Nations Cup and requires the same level of determination, skill and composure.

The standard was exceptional and tensions were high, but after a clear first round the Longford team was drawn to jump last in the second round – a long and nerve wrecking wait for all involved.

The course design was technical and proved challenging – three teams emerged after the second round and had to face the ‘jump off’ against the clock.

Clear rounds by the Longford ladies in exceptionally fast times meant that Longford Pony Club could not be beaten and emerged victorious in the International Open Team show jumping event.

The team includes, Rebecca Lyons (Melview), the youngest member who joined Longford Pony Club in 2015; Edel Whyte (Legan) has represented Ballymahon Vocational School at inter-schools competitions and has competed successfully at championship level in Hunter Trials, Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing; Rebecca Yorke (Ardagh) has successfully brought on young ponies and horses to compete at national and international level.

She was recently awarded a bursary for elite training in Cork and was also selected to participate at the Longines World Equestrian Academy; Aisling McGreal (Ballinalee) has represented Longford Pony Club in all equestrian disciplines.

She was the 2016 Reserve Champion in the Members Combined Training at the RDS and also secured a scholarship to McKee Barracks in Dublin.

During 2017, Aisling competed successfully at International Shows in Mullingar and Millstreet and at the RDS Dublin Horse Show in August. She has been very fortunate to have access to excellent horses provided by Harold McGahern (Rincoola) for this and other competitions.

Longford Pony Club wishes to acknowledge all the support received by the team including assistance from the Irish Pony Club, Quinn Supply Stores, Lakeland Town and Country, James Twaddle Agri Contractor, Brian Fallon Hardware, McLoughlin family and Aurivo Homeland.