THE Castle Hill club from the North East Region enjoyed two successful days at last weekend’s AIRC Festival in the Mullingar Equestrian Centre.

Their wins came mainly in show jumping but one of their first individual members to strike, Diane Ford McCoy, did so in The Irish Field dressage section on Saturday when she landed the RC Preliminary 1 class in the indoor arena on the former racehorse Mr Brown (73.33%).

This 22-year-old Mohaajir gelding, who for many years represented Border Counties and first competed at the Festival in 2013, was pulled up in three point-to-point starts in 2006. He was bred in Co Down by Alan and Bill Dunlop out of the Floriferous mare Florihill. Ford McCoy and Mr Brown were members of the Castle Hill troupe who won Saturday evening’s musical ride.

While there were no divides in that RCP1 class there were in others however no ‘ride-offs’ were staged this year with just one result being announced for all the arenas combined based on a system used by British Riding Clubs and previously implemented in the AIRC’s national eventing championships.

In addition to Ford McCoy, members of clubs in the NER did particularly well in Saturday’s individual competitions.

The RCP2 was won by Thornton’s Leah Wigmore riding the 15-year-old chesnut mare Jessie Jay; Ard Lú’s Samantha Fegan topped the scores in the RC Novice long arena test with her Dutch-bred mare Kansas FZ, a Kannan chesnut she also competes under Show Jumping Ireland rules; and Ashbrook’s Anne O’Dowd ran out the narrow winner of the RC Elementary with the Irish Sport Horse gelding Until Proven Guilty, a 15-year-old Inocent grey.

Lorna O’Hare, joint-organiser of the recent three-day Dressage In The City Summer Festival, joined up with fellow Dunbyrne club member Anna Marie Curry to win the pairs’ competition ahead of six other combinations. O’Hare partnered the 14-year-old chesnut gelding DBS Second Chance while Curry was on board her ISH mare Ely Pixie, a 13-year-old daughter of Loughehoe Guy.

In Sunday’s RCN class, the honours went to Tara Hill’s Miia Ruuskanen riding the ISH gelding Happy Gilmore. This 12-year-old Lux Z bay is a half-brother to the Warrenstown You 2 mare Cash Crisis/Kintara (CCI3*).