Dates clash disruption

HUGH and Aaron McCusker of The Meadows Equestrian Centre yesterday (Friday) spoke of their upset over the withdrawal of SJI authorisation for their planned show this weekend, 24 hours before it was due to take place.

The SJI decision came over a clash of dates between the McCuskers’ planned five-star youngster tour show and the Ulster Region Grand Prix, set for Castle Irvine, today (May 28th).

Aaron McCusker, who tendered his resignation from the Ulster Region Committee, said: “SJI removed our show authorisation for tomorrow (Saturday) within 24 hours of our event scheduled to take place. The phone is ringing off the hook here - people asking us is it going ahead or not and looking for their refunds. This decision was taken by SJI without proper procedures being followed. This date clash was known for the last two months and SJI pulls our show authorisation the day before. We have instructed our solicitors to pursue this matter. Both centres are about 70 miles apart, both could go ahead.”

Chairman of SJI, Christy Murphy, commented: “SJI understands that the cancellation of the event is an inconvenience for members, however we have protocols in place when it comes to scheduling events. The Meadows Equestrian had not entered the five-star show on the SJI Calendar until the 16th May. Castle Irvine on the other hand had entered their show on the calendar along with a National Grand Prix and Ulster Grand Prix on the 22th April at 8.41am.

“We understand that there had been various discussions between the Ulster Representatives and the venues and action needed to be taken and this action was agreed by the Ulster Region and the SJI Board of Directors. It is unfortunate that these incidents do arise but we do try to remedy them, and in this situation the alternative of moving to Sunday with the five-star show did not suit the venue.”

Correspondence from the McCuskers, seen by The Irish Field, details they submitted their date for the five-star tour and youngster tour with the organiser on January 10th. Aaron McCusker said: “From January of this year, this show was advertised by both Oonagh Kennedy and the Meadows Equestrian Centre as being held on the 28th May. The Ulster Region (UR) Committee subsequently advertised 14 legs of the Ulster Region Grand Prix League and no leg was scheduled to take place on 28th May. It was the subsequent decision of the UR Committee to move the UR Grand Prix to Castle Ervine on 28th May that created the clash.”

Studbooks tenders still ongoing

EVALUATION of tenders for the recently advertised ISH studbooks is still ongoing, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine this week. A DAFM spokesperson told Irish Horse World, “Following completion of the process and the standstill period is observed, it is expected that contract notices will be published indicating which tenders will be awarded the contract. No further information can be provided at this stage.”

Balmoral correction

APOLOGIES to all connections of Randalstown Lord Sugar due to unfortunate errors in last week’s Balmoral coverage regarding this champion. We are happy to point out that owner, Eva Lowry, who is a law student, rode the horse to the Small Hunter Championship win and that this champion was bought from Sam and Sheelagh McAteer in Randalstown. You can find the correct details in this week’s Picture Desk on page 98.

Rome Nations Cup result - Irish placing

MICHAEL Blake’s Irish show jumping team of Bertram Allen (Pacino Amiro (ISH), Denis Lynch (Cristello), Cian O’Connor (C Vier 2) and Darragh Kenny (VDL Cartello) finished eighth of 10 teams in Friday’s five-star Nations Cup of Rome at Piazza Di Sienna. Ireland finished on a two-round total of 20 faults, with France taking the win as the only team to finish on zero. (Rome report will be in next week’s issue).