JOE Haffey was a true horseman. As his daughter Joanne said in her reflection at Joe’s funeral, “Dad’s view was: ‘two legs good, four legs better’!”
For many years, Joe was a key riding and committee member of the Warrenpoint and District Riding Club. A joiner by trade, he designed and built show jumping fences and courses for the Club Showgrounds at Moygannon and cross-country fences for Tamnaharrie, ‘Go as you please’ and competition events in Burren.
Popular and ever-helpful, he always had advice and support to offer from an appreciative comment on a horse, praise on a clear round and a kind word with good advice when things ‘didn’t go to plan’.
Joe’s love of horses came from his father ‘Jimmy’, also a well-known horseman from Newry. Joe took up the sport at an early age and passed on his love of horses to his son, Conor. Fiercely competitive, Joe liked to win and often took home the coveted Silver Show trophies and shields awarded for first place. During the winter months, he could still be found competing at Ravensdale, Kernans, Cavan, Tullymurry and other venues, always keen to ride one or more of his beloved horses, ‘Hillhead Lad’, ‘John L’ or ‘Jimmy’ – named after his dad.
Joe was an active BHS team participant and rode in the various Northern Ireland Regional Competitions. He represented the club also on an administrative level as Club Liaison Officer, attending meetings and ‘away from home’ inter-club events. Indeed, Joe represented the club on one of its last ‘pre-Covid’ outings in October 2019, at which his team was awarded second place.
An altogether decent man with a kind heart and great sense of humour, Joe will be greatly missed by his Warrenpoint Riding Club friends and the wider show jumping community.
Warrenpoint and District Riding Club members wish to pass on their sincere condolences to Joe’s wife Anne, son Conor and daughters, Joanne and Mairead and wider family circle.
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