THE five AIRC-affiliated riding clubs that form the North West sub-region of the West region of the AIRC normally celebrate their year’s achievements at the end of November, before going into hibernation for the darkest weeks of the year. However, the celebration of the fun and frolics of 2022 were held over until February 4, 2023 and acted as a great get-together and a chance to compare plans and goals for the year ahead.
The five clubs convened in the Villa Rose hotel and enjoyed a raucous night, ably organised by Stracomer member Viki Hopkins and her trusty assistant Lauren McLaughlin, from Inishowen Riding Club. Letterkenny’s Francis McNicholl has taken on the mantle of chairperson of the North West and stepped into his role with aplomb, assisted by outgoing chair, Daire Diver of Stracomer Riding Club.
Following a meal that would have left the hungriest of agricultural workers well fed, the awards for the year were announced, with Inishowen’s Grace Rodgers accepting the Show jumper of the Year award, while Francis McNicholl handed the mic over to Daire Diver in order to accept the Dressage Rider of the Year.
The main award of the night, the NW Club of the Year went to Stracomer Riding Club, with their secretary Erin Fergus accepting the plaque on the club’s behalf. With the serious business of the evening behind them, the various clubs’ members took to the dance floor and made the most of the opportunity to let their hair well down. The serious business of the 2023 competitive season has since kicked off on Sunday, February 12, at Greenacres Equestrian Centre in Convoy, as the first leg of the NW Spring League was held.
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