Horse Riding

Our Lady’s Bower believes is sport as part of its holistic approach to student life. We are proud of our students who represent the school in Horse Riding. The following is a report of a recent competition. Well done to all.

Another Great Year for Kate Derwin

Well known young rider Kate Derwin has had an extremely successful career thus far!  She was the star of the international equestrian competition in Fontainebleau, France recently. The third year student won the very prestigious Grand Prix, fending off thirty other riders to take the rophy on her Connemara pony Cul Ban Mistress. She was also awarded the trophy for leading girl rider of the show which is specifically for ponies.

Kate had already won two events on the first day (CSIOP 125m and 130m) before helping Ireland to third in the Nations Cup on Saturday. She finished best of the Irish riders with a clear round and one fence down in the second round. Fellow third year Jodie Shortall was also a member of the Irish contingent and finished second in her competition on Friday.

Last year Kate helped the Irish Junior Equestrian team to a third place finish in the same international show jumping competition. Kate again had the best score of the Irish riders which is no surprise as in 2015 she won many awards for her skill. She was leading female rider in the league and spring tour as well as winner of the Grand Prix of the Pony Championships. She then went on to represent Ireland in Denmark in August.

In September Kate represented Ireland at an international U16 equestrian event in Barbizon in France before going on to compete in Switzerland the following weekend and in Belgium and Holland later in the season.

Kate is now setting her sights on qualifying for Hungary and the RDS in August.  All this and studying for her Junior Cert too!

Kayleigh McCormack from TY is on an Irish equestrian team. Here is her account of her road to selection.

Tourism Related Equestrian Competition (or TREC for short) was originally developed in France during the 1970s to improve the ability and proficiency of trekking guides and their horses.

Even though I am only a junior rider I have progressed through the levels over the last two years to now be the youngest rider to compete at my level in Ireland. TREC is a three phase competition and the first phase is the POR which is orienteering on horseback. A master map is displayed and I get 15 minutes to transcribe the route onto a blank map. There will also be a specified speed. At the level I compete at, I go on a cross country route which is 35 kilometres long. The second phase is the control of paces which is 150 metres along a corridor at certain paces which earns you points. The final phase is the PTV where we have a cross country course containing 16 obstacles which tests the agility and ability of horse and rider.

In 2015 I was accepted for a panel containing approximately 20 young riders who would be in contention for a position on the Ireland squad for the 2017 European Championships which take place in Ireland. We are all constantly being assessed on our performance and training.

This year I competed throughout Ireland at different competitions including the two national championships. At the national 3 phase championships I won the level 3 class and at the National PTV Championships I competed in three classes out of the four classes available (at the highest level in these events). I won two of my classes and finished second by 0.5 of a point in the third class and I also won some awards overall. I also won the Abbey Cup which is awarded to the TREC Ireland member with the highest achievements throughout the year.

Thanks to all of these achievements I received a place as one of the riders representing Ireland at the TREC Young Riders European Championships which will be held next August.