On Saturday May 5th 2018 the Irish Pony Club Mounted Games Teams descended en masse on the West Mid Showgrounds in Shrewsbury.
Approximately 100 Irish people travelled, with three senior teams and four junior branch teams for our annual trip to the ‘International’ competition organized by the United Pack Branch of the Pony Club. It was a great weekend, packed full of fun and fantastic, exciting mounted games action. We brought with us beautiful hot sunny weather and what a difference it makes to a weekend away!!! Audrey Crowe, Team Mum and Yegor Kaar, Shrewsbury Team 1 Member from Galway Mid County Branch have written a wonderful report cataloguing the journey of our Mounted Games Teams to Shrewsbury.
The competition consisted of two sessions on Sunday and one session plus a final on Monday for each team. All the teams played really well with their many weeks of training in the wet and cold paying off. Paul Flood’s Team 1 played in Shillelagh green, got in to the A Final and came 7th, Eilidh Hyland’s Team 2 played in Meath blue and won the B Final and brought home the shield. Mark Crowe’s Team 3 played in Island green and came 5th in the B Final. Well done to all riders and trainers, both senior and junior.
On Saturday evening we barbequed for all the teams and their families and had a very enjoyable evening. Pizza was on the menu for Sunday evening. All served under the ‘Irish Flag’ tents! With gallons of sun cream applied and gallons of water consumed by both riders and ponies, it was a very successful and enjoyable weekend.
Yegor Kaar's Shrewsbury Mounted Games Diary 2018
"In January, I went to games trials and I was picked to go to Shrewsbury in May. My team was Daragh Phelan from Laois, Millie Finn from Wexford, Conor Doyle from Shillelagh and Kathryn Daly from Meath. We trained every Sunday in JAG Equestrian. Our trainer was Paul Flood. He was the best and his wife is Helen Flood, took lots of photos.
We set off last Saturday (5th May) and got the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead. There were lots of teams on the ferry. The boat took about three hours. Then we drove to Shrewsbury and set up the corrals for the ponies. The ponies were happy because there was lots of grass for them. We had a short training session and then we had dinner. The team mum was Julie Finn. She did lots of organising. She made a realy nice barbecue for dinner.
We got up early on Sunday and fed the ponies and groomed them. We had tack inspection and then we started the competition at nine o’clock. There were twenty teams, so there were three heats of each game. The first session took about two hours and then we had a break for lunch. We all did really well. After lunch we had another session and we were all very good again. It was a very hot day. After we finished riding someone brought a paddling pool and we filled it up and cooled off in it . It was very refreshing. We met lots of the English teams and they played in it too and we played soccer. It was great craic. We had pizza for dinner.
On Monday we got up early and played the last session of games. There were three finals after lunch, the A final, the B final and the C final. We really wanted to get into the A final and we were delighted when we did. The other two teams Meath and The Island got into the B final and they were happy too.
After lunch we went to watch the B final. We were all cheering on Meath and the Island. Meath were very good and they won it. It was great. The Island were very good too. We didn’t win our final but we all played well and Paul was happy with us. Paul is the best trainer ever and he is very calm. After the final we had to pack up and drive back to Holyhead. It was the best weekend ever. Thank you to Paul. The other trainers were Eilidh and Mark Crowe. Thank you to the team mum Julie Finn and the other team mums were Audrey and Martine."
The Irish Pony Club would also like to congratulate, the four junior Branch teams who travelled to the West Mid Showgrounds. They had an extremely successful weekend as well. Teams from Kildare Hunt Branch, Tipperary Hunt Branch and Wexford Hunt Branch all qualified for the Junior A final, finishing in 1st, 2nd and 6th places respectively. Duhallow Hunt Branch also qualified for the Junior B final. Well done to all Branches, their team trainers, chaperones and parents. All of the hard work and training paid off. You exemplified everything that the IPC stands for. Well done and thank you to Audrey and Yegor for their excellent reports.