Drynam Riding Club won their first ever team championship title at the Connolly’s Red Mills sponsored AIRC National Dressage Championships at Mullingar Equestrian last Sunday.

The winning quartet of Sophie Marks (Granpas Grey Mist), Stacey Forsyth (Grey Dawn Rebel) Cathy Sayers (Alderbrook Maxima) and Paula Dowling (Lassban Minstrel Jones) finished on a total of 437.36% to claim the title for the first time in the clubs nine year history.

With the best three scores counting from the two rounds, three members of the team provided counting scores in the seventies including Sophie Marks, Paula Dowling and Stacey Forsyth who achieved the highest score of the competition after her 9-year-old grey Irish Draught, Grey Dawn Rebel, registered 78.57% in their second test in front of Pat Ryan.

Club chairperson Jane Robinson said, “It’s a great achievement for our club to win after the club qualified for the first time with a team of four ladies riding four mares, real girl power!”

“The team were delighted with their horses performances and said everything went to plan on the day. Both Paula and Cathy are together with their mares for less than a year so lots more to come from these combinations,” she added.

Over 70 teams sought qualification at nine qualifiers for this year’s final, with 15 of the 21 of those who secured a ticket, taking part in the final.

The Carne club took the runners-up spot after their team of Melanie Hammel (Taylor Slaney Cruise), Vicky Cloney (Gentle Bouncer), Caitriona O’Brien (Templemichael Siogra) and Darren Rossiter (North Dakota Dawn) ended the day on 434.45%, almost 3% behind the winners.

The Wexford based club, who last won the title in 2012, finished ahead of former champions Ashbrook Riding Club, who previously won the title in 2017. The Dublin based clubs team of Margaret Brannigan (Out Of The Blue), Laura Fitzsimons (Kilronan Duff), Mairead Dolan (Master Touch) and Michael Moore (Guaranteed Gold) took the yellow ribbons on 427.56%.

Last years champions from Thomastown and District had to settle for fourth place on this occasion after they narrowly missed out on a podium finish on 427.01% while Stracomer went home in fifth place on 420.55% at the first time of trying.

Mosstown Riding Club, who earlier this month won the team show jumping title, completed the top six with a tally of 417.57%.