Chairman of Eventing Hunter Trial Championships Speech

And so, the curtain has come down on the last Championship Event of 2022 and what a wonderful year it has been filled with thrilling competitions, excellent courses and regardless of winning or losing the camaraderie and sportsmanship shown throughout the year has been a joy to behold! It was I feel, a thrilling event with a tough but fair course that asked competitors a lot of questions and offered them the opportunity to display their skills.

There is a tremendous amount of work and planning that goes into the organisation of these events and I must recognise my wonderful Eventing Committee members for the Herculean effort they have put in all year and the help and support they show me, it would not be possible or the success these events have been without you - thank you all.

A massive thank you to our sponsor Mackey’s Equestrian for their continued and generous support of the National Hunter Trials Championships. Also, to the Furnell family by who’s kind permission we had the use of the wonderful Ballycahane Equestrian as our venue and for allowing our members to camp also. To Limerick Racecourse for allowing us to use their facilities for our members travelling for the event to stable their horses and to the Irish Pony Club office staff for all their hard work throughout the year.

To all our competitors and members thank you so much for all the hard work, training, and effort you put in to compete in these events and for the amazing spirit you show throughout all competitions. You are all amazing ambassadors and a credit to your families and our sport. To the volunteers, trainers, branch members and family members thank you all so much for being the glue that holds our pony club together at all levels. The way you sacrifice your valuable free time and the support and commitment you show does not go unnoticed and is appreciated more than we can say, you are the foundation that our organisation is built upon and continues to grow because of this solid footing.

I hope you all had a happy and memorable weekend and year and hope to see you at our events next year. Until then, continue your excellent work and training and return even stronger next year. I believe Henry Van Dyke describes the feeling and love for the sport best when he wrote;

“Hark, how the galloping measure

Quickens the pulses of pleasure;

Gaily saluting the morn

With the long clear note of the hunting-horn

Echoing up from the valley,

Over the mountain side,--

Rally, you hunters, rally,

Rally, and ride!

                Henry Van Dyke”

We shall rally and ride again next year!

Warm regards and with thanks,

Ivan Hatton (Chairman of Eventing)

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