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Inaugural Leinster Show Jumping Championship Series

Following the most successful ever summer league in fourteen years, the show-jumping calendar for the remainder of the season has moved indoors to the 'Kathleen Flannelly Memorial Arena at Kill International Equestrian Centre. Last Wednesday saw the first ever show-jumping competition in the fantastic new arena, which was purpose built for the Special Olympic World Summer Games in June. Indeed, following the games the newly developed complex received rave reviews, and was hailed as the best ever venue that the games had ever seen. The arena itself is worth a visit, it has a very warm feeling to it, it's a great size to compete in, and has excellent footing, Cushion Track Supreme (Equestrian Surfaces), which has been used at the World Cup Show jumping finals in Las Vegas and The Horse of the Year Show.

"Last June was a very special time at Kill and it has been very rewarding to have received so many compliments about the games and the centres' facilities. I even received a letter from Special Olympics H.Q.s in Washington hailing 'the venue and competition were the best ever', Fintan proudly says.

" As I've said before we will hold many a competition and big show in 'mums' arena, but few if any will compare to the Special Olympics, which was truly unique. However now seeing the arena in use for show-jumping today is really very exciting after all the hard work. Over the next month the October shows, (every Wednesday and Sunday), we will be gradually building up to the Leinster Indoor Show-jumping Championship Series in November. This we hope will mark the arrival of this fantastic new indoor facility we now have."

The arena has been named after Kathleen Flannelly who sadly past away almost seven years ago following the Champions of the Year Show. Kathleen was the heart and soul of the old centre, which the Flannelly family took over in 1991. "It's only right that the arena has been dedicated to mum, cause if it wasn't for her, who kept the show on the road in those early years, the new complex wouldn't be here today," Fintan continues.

The Champions of the Year Show will be resurrected next year with an exciting new schedule. However, the main focus now is on the Inaugural Leinster Indoor Show jumping Championships Series taking place this November: The Amateur Championship will take place 1-2 November, the Pony Championship 8-9 November, whilst the Horse Championship 27-30 November. The total prizes and prize-fund for the series runs in excess of €30,000.

The highlight of the Amateur show will undoubtedly be on Saturday evening with the Puissance or Six Bar event, whilst Sunday has the head-to-head speed knockout class and the Grand Prix. The top twenty from the Grand Prix will qualify for the Horse Championships at the end of the month, where they will get to compete in the PRO-AM Charity Relay and the Amateur Grand Prix.

The Winners Take All Charity Relay will be made up of twenty teams; each team consisting of an amateur and a professional. The entry fees will be donated to the O'Dwyer Cheshire Homes in Bohola, Mayo, and the local Hospice. It is hoped that each team will also be sponsored raising additional funds for these two superb organisations. The winning team however will win a table of ten tickets each to the Show-jumpers Ball on 7th December in City West whilst the winning sponsor will also receive a substantial prize.

The remainder of the Horse Championship schedule is very comprehensive, incorporating Young Riders, Age Old Classes whilst the main event being the Grand Prix on the Sunday afternoon. To maintain the full compliment of Final running over 4 days it has been necessary to use one class as a qualifier for more the one Final in some incidents. For example, a young rider riding a five year old in a 1.20m class could qualify for three finals from the one entry.

Meanwhile the weekend of the 8th and 9th November sees the Pony Championships taking place. During the day on Saturday qualifiers for Sunday will take place for all heights and grades, whilst the emphasis on Saturday evening is for more relaxed fun classes, including relay classes, fancy dress handicap and a retiring riders class. Sunday morning has a lively start with head-to-head speed classes for each height division before the CD finals and AB Grand Prix's take place.

Closing dates for entries are fast approaching and entries should be posted to Kill International Equestrian Centre, Kill, County Kildare. For further details and schedules call 045 877333 or e-mail killinternationalec@eircom.net. Whilst any sponsorship, advertising or signage queries should be directed to Fintan @ 086 8041579. Show schedules will be available shortly on the centres new web site www.killequestrian.com.

In the build up to the Leinster Indoor Show-jumping Championship there is horse jumping every Wednesday(9.30am) and Sunday(9.30am), whilst the pony jumping starts at 2.30pm each Sunday throughout October.


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Updated: October 2005.