Wexford riders on Irish selection
Published 12/03/2016 | 00:00
Three Wexford riders have qualified for the four-man Irish team to take on the British in the fourth point-to-point international challenge to be staged at Inch, east Cork, on March 23.
Barry O'Neill from Ballindaggin, Jamie Codd from Mayglass, and Rob James from Tomona, Killanne, will be joined on the team by the eleven times champion from Galway, Derek O'Connor. The top four in the riders' championship on February 15 are automatically selected.
O'Connor was a winner in England last year and led Ireland to team victory for the first time, and they will be hoping to defend the title on home soil. Barry O'Neill is the only Irish rider to have made the selection for all four years; Codd missed the first year through injury but will be earning his third 'cap', while James, Irish Novice champion in 2014, is making his debut.
This is the only annual opportunity when these riders get the honour to represent their country, and it is a great tribute to the state of the game in the county that Wexford supplies three-quarters of the team.
Members of the womens' team are Liz Lawlor, Maxine O'Sullivan, Evanna McCutcheon and Sheila Ahern.
Everyone in the point-to-point and wider racing world offers sympathy to Colm Bowe on the death of his father, Philip, on February 16.
When dealing with horses, the old maxim that 'the show must go on' really applies and just a couple of days after the funeral Colm and his team managed to send out four winners the weekend before last, three of them much coveted four-year-old maidens.
In these very difficult circumstances, this showed remarkable dedication. We offer our sincere condolences to Colm and all the family on their bereavement.