Convoy lad Luke Witherow proved his riding ability in some style on Sunday morning last in the RDS Junior Equitation with a faultless round and romped home with the championship title under the watchful eye of Lt Col Gerry Mullins, in a class aimed at searching for International stars of the future.
In glorious Dublin sunshine Kevin Millman set the stage for what proved to be a testing course for riders and ponies alike and delivered an entertaining competition for the large crowd of spectators.
Twelve-year-old Luke, who is trained by International Show Jumper Harry Marshall, entered the arena with confidence and guided his new mount 11 year old ‘Midnight Surprize’ around the very spooky course to deliver one of very few clear rounds.
Luke said: “I am just over the moon. I don’t think this smile will come off my face for the rest of my life. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank my Mum and Dad for all their support, hard work and all the sacrifices made to get me here today. I would like to thank them for travelling me all the way from Donegal to Ballyclare every week for training with Harry Marshall and I would like to thank Harry for all his guidance, effort and believing in me.”
Luke went on to say: “I would like to thank Teresa McKenna for selling me ‘Midnight Surprize’ and also thank the owners of my compeition ponies Gillian Millar and Bobby Grey for believing enough in me to let me ride for them. Next year I hope to make it into the main arena with my 138 ponies and maybe have another nice pony to try to reclaim my title in the RDS Equitation.”
Luke and ‘Midnight Surprize’ later went on to pick up Reserve Champion which was just an icing on the cake moment for Luke and his family. It was a popular win and Luke was cheered on by a large contingent of well wishers from his home town of Convoy, including his parents Helena and Alan, as well as his sister Riannagh and his grandparents Ambrose and Shelia Given.
Donegal boxer in World Championship qualifiers
Donegal boxers Stephen O’Reilly, Twin Towns, and Jason Quigley, Finn Valley, are in Dublin this morning as they begin their bid for a place on the Irish team at next month’s World Boxing Championship.
Both are boxing in the 75 kg class, O’Reilly was due to box Conor Coyle, St. Jospeh’s, Derry, while Quigley was drawn against Andrew Jennings, St. Catherines.
The are on the opposite side of the draw and will only meet if they qualify for the final.
Meanwhile, Letterkenny’s Cathal McMonagle, who boxes out of the Holy Trinty Club, Belfast, has received a bye to the super-heavyweight semi-final where he will face Con Sheehan from Clonmel, on Friday. The finals are on Saturday.
Robert Emmett’s take case to Hearings’ Committee
Robert Emmett’s club are to make their case against a 48 week ban being handed down to one of their players and a €1,000 fine imposed on the club to Donegal GAA Hearings’ Committee tonight (Thursday).
The suspension, which was recommended by the Donegal CCC, followed an investigation into an alleged incident with a referee during a Division Four league game in Dunkineely in July.
Chloe and Sam Magee at the World Badminton Championship
Donegal’s Chloe Magee bowed out of the World Badminton Championships in London, yesterday morning, (Wednesday) in the second round after winning her opening round.
World No 53 Chloe went down 10-21, 7-21 to number six seed Saina Nehwal, India, in the Wembley arena after getting the championship off to a great start with victory over World No 31 Adrianti Firdasari, from Indonesia.
She came from losing the first set 13-21 to make it through to the second round, 24-22, 21-13, in a very hard fought encounter with the Indonesian.
Chloe was back in action yesterday afternoon in the Mixed Doubles teaming up with her brother Sam Magee. The brother and sister combination were due to face the Indonesian pair of number two seeds Ahmad and Natsir also in a second round match.
Sam Magee and Tony Stephenson enjoyed opening day success in the Men’s Doubles defeating Ukrainian’s Konov and Zavadsky 21-19 21-15, before also bowing out yesterday morning to Chai/Guo from China.