Standing ovation for AIRC’s Lancelot award recipient
- 21 February 2015, 11:07
LEO Powell received a standing ovation from the members present when he was announced as the latest recipient of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs top award.
The news was announced at the Lancelot Awards which took place last week at the Racket Hall Country House Hotel in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.
Leo supports the sport horse industry and the Association of Irish Riding Clubs in both a work and personal capacity for many years.
In his role at Ireland’s leading equestrian publication, The Irish Field, he has always championed the riding clubs’ cause and supported the Riding Clubs Festival at Stradbally, Co. Laois through annual sponsorship.
Leo has been through an extremely tough health challenge over the past two years and come out the other side as an even stronger person.
In late 2014, he drew on his personal experience of cancer to raise more than €24,000 for the Movember campaign and was the highest fundraiser in Ireland.
Leo, who was invited to present a number of awards on the day, was taken completely by surprise when his named was announced. He said afterwards, “I’m absolutely honoured to receive this award. People who know me well will know that I’m not usually lost for words, but this means an awful lot to me. By giving me this award, you have literally taken my breath away.”
“The A.I.R.C. means a lot to me as it embodies all that is good about equestrianism. People who are totally dedicated and usually working away on their own but the club situation provides a wonderful opportunity for people to get together and enjoy all that is good about the sport,” he added.
Four other awards were presented on the day with a jury and vote of registered clubs deciding the honours.
Earl’s Well Riding Club received the much coveted Club of the Year award. The cork based club had a very special year last year with many successes at National level at the Hunter Trials, Riding Clubs Festival and Horse Trials Championships.
Its members are regularly found volunteering at events at all levels but it also has a very active social diary.
Niamh Rothwell was a popular recipient of the Club Secretary of the Year award. The Tinahely Riding Club member was described as someone who was very easy to work over the past year.
Niamh displayed a workman attitude to her role as secretary and as a result had many members falling in behind her giving the club a very promising future.
The Wicklow based secretary’s job is very different than many other clubs as Tinahely own their own grounds and this makes the task very demanding.
Meanwhile, Tony Ennis became the longest serving chairman of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs last week after he was re-elected at a meeting of the Board of Directors.
Ennis was first elected to the post in 2003 and has now surpassed previous holders Carl Geisler and Eddie Fowler, who held the post in the seventies and eighties.
Dublin based Kevin McGuinness was also re-elected as vice-chairman, a post he was first elected to in 2010.
Elsewhere Melissa O’Connor was voted by the National Committee to serve a three year term on the Executive Committee after an election took place on Saturday. O’Connor replaces Dympna Gibbons who retired from her seat after serving 12 years at the top table.
Outgoing members Kevin McGuinness and Thomas Daniels also re-elected for another three year term.
The elections took place prior to the annual general meeting of the Association of Irish Riding Clubs at the Racket Hall Country Hotel in Roscrea, Co, Tipperary.
During the AGM, Helen Mangan was returned unopposed as president for the honorary position for another term, a post she has held since 2005. Gerry Thompson was also returned unopposed for vice president position for another year.
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