Thank You!

 Sun, 7th Oct, 2018

Unsung Heroes of DINCH 2019

Philippa Kearns
Sunday, 7th October 2019

It's been a week already since we wrapped up the 2018 Dressage Ireland National Championships. Congratulations to everyone who qualified, participated and especially those who took home rosettes and titles.

There is however another group of people who deserve special congratulations and heartfelt thanks for their tireless hard work in making the championships a success. Without these wonderful volunteers there would be no championships. They are our unsung heroes.

Our international judges (Alain Francqueville, Jacques van Daal, Tiina Karkkolainen, Jennie Loriston-Clarke, Sarah Leitch, Andrew Bennie, Kirsty Mepham, Richard Baldwin, Rachel Hillier, Annabel Scrimgeour, Roger Decock, Les Smith) who flew in from various countries and spent many hours sitting in the cold judging everyone's tests without complaint.

Our scribes and score collectors. Even our new National Champion Heike was out collecting score sheets in between riding.

Our commentators Paul Nolan, Jean Mitchell, Lisa O'Brien.

The scoring team Norbert Von Cramon, Eilis Von Cramon, Charlene Moore, Oisin Crawford & Sharon Watters. Sharon did not let competing get in the way of putting in some serious hours with the nose down! And Norbert was also our tech genius who got all our computer systems up and running including the fantastic live scoreboard.

The show team - headed up by Jane Whitaker - of Gerd Leikens Schurmans and Wouter Leikens, Cassandra Morris, Philippa Kearns and our chairperson Gillian Kyle were ever present making things happen and fielding queries. Gerd and Wouter flew in from Spain specially to help and Gerd took on the mammoth task of organising everyone's test times.

Alongside a full time job and her own horses Jane Whitaker, the Championships Coordinator puts all the pieces in place to ensure we have a championships worthy of champions. This would not be possible without the Dressage Ireland administration team of Norbert Von Cramon and Charlene Moore who are the mainstays of our organisation dealing with memberships, general queries, entries and essentially keeping the ship afloat.

All these people deserve huge thanks and praise for their hard work and commitment. The hours that go in behind the scenes as well as during the championships are not to be underestimated and we are hugely grateful to everyone who contributes to making the championships a success.

Thanks also go to Cavan Equestrian Centre for hosting our championships in their fabulous venue and to their staff who looked after us all so well.

Each year generous sponsors provide prizes and goodies that make things a little more special. Thank you to all our sponsors for their various contributions.

Finally thank you to everyone who brought food and goodies to help fuel all these incredible volunteers.

Work has already begun on the Winter Finals and, having hardly drawn breath, our unsung heroes are hard at work behind the scenes. If you would like to get involved and help make our championships occasions to remember - from scribing to scoring, call up to collecting sheets - please do contact us at

Dressage Ireland was born out of a desire by members to engage in a sport for which they shared a love. We are a "family" of sorts and by working together towards common goals we can achieve great things.

Here's to dressage in Ireland being bigger, better and brighter with every passing year!