POINT-to-point action returns to the county this weekend with the East Clare Harriers’ hosting their annual meeting on the Flynn family lands at Garranboy, Killaloe.
Always a well-supported fixture, Sunday’s meeting kicks off at 1pm with a six-year-old mares’ maiden and this will be followed by a winners’ race. The third event is a five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden while half an hour later runners will go to post for an older geldings’ maiden. The penultimate contest is an older mares’ maiden while a competitive mares’ open will close the card.
Stamina will be at a premium on Sunday over what is an undulating, but fair track which will certainly take a bit of getting given the inclement weather we have experienced over the past few weeks.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s fixture, East Clare Hunt point-to-point secretary Gerry English revealed: “We are all set for a great day’s racing. The course is in tip-top shape and we are lucky that the land there is of such quality and dries out quite quickly. There is a nice coating of grass which is also a big help and some drainage work that was carried out back in the autumn has also been very beneficial. We are just hoping now for a bit of nice weather over the next few days.”
Sadly, one familiar face missing from Killaloe on Sunday will be that of the late Tony Marsh, who dies tragically following a horse-related accident last August.
A founding father of both the East Clare Harriers and the point-to-point, Marsh was a huge racing and hunting fan and the Broadford native’s passing has left a major void in the East Clare community, according to English, who commented: “Sunday will be a bitter-sweet day for us and the late Tony will be in all our thoughts throughout the afternoon. He was, without doubt, the inspiration behind this meeting and it only now that he’s gone everybody realises just how much work he did for both the hunt and the point-to-point. We will be presenting a cup for one of the races on Sunday in his memory,” concluded English, who hails from nearby Ogonnelloe.