Jarlath Lee – It’s a Showjumping Life

It’s a Showjumping Life

By Jarlath Lee

Hello my name is Tiger.I am a black 128 pony.My mother`s name is Galway Girl.She is a chestnut pony which is light brown colour,she is also only 110cm,Obviously when I was only a young foal I was smaller but with a lot to eat I`ve grown! I was born in Clydagh,Headford,County Galway.My owners names were Jarlath and Benny Lee. Benny is Jarlath`s dad.When i was 4 I was registered with the SJI(Show Jumping Ireland),so that I could compete in horse shows.My show jumping name was Black Shade of Gold because in the late summer when my new coat comes there is a goldy colour mixed in.

I also need to be a certain height to qualify in128cm.The next height is 138cm then 148cm but after that it goes in to horses.When I go to get measured Benny and Jarlath bring me to Duffy`s equestrian Centre.I also jump there as well.When ever I did good Jarlath would give me extra hay or feed. In the morning Jarlath fed me oats,barley and beet pulp. I loved that. On weekdays Jarlath would have me out on the road. Then when we were done he would let me out to play with the horses in the paddock which is a small field.On Fridays Jarlath would hack me out extra long so I’d gain up a sweat and then he’d wash me.

I loved getting a wash because you were so refreshed for the weekend and clean as well.When I’m looking out of my stable door I see Jarlath and Benny getting prepared for the weekend. Jarlath has to get the bridle and saddle for me so he is secure. He also has to get his helmet and body protector, they are very important so you don’t get hurt. He also has to get his boots and show jumping jacket. Jarlath fills hay nets and cleans the truck. That always excites me. On Saturday night Jarlath brushes me down and cleans my hoofs. I also have to get a pair of shoes which are like a metal U. On Sunday Jarlath loads me up on the truck beside my friend Misty. She is a grey 138cm pony. Jarlath also show jumps her but between you and me I think I`m his favourite. Then Paddy is also beside also beside me.He is Benny’s horse,he jumps in the amateurs which is 1m 10cm and 1m 20cm.

I want to be able to jump in Dublin when I’m older.I jump in 1m and 1m 10cm. If you go clear in the first round you go into a speed round. Whoever is the fastest jumper wins. I once won in Headford and I came 2nd in Ballintubber. I enjoy jumping because it is exciting and fun. I also love staying the night at shows. At Millstreet horseshow in Cork I get to stay the week in a different stable with loads of new horses and ponies. I made a new friend called Silver Legend, he was in the the same class as me, he was a white 128cm pony. After the first night chatting with Silver I was jumping a 1m class to qualify for the final on Saturday. Usually there’s only 5 or 6 ponies jumping at home but this time there were 47 ponies. I had to beat 46 ponies  to get to the final on Saturday! 27 ponies passed and it was now my turn to show them what I got! I looked around to see what the course was like when I heard the judge say “ NOW IN THE RING IS BLACK SHADE OF GOLD AND JARLATH LEE!” Jarlath tapped me on the shoulder for good luck and then we were off. I came up to the 1st fence which was a  black and white  oxer which is two fences put together. I flew over it like it was a twig on the ground. Then came to the 2nd then 3rd then 4th and 5th . Then 6th and 7th kinda spooked me but I didn’t  mind. I came up to it the same as the first. I just popped over it and looked at the next fence, it was the last one and if I jumped it I would be in the jump off! I came up to it, I felt I would never come down. I cleared it, I heard a big cheer. Now I had to wait for the jump off.

Benny had a carrot for me when I walked out and Jarlath rubbed me and said “You’re some lad Tiger” After 20 minutes it was jump off time. The whole wait I was nervous but in a good way.Silver, my friend,went ahead of me. He had a great time, at 29:54 no one would beat him, but I knew that I could. On my way in I passed by Silver and said “well done”. I waited for the bell to ring, and when it did I took off. After the 1st jump there was a quick turn to number 2 then another quick turn after 2 to 3 then straight on to 4 then one more quick turn to 5 then a long gallop to 6. When I cleared them all I looked up at the clock and you’ll never believe I won… I had a time of 29:39. I had beaten Silver by the skin of my teeth. That means I’m in the final on Saturday. One day skipped by talking to Silver. I never noticed that today was the final. Jarlath gave me wash and extra meal. I also got a new bridle, the class was in the main arena where only the best riders and ponies go. There were a thousand seats around the place, it was massive, everyone was watching. There was a big pocket as well so that you could practice. It was so exciting. I was 5th to go out of 20, Silver was second. He likes

going early because there is not that much pressure. The first pony to go was Bally Briggan but he started before the bell and you’re not allowed to start before the bell. So you have to be concentrating. Silver went clear, his hind legs (his back legs) went so high. After Wonder and Diamond jumped it was my turn to go. I stepped into the ring , I waited for the bell and I centred on my 1st fence which was small ,then I went on to the 2nd fence which was a dog leg which is a bend between two fences.I was now on the last fence, my heart was beating like a drum, I was anxious to jump it. It was a blue oxer, it was no bother to me. The next thing I knew I had cleared it! Now came the speed round. Out of 20 only 5 got through. The bad thing was that there was only 1st,2nd and 3rd place. I was last to go, Silver was the fastest with 30:36 then Diamond with 31:07 , the next had 30:36 then Brakin with 32:12. I galloped in to show off. It was dull when I walked into the arena but cleared straight away. I spun around and galopped to the fence, I jumped skopey which is a long jump. Now I did a sharp turn, Jarlath nearly fell off! Which was kinda funny. The 3rd, 4th and 5th fences were tiny but the 6th and 7th were massive but I cleared them. Now was the last fence. I came up to it and I landed, but this time I didn’t clear it. I knocked the top pole, I couldn’t help feeling it was my fault, but Jarlath knew it was his. Silver had won! He was smiling, well to me he was. I said goodbye to Silver. Jarlath rubbed me on the shoulder and loaded me on to the truck. It was a long ride back home. I did miss the washing stable,the arenas and Silver. I was now at my own stable,my own feed and my own stable door to look out of. A man who was watching me at Millstreet came to the stables to look at me. I knew Jarlath was too old now and wasn’t allowed to ride me anymore so he would have to sell me. Jarlath was an hour saying goodbye and getting to know the girl that will ride me. She brought me up to the pocket to see how I was and Jarlath watched me. She was a great rider, she loved me. Jarlath gave me a silly kiss and said goodbye. Jarlath couldn’t help having a little tear in his eye and that was it. The truck closed up, and before I could go, Jarlath gave me a new rug to remember him. Then we went up. It was a long journey up to Tipperary. They had a big truck and I had a big space in the back of the truck. Aisling, who was my new owner took me down and put me in a stable. I missed Jarlath so much that I didn’t notice Silver beside me, I said hello and we talked all night. Before I went to sleep, I thought about how much I missed Jarlath and I know he missed me too….


Jarlath Lee, 6th Class, Clydagh N.S., Headford,Co.Galway


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