ILDRA - Home of Endurance Riding in Ireland

Next Ride Notice

Delamont Country Park - BBQ - Sat Jul 4 2015 - Ulster Branch

The next - Ulster Branch ride featuring PR and Annual BBQ will be held at Delamont Country Park, Downpatrick, Co Down on Sat Jul 4 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.

Oldcourt - Sun Jul 19 2015 - Leinster Branch

The next - Leinster Branch ride featuring 80km CTR (subject to pre entries),PR will be held at Oldcourt, Co, Wicklow on Sun Jul 19 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.

Scottish Championships - Sat Aug 8 2015 - Leinster Branch

The next - Leinster Branch ride featuring Many and Varied will be held at Perth Racecourse on Sat Aug 8 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.

2015 HICC New Irish Chef d'Equipe

Selection Criteria Announced

The new Irish Home International and Celtic Challenge Chef d'Equipe for 2015 is Robyn Catterall. When appointed earlier in the year Robyn said ""I am very honored and excited to be announced as the new chef for Ireland, I look forward to this season and good luck to all."

Robyn, who has represented Ireland on many HI & CC teams over the years has a wealth of experience. She also has a number of FEI and 160km rides under her belt so is well qualified to step up to this role. We [...]



ILDRA Leinster branch returned to Wicklow this month, to the very popular ride in Castleruddery. The ride organiser Sam Hawkins once again running a glorious ride.

With the help of local land owners and Caoilte a route was planned which tested the Competitive riders with climbs and descents mixed with good level going, those same climbs gave the riders who wanted an enjoyable day in the saddle and lovely views over the country side an opportunity to view the Glen of Imaal and [...]


2014 - the top rides

Home International, Celtic Challenge, Pony Club Championships and WEG

Not our day but the spirit of competition alive and well.

This year the Home Internationals and Celtic Challenge were held in Yetholm in Scotland on the 16th and 17th of August. Last year (2013) the Irish team won the Home International at Barbery Castle, England. We were determined to defend this title and put a strong team forward.

The Home International and Celtic Challenge are competitions run on an annual basis with each of the four countries, Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, taking turns to host the event. This year it was Scotland’s turn and a very professional job they did. SERC are to be commended on their hosting of the event throughout.

The event is made up of teams of riders of different ages and levels of experience from juniors and 40km rides to the challenging 2 day 160km rides for the most experienced and fittest of riders and horses.

Sadly victory evaded the Irish team but some very impressive individual performances were produced by horses and riders.

World Equestrian Games - WEG

Congratulations to both Helen McFarland and Tom MacGuinness who both qualified for the World Equestrian Games held in Normandy at the end of August. Unfortunately, along with nearly 80% of the entrants they both failed the vet at different stages, Helen with only 1 short loop to go, but the achievement of qualifying and the experience of competing at this prestigious event for both riders and crews was both enjoyable and a big learning curve.

Congratulations to both riders on qualifying, no easy task on its own, and their crews.

Pony Club Championships

What a great summer Pony Club Endurance had and huge congratulations to the 6 Area 17 riders who went to the championships and did so well.

 After  qualifying at the St. Patrick's Coast ride in April a team of 6 riders traveled to Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire to compete at the Pony Club Endurance Championships, the first riders to represent the area at this event.

Morgan Skillen on Mayo (Mid Antrim) won the individual competition with Kathryn Weir on Shannon’s Delight (Iveagh) coming second and Kirstin Thom on Cloonlee Red River (Mid Antrim) coming third.

Kathryn and Kirstin were also on the winning team along with Tara Findley on Cindy (East Down). 

 Morgan was part of the team coming in fourth place along with Olivia Hughes on Hockley Suzie (East Down) and Emma Greer on Abbey Star (Iveagh).

Very well done to ALL of them and thanks to Kerry Burch who acted as team Chef d’Equipe in my absence.

Who are ILDRA? and what is Endurance Riding?

ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) is the governing body for Endurance Riding in Ireland and is affiliated to Horse Sport Ireland (HSI).

It organises a series of rides throughout Ireland. Most rides involve a Pleasure Ride for members and non-members, normally of about 8 miles, and a series of CTRs (Competitive Trail Rides) over a number of distances starting from 20 miles for members. Some events also feature ERs (Endurance Races) - these normally start at 50 miles and are for experiences horses and riders only.

So what is Endurance Riding - Perhaps it is useful to say what Endurance Riding isn't. It isn't a long pony trek, ambling through lanes, it isn't for the faint hearted, and it isn't for the rider who doesn't actually enjoy being in the saddle for long.

So what is it? It is a unique competitive challenge and a supreme sport for learning about equine fitness. Veterinary checks before and after competitive rides - and in the middle too for longer distances - ensures the best possible care is taken of your horse. Any problems can be picked up earlier rather than later.

You, the rider, learn more about the way your horse functions, with the importance of regulating your riding to suit conditions which will affect the way your horse behaves and how he presents to the vet Key factors include:

  • The terrain: is it hilly or flat, sandy or hard ground?
  • The weather: is it cold, wet, foggy, or hot and sunny?
  • The route: does it look to be difficult to follow on the map, or a more simple circular course?


Next Events

Sat Jul 4 2015
Delamont Country Park - BBQ

Sun Jul 19 2015

Sun Jul 26 2015
Millyard Equestrian Centre

Sat Aug 8 2015
Scottish Championships

Sun Aug 9 2015
Shanes Castle