ILDRA - Home of Endurance Riding in Ireland

Next Ride Notice

Castleruddery - Sun Jun 7 2015 - Leinster Branch

The next - Leinster Branch ride featuring 80km (pre entry essentical) CTR, PR will be held at Castleruddery, Co. Wicklow on Sun Jun 7 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.

Going the Distance (POSTPONED - New date will be published when arranged) - Thu Jun 11 2015 - Ulster Branch

The next - Ulster Branch ride featuring Module 3 - SUPPORT - Crewing | After Care | Maps | Travel will be held at TBC on Thu Jun 11 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.

St. Patrick's Coast Ride - Sat Jun 27 2015 - Ulster Branch

The next - Ulster Branch ride featuring FIE CEI 1 * + CEIYJ 1* , CEI 2 * + CEIYJ 2*, National ER, CTR, RC & PC will be held at Downpatrick Racecourse on Sat Jun 27 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.


St. Patrick's Coast 2015 Entries now open

You can enter the event as well as book a stable, food tickets for the Saturday Evening and other services all from the on-line entry system.

Remember to add the Vaccination Date for your horse or pony in the box provided.

FEI competitors must also enter through the FEI system and their NF.

Riding Club , Schools and Pony Club please use the appropriate form and declare for which ever events sections you wish to compete in. All others, ER,

CTR and Pleasure Ride [...]

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Mournes - Starting from Tollymore Forest Park

Endurance riders were treated to a day of sparkling sunshine, amazing views and film-set scenery at the recent Mournes ride. The route for the competitive riders took in both Tollymore and Castlewellan forests, joined by a network of bridle paths and quiet country roads. A sudden rise in temperature made the hilly terrain even more challenging than usual and it is a tribute to the levels of fitness and commitment in the growing endurance community, that all the horses coped [...]

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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?