ILDRA - Home of Endurance Riding in Ireland

Next Ride Notice

Castlewellan Forest Prk - Sat Apr 25 2015 - Ulster Branch

The next - Ulster Branch ride featuring CTR, PR & PC will be held at Castlewellan Forest Park, Castlewellan, Co. Down on Sat Apr 25 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.

Inistioge - Sun May 17 2015 - Leinster Branch

The next - Leinster Branch ride featuring 80km (pre entry essentical),PR will be held at Inistioge on Sun May 17 2015 - Full details available here and watch this space for last minute notices and changes.


Florencecourt

With snow covering the slopes of Cuilcagh and primroses lining the forest paths, it truly was a fresh Spring day at Florencecourt for the ILDRA endurance ride.  Fortunately the snow soon melted and the sun shone on the many competitive and pleasure riders who made the long trek to Co.Fermanagh. With increasing fitness levels as the season progresses, several riders chose the longer distance rides and are to be congratulated in achieving their goals - particular mention should be [...]

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Shane's Castle

Wind and rain proved no deterrent to the hardy endurance riders last weekend at Shane's Castle, with a record turnout for competitive riders at the venue. The safe, traffic-free route was an ideal introduction for several first-timers and the flat going made longer distances easily achievable, comparatively early in the season.

Congratulations are in order to young riders, Emma Greer and Kirstin Thom, on achieving their Silver Shamrock Final Awards, also to (not quite so young) [...]

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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?

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Next Events

Sat Apr 25 2015
Castlewellan Forest Prk

Sat May 2 2015
Schools and Pony Club Training Rides

Thu May 7 2015
Going the Distance

Sun May 10 2015
Venue to be confirmed

Sun May 17 2015
Inistioge