Report & Results:
Quite a long way to travel for many of our competitive riders, no pun intended, but well worth the effort. Thanks go to Kirsten and Kathy Conly who marked out a fantastic 40km (25 mile) single loop for CTR riders taking in the tracks to the East of the main estate though the forests up Bessy Bell. The going was a bit slower here due to the track conditions but this was made up for by the magnificent views across miles of country side, then crossing over to the West and miles of grassy and good going tracks though the forestry area before returning to the main Estate and a loop around the lake. Pleasure riders route took them to the west, missing out the slower tracks but enjoying the superb going on the 2nd half of the larger loop. With just over 20 riders out this weekend the tracks were not busy and the superb weather ensured everyone had a really enjoyable ride.
David Nealham MRCVS performed the veterinary duties on the day with all starters completing successfully in what was a beautiful day. Riders started with their coats on, as the thermometer struggled to keep up with the rising sun, but were soon shedding coats to their crews as the sun manged to win out and the mercury level rose significantly.
Notable rides on the day included Jocelyn Willis and David Cunningham with both achieving their Bronze awards with successful 40km (25 mile) finishes. In recent years David was often seen popping out from behind trees with his camera but after nearly 10 years of involvement with ILDRA, and over 30 years out of the saddle, he has paired up with Helen McFarland’s C’Mall this year to. Jocelyn Willis, in her first year with ILDRA, competed her first 40km on Sam. Congratulations to both.
Our thanks also go to Lord Abercorn and the estate staff at Baronscourt for facilitating access to this stunning venue. Unlike England, with its rights of way and bridal paths, and Scotland’s “Right to Roam”, there are few venues on the island of Ireland where we can get such long single loops. Having access to a 25 mile loop removes the need to repeat endless loops and greatly enhances the rides for everyone, particularly for competitive riders and those horses competing over longer distances.
This ride at Baronscourt, along with the St. Patrick’s Coast ride and rides based in Donard, Co. Wicklow, are the only ones we currently can host with longer loops. (Note: St Patrick’s Coast Ride will be held this year on the first weekend in September - a date for your diary).
Results from Baronscourt...
40km (25 miles)
David Cunningham - Just C’Mall
Helen McFarland - J St. Jake
Roseanna Andrew - Arnie
Ruth Lyness - Amber
Dermot Mac Guinness - Shinook
Jocelyn Willis - Sam
48m (30 miles)
Mary Thompson - Asparina
We return to the West of the province for the first of 2 rides in succession - no excuses of not getting to one of them if you are from this area..
Baronscourt Estate is Lord Abercorn’s magnificent seat….the great number of fine oaks and three long narrow lakes which ornament this place give it an air of great grandeur.” While you ride around the estate in spring and early summer you can enjoy the magnificent displays of bluebells, rhododendrons and azaleas. The carefully tended woods along with the lakes create a truly enchanted location in which to ride away from the pressures of modern living.
This ride is not to hilly and suitable for accompanying younger children on foot or bike.
CTRs and Pony Club Rides of up to 80km available - remember you must enter in advance for ALL competitive rides now. Use the new for 2017 on-line system or good old Royal Mail - links to the system and form below - on-line payment will be by credit card, postal entries must be accompanied with payment.