Report & Results:
The 2019 endurance season for ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) kicked off brilliantly on the 17th of February with all 10 CTR (Competitive Trail Rides) riders and horse successfully completing their distances. Tollymore Forest Park had an initially misty start to the day, however this soon transformed into sunshine with perfect riding conditions for both horse and rider alike. Riders enjoyed the mountainous views across the County Down landscape and coastline whilst meandering through the forest park trails along the River Shimna.
Veterinary duties were diligently performed on the day by David Nealon, MRCVS, who was kept busy throughout the day with the high number of CTR entries. Congratulations must go to Susie Kinley and her horse ‘Tippy’ who completed their first Pre-Novice CTR with ILDRA of 16km. Tippy showed excellent promise as an endurance horse, beginning and finishing on the same heart rate of 44 beats per minute. ILDRA strongly encourages everyone of all ages to try out endurance. There is always advice and help on offer and the ILDRA endurance Shamrock qualification system ensures that horses and riders build fitness correctly as they progress through the grades. Many of ILDRA’s competition horses are ‘golden oldies’ still completing distances of 50 miles, testament to the success of ILDRA’s grading system.
Thanks must go to the organisers of Neil and Tasha Anderson and to the Forestry Service for allowing access to Tollymore Forest Park. ILDRA’s next ride is on the 10th of March at the magnificent Baronscourt Estate near Omagh. Pleasure rides along with CTRs are on offer, with a reminder to all CTR riders to enter online or via post with the ride organiser. For further details please contact the ride organiser, Kathy Conly, or through ILDRA’s facebook page or website www.enduranceridingireland.com.
16km (10 miles): Susie Kinley on Tippy.
32km (20 miles): Emma Hayes on Yasser Arafat, Ruth Lyness on Autumn Whisper, Karina McVeigh on Cheyenne, Helen McFarland on J St Jake, Jenni Cunningham on Just C’Mall, Susan Hunter on Lucy, Mary Thompson on Horseware Positano, Dermott MacGuinness on Shinook, Jocelyn Willis on Sam.
Tollymore Forest Park is a beautiful venue for long walks on foot and on horseback along the Shimna river over bridges up hills and all with lovely views out over the Irish Sea and over Newcastle and the Mourne Mountains. Great for a lovely Pleasure Ride.
This is also the venue for the Ulster Region's 1st Competitive Ride (CTR) and Pony Club Ride (PC) for 2019. Remember for CTR and PC rides you need to enter in advance ON-LINE or by post with payment - to enter by post use the link on the web page to download your entry form and send it to the ride organiser, details above.
This is also the first ride in the Ulster Region 2019 league open to competitive riders as well as pleasure riders. Details available from the ride organiser.