Report & Results:
ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) headed to the west of the country on the 29th of April to the stunning National Trust property of Florencecourt estate with several riders enjoying pleasure rides and CTRs (Competitive Trail Rides) throughout the day. Florencecourt has recently gained fame standing in as the filming location of Limmerige House in the new BBC television programme of the Woman in White.
Shaded woodland trails, mountainous viewpoints and tranquil river crossings were the order of the day. Even an elusive red squirrel was spotted! The stunning Fermanagh landscape was gloriously bathed in sunlight offering a touch of warmth and an opportunity to shed the winter riding coats.
Veterinary duties were diligently performed on the day by David Nealon, MRCVS, with all horses successfully passing their respective vettings. Shamrock qualifications were plentiful on the day with both Jane Hobson’s horse ‘Glenoran Steps’ and Mary Thompson’s horse ‘Matutina’ gaining their Bronze Shamrock Qualifications. The next ‘step’ on the endurance ladder is the completion of a 48km Silver Qualifier ride, successfully achieved on the day by Jacob Morrow’s horse ‘Kentucky Ten’. Congratulations go to all our CTR riders and those achieving their Shamrock Qualifications.
Congratulations must also go to Helen McFarland and her horse ‘J St Jake’, both Helen and Jake are an iconic and inspirational combination in the sport of endurance riding in Ireland for many other competitors. Jake has been competing in endurance with ILDRA since 2002 and is in his 17th consecutive season of endurance. Both Helen and Jake are highly experienced in the sport of endurance, with Jake having completed over 8,800km in competitive endurance rides. Jake shows no signs of slowing down at 23 years old and is sure to have many more endurance seasons ahead of him.
Many thanks to the National Trust for allowing access to Florencecourt estate and its excellent trails. Thanks also to the ride organisers of Kathy and Kirsten Conly for marking and organising the ride on the day.
ILDRA heads to Woodburn Forest Park on the 13th of May for the next Ulster branch ride. Please note that this ride is on a Saturday and offers Pleasure Rides only. For further details please contact the ride organiser, Helen McFarland, or through ILDRA’s facebook page or website www.enduranceridingireland.com.
16km (10 miles): Dermott MacGuinness on Chinook
32km (20 miles): Mary Thompson on Matutina, Jane Hobson on Glenoran Steps
40km (25 miles): Helen McFarland on J St Jake
48km (30 miles): Karina McVeigh on Cheyenne, Ruth Lyness on Autumn Whisper, Jocelyn Willis on Sam, Jacob Morrow on Kentucky Ten
All welcome for a great ride at Florencecourt Enniskillen, another trip to the West this year, to a beautiful National Trust property. Ride through the forest and into a Ford to cool the horses feet down and let them have a drink. Brilliant ride for all.
Ideally suited to younger children requiring adult accompaniment as it is a fairly flat ride.
Yet another reminder - ALL CTR entries must be with the ride organiser by closing date. You can enter on-line or by post. If by post remember to include your payment. Links to form and on-line system below.