Report & Results:
ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) returned to the magnificent Shane’s Castle Estate for the second time this year on the 15th of July 2018. Offering a range of CTR distances and pleasure ride route options, there was something on offer for every rider on the day. The drastic change in weather conditions from the blazing sunshine of late to a rainy riding day did not deter the keen riders and certainly didn’t ‘dampen’ the enjoyment of the day.
Young pheasants and fields of sheep and lambs were some of the sights which awaited the riders. For those who chose to include the longer Randalstown Forest Park loop, a few elusive herds of deer could be spotted as well as keen eyes seeing the varieties of birds of prey visible through the woods towards the forest park’s car park.
The attending veterinarian on the day was David Nealon, MRCVS. David was not only kept busy by checking the regular CTR riders but also introducing two new riders and horses into the world of endurance and the vetting process. Michael Fulton on “Fletcher” and Ann-Marie Donnelly on “Robbie” both successfully completed a vetted 10-mile pleasure ride gaining an insight into the vetting process, ride conditions and speeds required to complete a competitive trail ride. Both horses showed promise at competing in endurance rides with sound trot-ups and heart rates, despite being novices in the sport. “Fletcher” is a young horse at 4 years old and has not yet settled on a discipline whereas “Robbie” is a regular in the showjumping world and working hunter classes picking up numerous prizes. Congratulations go to both riders.
Several CTR riders completed a range of ride distances up to 30 miles, with all riders successfully completing their respective distances, congratulations go to all of these riders. Many of ILDRA’s CTR riders have begun to focus their training attention on the annual St. Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride hosted from the Downpatrick Racecourse on Saturday the 1st of September. A truly spectacular ride taking in the stunning County Down landscape across miles of open fields and the vast sands of Tyrella beach backdropped by the breath-taking Mourne Mountains. Described as Ireland’s premier endurance ride, having been ridden by riders from all of the United Kingdom and Ireland it is a must do. Featuring a range of distances from pleasure rides to competitive trail rides and endurance races it has something on offer for everyone and is a date to save. Please note that entries for St. Patrick’s Coast must be made in advance online, for further details see ILDRA’s website.
Many thanks go to the ride organisers of Neil and Tasha Anderson, David McAdoo and Gwen Jaswal for running and organising the ride on the day. Thanks also go to the O’Neill family and estate staff for allowing access to Shane’s Castle and to the forestry service for allowing access to Randalstown Forest Park.
ILDRA’s next Ulster Branch ride is at Millyard Equestrian Centre near Anahilt, Hillsborough on the 29th of July 2018. Offering pleasure rides and the optional extra to have a go on Millyard’s cross country course. For further information contact the ride organiser, Emma Hayes. Further ride details are available on www.enduranceridingireland.com or through ILDRA’s facebook page
40km (25 miles): Jocelyn Willis on Sam, Jane Hobson on Glenoran Steps, Tasha Anderson on Just C’mall.
48km (30 miles): Karina McVeigh on Cheyenne.
We return to the popular venue of Shane's Castle for the second time this year.
A great ride and suitable for all levels from shorter Pony Club rides to 80km (50 mile)CTRs.
Fairly flat course is great to accompany younger riders. Entries welcome from Pony Club members with official Pony Club log cards. Rosettes available for all completions. Adults can also ride with juniors or accompany, if required, on bikes or for shorter rides on foot.
CTRs vetting at 9:00am - Pony Clubers vetting at 9:30am - Pleasure rides from 10:00am - last start time 1:30pm.
Remember all competitive rides (CTRs and Pony Club) must be entered in advance with payment included - by post to rideorganiser or using the on-line system - see links below