Report & Results:
ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) headed to Shane’s Castle near Antrim for the first time this year on the 28th of April. Following Storm Hannah the previous day, the weather conditions on the day were much more favourable and many pleasure riders and competitive trail riders turned out to enjoyed the superb trails available at Shane’s Castle.
Colourful carpets of bluebells and wild garlic scents were scattered throughout the woodland trails, which cover both Shane’s Castle and the nearby Randalstown Forest. Elusive Muntjac deer could also be spotted through Randalstown’s forest as well as pheasants and partridges within the Shane’s Castle Estate. Grassy pathways and soft ground made for excellent riding conditions. Views of Lough Neagh awaited riders returning from their trails after passing over the River Maine through wide stone bridges.
The new attending veterinary on the day was Stephanie Cheevers BVM&S, MRCVS, who received an introduction to the sport of endurance riding and the many different types of horses which compete in endurance from Arabians and Coloureds to Irish Draughts, endurance is truly a sport of all horses, regardless of breed or age! Stephanie was kept busy with the several CTR riders competing and diligently checked over the CTR horses, all of which passed their respective distances. A clear sign of fitness amongst the horses and riders! Experienced endurance rider, Tasha Anderson on her new endurance horse ‘Templepan Twix’ commenced their endurance career together, completing a 10-mile Pre-Novice endurance ride. Congratulations go to both Tasha and Twix.
Thanks go to the organisers Neil and Tasha Anderson for marking the course and running the ride on the day. ILDRA extends its thanks to the O’Neill family and the Shane’s Castle Estate staff for allowing access and to the Forestry Service for allowing access to Randalstown Forest Park. ILDRA’s next ride takes place in the sprawling Baronscourt Estate in County Tyrone on the 5th of May, offering both CTR and pleasure rides in wonderful scenery with distances on offer for everyone. For further information contact the ride organiser Kathy Conly or through ILDRA’s website and facebook page.
16km (10 miles) Pony Club Merlin
Amy Murphy on Sweet Honey Bee.
16km (10 miles)
Tasha Anderson on Templepan Twix.
32km (20 miles)
Emma Hayes on Yasser Arafat, Ruth Lyness on Autumn Whisper, Jocelyn Willis on Sam, Helen McFarland on Just C’Mall, Gillian McFarland on She Stoops to Conquer, Declan Lynch on Kildare’s Rebel, Rachelle Lynch on Heidi. Susan Hunter on Colour Cascade.
48km (30 miles)
Karina McVeigh on Cheyenne.
A great ride and suitable for all levels from shorter Pony Club rides to 64km (40 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 9:30am - 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 ride organiser or using the new on-line system - see links below