Report & Results:
The Irish Long Distance Riding Association (ILDRA) headed to the Mournes, County Down on the 9th of June for their mountainous ride taking in Tollymore Forest Park and bridleways leading to Slievenaslat’s summit for CTR riders completing longer distances. David Nealon, MRCVS, was the attending veterinary on the day and was kept busy checking over the several CTR horses.
Numerous pleasure riders also attended the ride to enjoy the lengthy trails available at Tollymore Forest Park which offer spectacular views across the Mourne Mountains alongside riverside trails of the River Shimna. ILDRA’s rides, which take in many beautiful locations across Northern Ireland, offer safe off-road riding and are perfect training opportunities for young horses, whether to build fitness or to introduce these horses to attending events. Regular ILDRA riders, John Anderson and David McAdoo both brought along new horses to ILDRA’s ride of ‘Area Access’ and ‘Mitsy’, with both horses and riders enjoying the pleasure ride trail around Tollymore Forest Park.
Many riders are now turning their attention to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride on the 7th of September which offers spectacular riding across the County Down landscape taking in the vast beaches of Tyrella to old railway lines and gallops along Downpatrick Racecourse. This year St. Patrick’s Coast plays host to the ILDRA Nationals offering a range of competition distances from 10 miles to 75 miles for both CTR, Riding Club members, Pony Club members, Pleasure Riders and a range of other classes such as side-saddle and western riders.
Many thanks go to the Ulster Branch Committee for organising and running the ride on the day. Thanks also go to the forestry service for allowing access. ILDRA’s next ride is at Shane’s Castle near Antrim on the 23rd of June offering pleasure rides and competitive trail rides. For further information contact the ride organiser, Tasha Anderson, or through ILDRA’s Facebook page.
40km (25 miles)
Helen McFarland on J St Jake, Roseanna Andrews on She Stoops to Conquer.
32km (20 miles)
Emma Hayes on Yasser Arafat, Ruth Lyness on Autumn Whisper, Jocelyn Willis on Sam.
16km (10 miles)
Gail Hadden on Diesel.
CTR Riders have the option, depending on distance, to leave the park and do an extended lap taking in part of Castlewellan. Those chosing to do this MUST have a mobile crew and the crew MUST be present at the main road crossings, (4 in total, 2 out and 2 back).
The annual Mournes ride is a great venue to ride over and through. The ride takes in Castlewellan Forest Park and Tollymore Forest Park for the longer rides, with great views and lovely trails in the parks and along the linking routes taking in lanes, St. Patrick's Way and a little road work.
This ride is organised by the Ulster Branch Committee