ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) headed to the West of the province to County Fermanagh on Sunday, April 10 to Florence Court Estate. Dry weather made for enjoyable riding conditions, with riders taking in the varied trails in Florence Court. Riders made their way towards Cuilcagh Mountain, enjoying scenic views across the Fermanagh countryside. Thanks go to Kirsten Conly and John Anderson for marking the route and to the Conly family for organising the ride on the day. Thanks also go to the National Trust for allowing access to Florence Court Estate.
ILDRA’s next ride then headed to Clandeboye Estate on Saturday, April 23, hosting a charity pleasure ride in aid of Huntington’s Disease Association Northern Ireland to help raise funds for this well-deserving organisation.
What is Huntington’s Disease (HD)?
HD is an inherited disease with symptoms, usually starting at mid-adulthood, causing a progressive loss of control over thoughts, feelings, behaviour, movement and communication, until the person requires 24-hour care. Every child conceived naturally by a parent with HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. There are over 150 families affected by HD in Northern Ireland and currently no cure. The easiest way to describe HD is Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS, all rolled into one.
Riders enjoyed the beautiful trails available at Clandeboye Estate, taking in views of the magnificent stately house, the impressive swan and duck-filled lake, woodland trails and even a brilliant field to enjoy a gallop (or two!) in. To help raise even more funds for this charity, ILDRA organised a raffle (spearheaded by Kirsten Conly) with brilliant prizes on offer for the lucky ticket winners! Thanks go to all those who had donated prizes for the charity raffle: KCD Krafts, Hannah Catterall Photography, Balmoral, Pat Turley, Judy Maxwell – Baileys, Digby’s Bar and Restaurant, Arose Café, Woodview Garden Centre, Ballyboley Garden Accessories, Bushmills Distillery, Jungle NI, Omniplex Cinema, Mr John Anderson, Linwoods Food, Oliver’s Spar and Post Office, Tropic VIP, Premier Saddlery, Mr and Mrs McFarland, Mud Daddy, Long Meadow Cider, Turtle Dove Gloves, ILDRA Ulster Branch, St Patrick’s Coast, Dundonald Ice Bowl, Mellon Country Hotel, McKeevers Sports Shop, Guinness Storehouse, Todd’s Leap, TG Hawthorne, Greenes Furnishings, Broomhill Horse Holidays, Killyhevlin Hotel, TRI Equestrian, Limepark Equestrian, R and J Lyness, Performance Equestrian, Robyn Catterall, Tynan Pharmacy, Lee Simpson, Autobits.
ILDRA is very pleased to share that £1,700 was raised for Huntington’s Disease Association Northern Ireland from the ride entries and from the tickets sold from the charity raffle! Thanks go to the McFarland family for marking and organising the ride on the day and to John Anderson for assisting with de-marking the route. Thanks go to the Clandeboye Estate and to Mark Logan for assisting with and allowing access to this wonderful venue for ILDRA.
ILDRA’s next ride takes place at the much-loved venue of Shane’s Castle on May 15, offering pleasure rides (PRs), vetted pleasure rides (VPRs) and competitive trail rides (CTRs). All entries must be made online and in advance via ILDRA’s website. Don’t forget that ILDRA’s league for 2022 is running at Shane’s Castle.
If you have been wondering how to improve your horse’s fitness (regardless of your main discipline), then endurance riding could be the sport for you!
Why not come along to one of ILDRA’s upcoming rides and take part in a Vetted Pleasure Ride? You’ll have the opportunity to find out your horse’s heart rates before and after completing your pleasure ride (at a distance and speed of your choosing) and have a measure of how fit your horse is. What is even better is the current three for two offer on Vetted Pleasure Rides, enter two rides and get your third vet check for free! You can also combine this with ILDRA’s league running for 2022 until the end of August (simply pay a one-off league joining fee online when making your ride entry), with categories for both VPRs and CTRs and the opportunity to win some fabulous rosettes. This is the perfect opportunity to help build up both you and your horse’s fitness ahead of the eagerly anticipated St. Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride taking place in September. Check out ILDRA’s Facebook page for further details or get in contact with ILDRA via their website or Facebook page.
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