New riders trying their hand at Endurance Riding at Cam Forest

ILDRA Cam Forest BR Farm
VIEW: The wonderful views from Cam Forest through the ears of ‘Holly’s Dream Flight’ and ‘Yasser Arafat’. (FW35-518NN)

ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) headed to Cam Forest near Limavady for their second visit this year on Sunday, August 25. Offering Competitive Trail Rides (CTRs) and Pleasure Rides, there was plenty of riding on offer for everyone. Beautiful sunny and warm weather made for excellent riding conditions, with many riders topping up their famous ‘equestrian’ tan!

Cam Forest is one of the more remote and rugged locations on ILDRA’s calendar of events. Long trails meander through the forest park, passing by small streams and crossing through fords. The attending vet was Stephanie Bethel, MRCVS, who was kept busy with the numerous CTR riders completing various distances throughout Cam Forest.

WELL DONE: CTR riders Jayne Woodward on ‘Boycie’ and Kate Higgins on ‘Mr Finnegan’ completed their Pre-Novice CTR at Cam Forest. (FW35-517NN)

Congratulations go to Kate Higgins on ‘Mr Finnegan’ and Jayne Woodward on ‘Boycie’ for completing their Pre-Novice CTRs with ILDRA. Congratulations also go to Bree Rutledge and her horse ‘Clovermount Rhinestone’ for successfully completing a 20-mile CTR and gaining the first stage to being awarded their Bronze Shamrock in endurance. ILDRA has an excellent Shamrock system of awards, which ensures that horses and riders progress safely through the levels of endurance and attain the correct fitness required for completing longer and tougher rides.

Many thanks go to the ride organisers, Kirsten and Kathy Conly, for marking and running the ride on the day. Thanks also go to the forestry service for allowing access to Cam Forest.

ILDRA’s next event is the hotly anticipated St. Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride on Saturday, September 7. Starting at the excellent venue of Downpatrick Racecourse, this ride takes in so many different aspects of the County Down landscape, from gallops, old railway lines, miles of beach, shaded forest tracks to endless grassy fields. Unlike other pleasure rides hosted by ILDRA, all pleasure rides must be pre-entered in advance, using the online entry system – details of which are available on St. Patrick’s Coast’s website and facebook page. Entries are already quickly filling up, so don’t delay in booking your place so that you don’t miss out on simply the best ride in all of Northern Ireland!


Sunday, August 25

10 miles (16km): Jayne Woodward, Boycie; Kate Higgins, Mr Finnegan; Gail Hadden, Diesel; Ruth Lyness, Autumn Whisper.

CTR: Left, Bree Rutledge on ‘Clovermount Rhinestone’ on their way to completing a 20-mile CTR at Cam Forest. (FW35-516NN)

20 miles (32km): Helen McFarland, She Stoops to Conquer; Bree Rutledge, Clovermount Rhinestone.


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