AFTER an absence of many years, the Committee of
Iveagh Branch of the Pony Club is delighted to be hosting Pony Racing Rallies again.
Iveagh Branch has been very generously sponsored by the Down Royal Corporation of Horsebreeders, which was established in 1685 by Royal Charter. The Corporation is a unique entity capable of offering support in many areas to the Thoroughbred breeding, horseracing in-
dustry and the wider equine industry within Northern Ireland. John Kidd of Kidd’s Gallop at Loughbrickland is also kindly supporting the racing rallies.
The aim of the rallies is to build the rider’s balance and fitness, as well as the fitness and well-being of the pony. During the rallies, the riders have been using an ‘equicisor’ (racing simulator), this gives the riders a chance to put their forward racing seat into practice and give them a feel of what racing would be like. The racing simulator has been loaned by Alan Wells, this is an invaluable tool for the young riders.
The riders are pract-ising cantering in an enclosed space – here they are focusing on work with bridging reins, the racing position and shortened stirrups. The riders will be going to the gallops and doing field practise in a safe environment, this is where both rider and pony can trial travelling at speed and prepare for what it would be like to race.
Out of the saddle, topics covered will include the welfare and care of the racehorse in work and rest, as well as discussion and examples of horses that have excelled in other disciplines after a racing career. Iveagh Branch members and their families will learn how they can meet the needs of ex-race horses, ensuring that they have happy and comfortable lives long after their racing careers end.
The first rally was held on Thursday, May 13 at Moyallon. Alongside Iveagh coach, Micky McCann, the riders were advised by top winning jockeys, Jacqueline Kidd and Mark O’Hare, as well as winning trainer Ronan McNally. Also in attendance was Baileys representative, Judy Maxwell, who has been a winning jockey and breeder, as well as the mother of a Champion Jockey. There was certainly no shortage of top racing pedigree at Moyallon and many fabulously funny stories, which entertained and delighted the budding jockeys, who range in age from nine to 17 years old.
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