ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) headed to Shane’s Castle Estate near Antrim on Sunday, May 15 for a day of pleasure riding (PRs), vetted pleasure rides (VPRs) and competitive trail rides (CTRs), with an impressive turnout of horses and riders. Riders enjoyed the bluebell-covered trails at Shane’s Castle, with views towards Lough Neagh and heading into the nearby Randalstown Forest with great riding conditions on the day. Several riders also opted to take part in vetted rides at Shane’s Castle, allowing them to explore their horse’s fitness and learn more about the endurance vetting process.
Congratulations go to Helen McFarland on ‘Chalima de Gueyte’ for the successful completion of their Silver Shamrock qualification at Shane’s Castle by riding a 64km (40 miles) CTR. The ILDRA Shamrock system is designed to help horses and riders progress up through the different grades of endurance, gradually building fitness and stamina – some even progress to international levels! The attending veterinary surgeon, David McCann MRCVS (with his friendly assistant Peter Bartlett) was kept busy with both CTR and VPR riders undergoing vet checks before and after their respective rides. Congratulations go to all riders and horses who took part in a vetted ride.
Thanks go to the McFarland family for marking the route and to the organisers, stewards and volunteers who assisted with running the ride on the day; Ros Morecombe, David Cunningham, John Anderson, Ashley Knowles, Lynda Hayes, Declan and Helen Lynch. Without the massive help from so many volunteers, these wonderful rides would simply not happen! Thanks also go to the O’Neill family and Shane’s Castle Estate staff for allowing access and to the Forestry Service for allowing access to Randalstown Forest.
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 our 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 of your choosing) and have a measure of how fit your horse is. What is even better is the current 3 for 2 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, with categories for PRs, VPRs and CTRs and the opportunity to win some fabulous rosettes. Check out ILDRA’s Facebook page for further details or get in contact with ILDRA via their website or Facebook page.
ILDRA’s next ride is at Baronscourt Estate on May 29, offering PRs, VPRs and CTRs. All entries must be made in advance online. For further information, please visit ILDRA’s website or Facebook page.
Sunday, May 15
Shane’s Castle Estate
CTR 64 km (40 miles):
Helen McFarland, Chalima de Gueyte.
VPR 32 km (20 miles):
Emma Hayes, Yasser Arafat.
VPR 16 km (10 miles):
Ruth Lyness, Amber; Charlotte Moore, Cherry; Kelsie Erskine, Mehall; Tara Findlay, Derryvane Pettingo; Wendy Findlay, Ceide Lauryn.
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