Friday, May 24, 2013

Ireland: Castleruddery - Full Story

Event: Castleruddery

Date: Sun May 19 2013

Mountains, valleys, forests and rivers - it's no wonder our prehistoric forebearers chose to settle here and raise the mysterious and timeless standing stone circle at Castleruddery. All was just as beautiful and mystical for the setting of the recent ILDRA endurance ride, organised superbly (as usual) by Sam Hawkins and his capable team of helpers, Larry O'Neill, Nicki Boud-Tighe, Emma McCarthy and Gillian Moody, with the veterinary expertise of Barbara Fonzo available to assess the horses competing.

Sam had marked a route which made great use of farmland and forest tracks, taking in Fauna and Mulrew forests with the farthest reaches of the trail stretching into Drumreagh at the back of Church Mountain. The tracks were in the best condition possible, with several stretches greatly improved from previous years and there can be few more delightful canter sections on endurance rides than those situated within the scenic Glen of Imaal - particularly on a sunny day! The route rode very well indeed with enough challenging terrain to make it a true 'endurance' test. In addition to the marvellous scenery (and to keep the horses on their toes!), riders caught frequent glimpses of wildlife, including deer and hare...

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