Dartrey Forest, Rockcorry
Sun Jul 7 2013
Endurance riders in Ulster pursued their sport through the usual extremes of Irish summer weather recently, with a rather soggy Barbeque in Gosford Forest at the end of June, followed by a sizzling summers day ride in July, at Dartrey Forest, near Monaghan. While the wet weather dampened the barbeque fire, it did little to quench the enthusiasm of the participants, who donated raffle proceeds to Irish Horse Welfare and celebrated the results of the early season Fun League. Many thanks to Kate Russell, who organised the day, and her band of helpers.
Dartrey Forest, outside the picturesque village of Rockcorry, was once part of the great Dartrey Estate and the Famine Wall which borders the forest on the Rockcorry/Cootehill road is a reminder of former times. Once through the wall, riders cross the Iron Bridge, (famed at the time of its construction for having "cast iron lattice work of the same import and design as that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris”) to access a network of paths winding through the forest. So congenial are these tracks that several riders had planned for this route as their ultimate challenge of a 50mile (80km) ride. Despite the extra problems created by the sudden increase in temperature, all were successful. Once again thanks are due to Kathy Conly and Kirsten Conly Devlin for marking, organising and generally making this ride happen! Also to the ever patient vet, David Nealham (at least he was able to soak up the rays while waiting for the 50milers!) Crewing, as ever, played an important role in helping horses to cope with the heat, by providing hydration (for both horse and rider) and cooling sloshes (supposedly for the horse, but sometimes "accidentally" for the rider too!)
Congratulations to Erin Fowler on I'm Ami, who both achieved their Gold Shamrock Final Award and to Tasha Anderson, whose pony Annasach Bugatti completed his Gold Shamrock Final Award. It is worthy of mention that neither of these two horses is a "typical" endurance model, with one a being a thoroughbred and the other an Exmoor, which gives a good indication of the widespread appeal of the sport.
ILDRA's next competition will be in Donard, Co.Wicklow, where a full programme of events will take place on Sat 20th and Sun 21st July, followed by a pleasure ride from Millyard Riding Centre (with Go-as-you-please-weather permitting) on Sun 28th July. Pleasure riders can turn up on the day to all events, without pre-booking. For more details see www.enduranceridingireland.com or find us on Facebook.
Results Dartrey Forest 7th July
Erin Fowler/I'm Ami
Tasha Anderson/Annasach Bugatti
Helen McFarland/She Stoops to Conquer
Sharon Perry/Cumbria Alabass
Jenni Cunningham/Kilgarry Breeze
Helen Perry/Thai Express
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