First 2-phase under the belts

Well done to Cliff who came 4th in the first leg of the Premier Saddlery 2- Phase at Cloncaw Equestrian, Glaslough today. Having ironed out some navigational issues with his first mount, Shyla, Cliff had an unlucky 4 faults in the showjumping with Shadow but went clear all the way on the xc. Roll on the Border Counties ODE on August 9th.
Rachel and Merlin were more than a little ring-rusty and took a couple of runs at some of the jumps (apparently Merlin does not consider hay bales an appropriate jump material) but improved from start to finish and are looking forward to the 9th also. On a side note Rachel can tell you that the lucky knickers needed serious therapy following a few close shaves, while the new body protector was last seen to be reading the small print in it’s contract!!

Top marks to Dalyphoto for capturing the action on the day. Anyone wishing to purchase high resolution copies of their images should contact them directly. I hope they will forgive me for reposting a couple of their watermarked images here.

Need help with your tack?

New club logo finalised

With no small amount of time and effort from Gemma Carroll, and a smigeon of input from Libby, we now have our new club logo finalised. I treated myself to some retail therapy at C&M Embroidery where I added a sweatshirt, body warmer and softshell jacket to my own wardrobe as well as getting a saddle-cloth done for the main man (don’t tell the hubby I called Merlin that!) and I think it looks great. Marina is going to pull together a design for the new xc tops this week and will show us the options. If anyone is itching to get some embroidery done just let me know and I can email the file to you to bring to your chosen embroidery or print supplier. If we are going to put together a bulk order obviously it will work out cheaper for everyone.

Final Logo with type changes-with black background

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Keeping up to date in busy times

Unfortunately for any of our club members and their friends who were looking forward to a kayaking adventure on Sunday past the weather turned nasty at the wrong time and put paid to the proposed gallivanting. Plenty of club members are availing of regular lessons in various parts of the county and will be tuned to the last for the approaching events. On the subject of competitions and clinics I would warn people to be quick off the mark with their entries if they are planning on taking part.

The regional training day in Gordon’s Bay Equestrian is filling up very fast. Anyone who was thinking of taking part but has not yet subscribed, should enter asap. Bookings are being taken via

https://www.itsplainsailing.com/club/irc

For anyone looking for some non-registered show jumping…

Limavady Show 19th July 2020
At Causeway Coast Arena Coleraine.
Unregistered Pony and Horse Jumping.
Proceeds to RDA.
ENTRIES MUST BE MADE ON LINE AT
www.LIMAVADYSHOW.COM
payment via paypal. Details on site.
ENTRIES CLOSE FRIDAY 17TH. TIMES PUBLISHED SATURDAY 18TH.

REMINDER: PLEASE PUT RIDER AND HORSE OR PONY NAME ON ENTRY.

If cross-country is your drug of choice I’m delighted to be able to say that our local pushers, Ryan and Liz at Gordon’s Bay Equestrian,  will be hosting their annual hunter-trials on Sunday 6th September. Entries for their Annual Hunter Trials will be online and will be open from Sunday 16 August. The pre-entry at their recent Cross jump proved to be great success, and allowed the show to run very smoothly for both the organisers and the competitors.

Online entry open from Sunday 16 August, closing Friday 4 September @ 6:00pm
https://itsplainsailing.com/club/gbe

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Get In!! Lots of opportunities to get out and about.

The very best of luck to our members taking part in the Gordon’s Bay Equestrian cross-jump this Sunday. May the sun be with you.

Anyone thinking of entering the next 2-phase at Cloncaw Equestrian, Glaslough, will be glad to hear entries are now open. Check out their Plainsailing entries page at the following link.

https://itsplainsailing.com/club/ceg#page-top

If you don’t feel like travelling quite so far afield there is our own regional training day coming up on August 9th at Gordon’s Bay Equestrian. Following the usual format which allows you to enjoy two lessons if you wish, this day is exceptionally good value. Find all the details on the flyer and remember there’s nothing to stop you having two lessons in one discipline if you don’t feel like mixing things up on the day. One lesson €20, two lessons €30.

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Also on the 9th of August, making for a most unfortunate clash, is the Border Counties one day event at Cloncaw Equestrian. Find details on the attached flyer, and remember events are booking out quickly this year so don’t hang about.

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Weather Gods smile on the faithful

With the amount of rain that has fallen in the last 48 hours, combined with frequent thunder and lightening, the possibility of our first post-covid-lockdown outing being cancelled was very real. The decision to take the plunge and go ahead with the event was shown to be a very good one as nine riders and a few spectators enjoyed bright sunshine for the entire session. Patricia Warren was very understanding of the somewhat dubious fitness levels of both horses and riders, giving everyone frequent breaks and ensuring no one got left behind. A few specks of rain as horses were being dismounted quickly turned to a deluge, but there was ample space in the sheds to allow a badly needed cuppa and some not so badly needed, but very enjoyable, treats. It was a wonderful chance to meet up face to face at long last and allowed for a club meeting to iron out some dates as well as giving people the chance to get the horses back out in company without the pressure or excitement of a show atmosphere.

I’ll post the dates of our upcoming calendar once we run them by HQ and can be sure they’re OK.

Many thanks to Hazel for getting some photos and videos of the days entertainment. I’ve posted these on the Gallery page.

The ball is rolling

Hooray and yipee. Our first post-covid-lockdown gathering is planned! With Erica and Francis booked onto a covid-compliance-officer course, and Marina having recently taken the course under her pony club banner, we are well on the way to full steam ahead. As you all know we are limited to instructor led activities at the moment so a rideout and barbeque will have to wait a little while.

As a gentle reintroduction to club life we’ve opted to go with a drill-riding session (like a musical ride) under the watchful eye and guiding voice of Trish Warren. Anyone who remembers the drill-riding sessions we did under Valerie Craig’s tutelage will vouch for how much fun this can be. Not only is it fun it also encourages rhythm and accuracy in flatwork, gets riders looking up and around them, introduces horses to working in close proximity to other horses, involves lots of turns and transitions and lends itself perfectly to a group of riders of mixed ability and confidence. You’ll be so busy concentrating on not letting down your side of the formation that you’ll be riding from leg to hand, and keeping your horse between the aids, without even realising! It’s safe to say a cup of tea will be needed by the time you’re done.

As always it will be impossible to suit everyone with regard to date and time but hopefully we’ll get a reasonable sprinkling. The venue is Harley’s arena in Rathdonnell, the date is Saturday 27th June and the time is 11am. Details regarding booking in, directions and covid-compliance will be circulated to everyone a little closer to the time.

Just to tease you all…

Bring your horse on holiday to The Munny Trail and Old Forge Glamping. We have 4 beautiful yurt tents which sleep up to 4 people in each plus a gorgeous, cosy log cabin which sleeps up to 5 people in each. All have full bedding and linen and a heated stove. You can ride out around the 14km loop or the 5km loop with optional jumps en route. There is a fabulous pub just 2 minutes hack from our Red Trail loop in case you get thirsty on your horse half way around. Then come back to the campsite and put your horses in their lovely granite stables or out in one of our walled garden paddocks and bbq yourselves some nice dinner followed by a campfire and some smores. We have a heated kitchen area with an oven, hob, microwave, kettle, fridge and toaster in case the weather isn’t good so you never have to worry. We are situated between Shillelagh and Tullow in the Wicklow hills surrounded by beautiful views. We really look forward to hearing from you. Call Belinda on 0876486253 for details or email the.munny.trail@gmail.com

Gordon’s Bay give us an outing to look forward to

CROSS JUMP 2020

Following yesterday’s announcement by An Taoiseach we are now able to allocate a date for our Cross Jump Competition. The show will run on Sunday 5 July in line with Phase 3 when all travel restrictions are due to be lifted.

This will be a contactless show and social distancing (2 metres)will still need to be adhered to by all in attendance.

All Entries will be online with pre pay via an entry form and PayPal there will be NO ENTRIES DESK on the day.

To minimise contact we will also be missing the refreshments/snacks stall and prize giving will be contactless.

We have given approximate times on the Schedule below for each class to run however, once entries are closed on Friday 3 July we will be able to give more definite times so you can plan your arrival time.

The car park has been extended to allow greater distance between parked vehicles and there will be two grass warm up arenas in operation on the day as we try to minimise contact.

The competition will be held entirely on grass with a course of 14 jumps (7 showjumps and 7 cross country fences). As always Body protector and jockey skull cap are compulsory for all riders.

Entries Close on Friday 3 July 9:00pm, entry will not be complete until payment is received.

Schedule PDF |Cross Jump Schedule

Online Entry Form | Cross Jump Entry Form

Link for Payment | PayPal Gordon’s Bay

Sat-nav needed for the coming weeks as Roadmap is released

Like most of you I have been drifting along on a sea of uncertainty for the past few weeks, unsure if we would be able to get up-and-going at all this year. While we still have to take every day as it comes regarding current guidelines and recommendations it does look like there is light at the end of the tunnel. So I’m officially launching my Flowerhill preparations today, with 3 months to get both myself and the steed back into some semblance of fitness and training…one mustn’t rush these things!

The return of official AIRC activities will take place over a phased basis involving 4 steps, which are due to begin on June 8th, in line with the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.  This approach will allow us all time to assess how we can operate under these new protocols to ensure we create a safe environment for our members, volunteers, and officials.

Activities, however, may resume sooner if the Government lifts the travel restrictions ahead of its published plan.

These measures and protocols are under constant review and will be updated as advice from the government, health authorities and governing bodies evolve in line with the gradual lifting of restrictions.

HQ has published a guide to help clubs and their members tread the road to active club-life. It is available at the following link and is well worth the read, especially pages 8 to 13.

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So what does this mean for us as a club? Well, the first hurdle we have to get over is the fact that we do not have a club base, or venue, where we regularly meet. This has been both a strength and a weakness for us over the years. It ensured we brought club activities to different geographical areas, thereby spreading the necessity to travel a little more evenly over the members and also meant that we did not stagnate in one spot and get stuck doing just one type of activity. Unfortunately it does make it a little more awkward to implement the necessary protocols for resumption of club activities.

Our second issue is of course the distances which we must all travel in order to attend any event. Even with the permitted range of travel extended to 20km a lot of us wouldn’t be able to get to a central point…Letterkenny is 24km from our yard, much the same from Marina’s and a generous 40km from Erica’s. Whilst many of us have already been well over the permitted distances with our horses it will have been to attend a farrier or vet, both considered essential journeys for those with livestock to take care of. Whether it is acceptable to exceed the permitted travel restriction in order to attend a social or sporting event is questionable and as a club we certainly cant be seen to encourage it. Realistically this means that for the time being we are looking at Monday 20th July as being the date from which we can resume activities as this is currently the date when travel restrictions are to be lifted completely and Tier 2 of AIRC activities are permitted. Obviously this is dependent on government actions and guidelines.

In the meantime we can get our club geared up in the admin department, ensuring we have a Covid Officer in place, a system for taking pre-payments and a supply of the necessary PPE ready for all eventualities. As a start to getting back out into the world I have commissioned Gemma Carroll to update our club logo, enabling us to set the wheels in motion for getting new club gear. As soon as Gemma has some prototypes done up I will get everyone’s input and opinions. Till then stay safe, stay healthy and keep horsing around.