It certainly helps when the weather plays along but Sunday’s training day at Cloncaw Equestrian Centre in Glaslough would have been a success under most conditions. The venue, with its extensive and varied cross country course, beautiful covered arena and outdoor grass show jumping area, was the perfect place to enjoy tuition that was always relaxed and enjoyable while never lacking in exacting thoroughness.
Members from the three Donegal clubs and Tonabrockey from the Western region were joined by riders from Redhills and Mosstown riding clubs in the Midlands region. Donegal’s own Sally Mahon took responsibility for the cross country training along with Helen Nolan from Galway; Anthea Rainsbury from Mullingar handled the dressage sessions, and Gary Marshall from Ballymena put the show jumpers through their paces with his quiet insistence on sitting back and improving the horse’s balance through the correct position of the rider.
Everybody had different hopes and ambitions for the day. Several experienced riders used the opportunity to bring on young horses under expert guidance. Orla enjoyed Molly’s return from ligament-rehab and was thrilled with both her dressage and show jumping performance. Marina made the most of the opportunity to introduce Jenny to the world of cross country in preparation for the one-day eventing competitions that are her ultimate goal.
It was a real pleasure to be away for a club day outside a competition environment. Everybody gained a huge amount from the experience and those that attended this year will be first in the queue for booking in 12 months’ time. A very big thanks to Rachael and Ruth McCrossan who put so much effort into organising the whole day and arranging the groups so well.
Pictured below: Orla, Martina, Marina, Keary, Libby and Rachel enjoying the training day. Rachel McKimmon was also present but managed to evade the paparazzi. Plenty more photos in the Gallery and on the Gaeltacht’s site.