Category Archives: 1

First social of the year

Don’t forget that this Friday brings our first club social event, the Wii night at Damian and Nadine’s home. Give one of them a quick call or text to let them know if you can make it and to get directions if you need them. See y’all there.

An ability to adapt is essential

Was it Robbie Burns who said “the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a-gley”?? Well so it is with planning a riding club calendar. Our Audrey Jacob Team Challenge will run on April 26th, rather than the 19th as originally thought. The good news is that Tir conaill rc are running a day clinic on 19th April in Greenacres with coaches Mandi king and Mark Robinson. The day will offer each participant a one hour jumping lesson and a one hour flat-work lesson, with a lunging demo at end. They have space for 18 riders, with 3 riders per lesson. Cost for the day is currently E50-E55, but they have applied for a training bursary and if the application is successful the cost will reduce considerably. If you would like to book a slot please let Marina, Erica or myself know as soon as possible as the TirConaills need to spread available spaces around the region. What better way to prepare for the AJTC the following weekend?

Well begun is half done

We had our first club meeting last night in our regular stomping ground of Tir Na nOg in Letterkenny. With a good strong turnout of enthusiastic members there was plenty of discussion and a lot of positivity about the year ahead.

The approaching talk from equestrian sports psychologist Jim Hickey is attracting a lot of interest already, with 54 tickets sold to date and a large number expressing a desire for seats. It is not often we have the chance to benefit from the expertise of a sports psychologist who mentors international and Olympic riders. We all suffer from self doubt at times, which is the single greatest stumbling block between where we are now and where we want to be with our riding. Self-confidence and self-belief are key to performing well and unlocking true potential. This session aims to give the attendees the tools and techniques to build the right mindset to master any arena and own that winning round. Now I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the spring league when we all own the winning round, but it should certainly make for a competitive and invigorated atmosphere.

The dates and venues for the North West Riding Clubs spring league were confirmed, with the strong reminder that riders MUST be fully paid up members of the AIRC. Get your membership in to Erica as soon as you can if you plan to take part in the first leg of the league on the 9th February at Templemore. Membership forms will be available for filling out at the Jim Hickey night. Our club’s ItsPlainSailing account is almost alive and will make renewals easier. Watch this space.

The need to raise public awareness of our club’s existence and what we have to offer potential members was raised. There are a lot of riders in the area who don’t even know we exist! Even the people who are keen on doing registered jumping could benefit hugely from the low-stress atmosphere at our shows for getting mileage onto young horses. If any of you know of any potential members in your area it would be great if you took time to chat to them and encourage them to join the fun. This is especially true for riders who aren’t naturally competitive and just want a social outing with their horse….or without it!

Talking of social outings and leaving the four-legged members at home brings me on to one of our great annual events, the Wii night. Held in Damian and Nadine’s house near Ramelton, this night of good natured rivalry and hilarious gyrations, not to mention superb food and drink, is a great opportunity to relax and enjoy good company. This year it is taking place on Friday 17th January. Thankfully it predates the Jim Hickey event by a few days. The thought of an even more motivated and competitive Marina is daunting!!

We also plan to have a monthly lesson together. As it is very difficult to find time to get out to riding club more than once in a week we will hold these lesons on the Friday of weekends when there is no leg of the spring league on. Dates and rough lesson plan is on the Calendar page, though details will be texted through to members closer to each event.

One major event on our annual calender is the Audrey Jacob Team Challenge, which incorporates both dressage and showjumping. Date and venue are confirmed for Sun 19th April at Eglinton Equestrian Centre.

As the county’s annual exodus to the National Hunter Trial Championships takes place very early this year, being on April 5th, we are very tight for time to squeeze in cross-country schooling beforehand. The current plan is to travel to Cross-Equestrian, Knockloughrim, just over the Glenshane pass, on either the 28th or 29th of March. This premises has an excellent schooling ground, with a wide variety of jump options. Most importantly it is an all-weather facility.

If cross-country is your drug of favour there are no shortage of opportunities to indulge over the coming months as we are entering the rush of the hunter trial season. The excellent, if somewhat distant, course at Annaharvey farm near Tullamore is hosting a number of non-AIRC hunter trials which are open to all, while Carlanstown Equestrian Centre near Kells, Co. Meath, also have a number of upcoming Hunter Trials:-
Tara Harriers on Sun 8th March 2020
Oriel Farneys on Sun 19th April 2020
Ballymacads on Sun 3rd May 2020


Riding club dressage

With many of us studiously avoiding mirrors, and desperately trying to motivate ourselves to stick to tough resolutions for the coming year, it should come as a small incentive to see that the North Coast Riding Club are hosting a dressage competition in nearby Eglinton Equestrian Centre. Taking place on Sunday 19th of January it will include tests for all levels of rider and a welcoming atmosphere is guaranteed. Entries close on January 16th and details can be found on the following Facebook link

If you’ve never done dressage and feel daunted by the prospect then rest assured that dressage is quite simply basic flatwork, well within everybody’s capabilities. There are some basic guidelines to be aware of if entering a competition….martingales and boots are prohibited on the horse, gloves are compulsory for the rider, and certain bits are not allowed…but these are simple matters to check up on. If you think you’d like to give it a go, but would like some advice or guidance, feel free to contact Marina on 086-8216335 or myself (Rachel) on 086-1617087 and we’ll do our best to help you out.

If you need a little inspiration to help you during these dark days (but isn’t there a wee stretch in the evenings already) you may find the following article helpful. It is very good.

Lets get together *Update*

A quick preemptive reminder that we have our first club meeting of the year, and of the decade, on Monday 6th at 8pm in Tir Na nOg. All are welcome and Marina will bring tickets for the Jim Hickey seminar for anyone who would like to purchase. Priced at E20 each.

Bring on the New Year

For all of you who have a deep appreciation of the following illustration, take heart. Enjoy tonight and then step forward into the next season with a determined heart.



Happy Christmas everyone and happy birthday to Himself


The best of good news

AIRC HQ have announced that the Hunter Trial Championships will take place on the 5th of April 2020 and returns to the ever-popular Flowerhill Equestrian Centre. As a source of Christmas cheer, and a motivator for the new year, I reckon you cant do much better than that. For anyone who wonders what Flowerhill is all about all I can say is ‘a picture paints a thousand words’.Gurteen Wheelbarrowcropped-letterkenny-competitors-and-supporters-at-flowerhill_7427.jpg177IMG_0838IMG_7422IMG_7393IMG_3336IMG_3330IMG_3361IMG_3470IMG_3478IMG_3480IMG_3523SONY DSCDSC00632_cropped (Large)

Some of us do the odd bit of riding as well but make no mistake, it’s the craic we go for and the riding is secondary….though we did win the intermediate championships in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018, so when we ride we REALLY ride!

Save the date

received_458920614813902Booking details to follow.

Registering a horse with AIRC

Horses or ponies must be registered with the Association in advance of entering any national championship or qualifier for a national championship.

Members should note that a charge of €25 will be applicable for any Horse Registration application received from the 1st April until the Monday after the Riding Clubs Festival each year. The service will continue to be free outside of this period. The introduction of the charge is necessary to encourage members to register their horse outside of this busy period at National Office.

After an analysis of all applications received over the past five years, it was established that 63% of all applications are received each year during the months of April and May.

The service will continue to be free of charge for current members at all other times throughout the year so the message is, register your horse as soon as possible and please do not leave it to the last minute.

A horse or pony only has to be registered once with the Association, then it’s recorded for life. Over 7,000 horses are currently registered with the Association and you can check to see if your horse is already registered here. Animals must be aged 4 or more and over 143cms (14hh) in order to be eligible for riding club competitions.

To register an animal for the first time with the Association, you must submit the following documents to National Office:

  • Complete the Online Application Form or use the Postal Form.
  • A copy of the animals passport to include the naming sheet (with registration number, ULEN, microchip number, age, sex, height, colour, date of foaling, breed, sire, dam, breeder, etc) and the marking sheet.

Applications are processed as soon as possible but it can take up to five working days, so members are advised not to leave it to the last minute.  Applications will be accepted by email, fax or post and members are advised not to post a copy of the animals original passport to National Office.  Please ensure that you sign the registration form.

Incomplete applications cannot be registered on the database.  Unnamed animals cannot be registered on the database until the animal has been named with an appropriate authority. Only details verified on an animals passport, issued by a recognised Passport Issuing Organisation (PIO), will be recorded on the Associations database.

Transfer of Ownership

To transfer ownership of an animal already registered with the Association, you must resubmit an application.  However, the ownership must have been recorded with the PIO before applying for the transfer request. The updated copy of the animals passport should accompany the application form.  Transfer of ownerships will only be processed once it has been recorded with the PIO.

Change of Name

To change the name of your animal already registered with the Association, you must resubmit an application. However, the change of name must have been recorded with the PIO before applying for the change of name request. The updated copy of the animals passport should accompany the application form.  Change of name applications will only be processed once it has been recorded with the relevant PIO.

If you are in any doubt about the necessary steps to take don’t hesitate to contact one of our own club committee and they will help you jump through the various hoops.