Category Archives: Club Activities

Tir Conail champions as curtain comes down on 2-phase

Blustery weather and cold showers couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm evident at Gordon’s Bay as riders squared up to Liz and Ryan’s testing course at the final of the 2018 North West Riding Clubs 2-phase and dressage league.

The dressage arena, set out in their spacious sand arena, was tough to ride good tests in as riders were constantly distracted by the stunning views, but some top class performances were produced. Notable from our own club was Francis and Bonzo, who produced an outstanding performance to win the highly competitive intermediate section on the day. This pair has made great progress over the past year and are becoming a force to be reckoned with. Also showing good improvement since the Lenamore outing were Suzanne and Jack, who were just put of the ribbons and would have benefited from a fourth leg in the league. Louise and her trusty steed Bob were in great form, given that Louise hadn’t sat on him for five weeks, and rode a test befitting of the sixth place rosette on the day. Rachel and Merlin were beaten into second place on the day by Courtney and Gortahork Brid. This pair were superb throughout the league and deservedly won the overall advanced intermediate title.

The cross country proved challenging on the day, as befits a league final, and our club was lightly represented on the field. Cliff and Shyla were unable to make the date, and unfortunately missed a chance to bag some loot, but Francis and Leo took to the battlefield to fly the black and Amber flag in his stead. Unfortunately their mounts just weren’t ‘feeling it’ on the day and they both fell prey to the tricky obstacles.

Results of the third and final leg of the league are shown below

Tir Conail came out victorious as the overall league-topping club, which was well deserved given the massive turn out from this vibrant and active club.

Full league results will be published very soon but in the mean time enjoy the following albums.

Club Meeting, Monday 9 January

Our first meeting of 2017 takes place at Tir na nOg on Monday 9 January, 8pm. Everybody welcome.

Louise and Hazel are going to reveal their 12-month plan for the website. Not to be missed!!!


Calendar in a nutshell

There was a lot of calendar planning at our recent club meeting — a well-attended and sociable gathering at Tir na nOg.

This Friday we go to Ramelton for a bowls evening with Cecil and Tanya. Two days later, one of the highlights of the coming quarter is undoubtedly the Audrey Jacob Northwest Team Challenge on Sunday, 24 April, in Eglinton.

Hot on its heels comes the start of training sessions for our 10th Anniversary Musical Ride. Valerie Craig will use all her craft and expertise to put order on the troops over a series of three Fridays in Harley’s arena, Trentagh (29 April, 6 and 13 May). The formal performance of the musical ride will take place on the beach in Rathmullan on Saturday 21 May at 11am.

Our annual camping trip to the seaside at Carrickfinn is scheduled for Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 May. Novenas and every other means of assistance are appreciated in the effort to secure good weather for the first time in a few years!

The RDS Team Qualifier takes place at Tubberbride, Sligo on Sunday 15 May. Maybe this will be the year when we finally make the journey to Dublin — wouldn’t it be wonderful! In the meantime, the qualifier itself is a great day out and all support will be greatly appreciated.

Ride-outs and lessons dot the riding club landscape and you can shortly get full details on the Calendar page of the website.

Sates for all the usual club shows are set in stone now and we have Inishowen Show on 22 May, the Beach Show a week later on 29 May, and our own Derby & Dressage Show on 26 June to look forward to. Add to this the 2-Phase Cross Country & Dressage League on Sundays 3 July (Gaeltachts), 7 August (Tirconaill) and 11 September (Letterkenny) and there really is no excuse for boredom for quite a while to come!

Club meeting, Monday 18 January

Following this week’s inter-club meeting, it’s now time for a get-together of our own on Monday 18 January. We need to plot the course for the next few months and plan a calendar of events that suits all members.

Everybody is strongly encouraged to attend. See you there!

Enjoyable AGM celebrates another great year

Vera and Molly walked off with honours at our AGM. Vera was named club person of the year after securing most votes in the ballot while the horse of the year title went to Damien and Nadine’s stalwart Molly.

Vera was singled out because of her dedication to the club and her resilience in flying the flag for dressage and flatwork, while Molly got most votes for her battling qualities as she returned from illness to carry both Damien and Nadine to honours. Both Molly and Vera were absent on the night so their trophies were collected and passed on – we think.

The awards were a fitting a climax to what was a very successful end of year get-together. There was much for Enda to celebrate in his last Chairman’s report —from our fine showing at Flowerhill to our double success at the Audrey Jacob Team Challenge. The 15 members present also enjoyed looking back at our sorties to Carrickfinn and Bundoran with the usual digs. It was even suggested that next year we add in an overseas venture to mark the club’s tenth anniversary.

Our trusty bookkeeper Maura reported some healthy figures—still in the black —while our one=armed secretary Ann gave us a breakdown of membership which is continuing to grow with some new additions joining next year. 

Then it was out with the old and in with the new as Pauric was installed as our new chairman. He eventually reached the top table just in time to call the meeting to an end, but the craic didn’t stop as we all dished out more digs and Leo told us about his fifty shades of grey experience. Enough said !

Annual General Meeting approaching fast: Friday 7 November

Another year almost down! Our club’s annual general meeting takes place each year in early November, ahead of the Western Region’s AGM. This year we’re sticking to our familiar Friday evening social format in Tir na nOg.

Everybody is encouraged to attend. It only works if the membership turns up and we have the opportunity to celebrate what we’ve achieved in the past year and set the trim of the sails for the next 12 months.

Of much greater importance than elections or chairmen’s reports or anything else is the awarding our our two most prestigious trophies for Club Member and Club Horse of the Year. Please get your nominations (two per award) in to Damien by Wednesday 5 November. Do it by email, text, phone call or ink/paper/envelope/stamp. It’s always a lot more fun if you can give a few reasons for your nomination but we’re grateful just for simple names, if that’s all you can manage!

Contact Anne (Secretary) or Enda (Chairman) if you want to discuss anything specific in advance of the meeting.

Formation riding evening to look forward to on Friday 23 October

It’s a couple of years now since we enjoyed military drill with Valerie. Sounds intimidating? Not one bit! There are few activities that are so enjoyable yet lead to such an improvement in our riding and our horse’s way of going than formation riding. Come along and find out what it’s all about.

The evening will take place at Harley’s arena in Trentagh and you should contact Francis on 086 372 2542,

Club meeting, Friday 2 October

Hot on the heels of last Monday’s inter-club meeting, our own club meeting takes place this Friday, 2 October, at Tir na nOg. All welcome!

What happens in Bundoran…

What happens in Bundoran stays in Bundoran… or so we thought. The tales of Paddy’s missing trousers, Hazel’s Brown Eamon, Marina’s thoroughbred cob and Damien’s late night sleepwalk have already travelled north of the gap. So there is no need for Omerta. Louise captured all the memorable moments – or so we thought – on her mobile but we didn’t realise the mobile was as old as Louise and the photographs were all deleted the moment she made a call.

A posse of ten made the trip; Louise, Hazel, Paddy, Francis, Keary and Ann (still not married) Marina, Enda, Pauric and Damien. Libby and Dympna then joined in for the sleepover. As promised there was no white knuckle ride this year through the dunes. Damien steered a safe and easy path in the late evening sunshine though we did have some drama when we headed for the tide, with one of the crew getting an early bath.

Horses tucked up for the night it was time to dine in our regular haunt – the Bridge Restaurant. Four hours and half a stone later we retired to our beach front villa for some late night Coors and chat. Paddy, wearing Enda’s trousers (don’t ask), made a late appearance after his traditional walk-about. Damien also went walk-about in the middle of the night declaring his room mates, Francis and Paddy, both needed wind operations.

There was no Leo for the Breakfast menu but we found another master chef in Francis, who fed the masses along with his sidekick Pauric. While the ladies looked on Damien pulled on the marigolds and took charge of the dishes (knowing that any breakages would come out of his deposit). Another trip around the dunes and into the sea – no fallers this time – and it was time to depart just before the heavens opened.

A big thanks to Steph at Stracomer Stables for looking after us all and to Damien for organising the trip.  Maybe next year Hazel will bring Brown Eamon — he might like the sea?

Pictured below: Breakfast time at our seafront villa — just like The Waltons.


No shortage of club action for September

From the beach in Bundoran to the bowling mat in Ramelton, it’s time to clear your diary and circle some dates on your calendar. The next few months are going to be hectic. First up the final of the hugely successful Cross Country and Dressage League. After two impressive days in Carrigart and Killybegs the pressure now falls on Letterkenny and Inishowen to maintain the standard at Lenamore.

The competition is set for Sunday 13 and this weekend members are being urged to show up to help build the course. The gathering is set for 11am on Sunday 6 along with our colleagues from Inishowen. A further date has been pencilled in for Friday the 11 for some last minute adjustments. Marina is co-ordinating so any questions fire them her way 086 821 6335.

The following weekend (19/20 September) we are off on our annual pilgrimage to Bundoran – one of the highlights of the year. Damien is looking after the sleeping arrangements and stabling. He promises no white knuckle rides this time round.

Hillsborough Farm will be the destination on September 27 for a ride out with Louise – the year wouldn’t be the same without some Edwards hospitality.

And then in November, in between the Autumn League dates, we can look forward to another evening of bowls with Tanya and Cecil in Ramelton. Hot competition and a tasty super always guarantees a healthy turn out. Date to be confirmed.