Autumn league off to a scarily good start

Congratulations to all our members who took part in the first leg of the autumn league, particularly those who dressed up for the ‘My Lovely Horse Rescue’ fund raising fancy dress parade.  It was great to see the return of Cormac, who made his comeback after being out of the saddle for a while (which perhaps explains his riding attire?!), Anne and Jade. Well done to Jayne and Jade on their 1st places and to Marina, Anne and Cormac who were placed on the top 6. The results from week 1 of the league are shown below.

Next week is our turn to run the show so it is important that all members make themselves available to help man the various stations. Seamus course-builds for us next week so we’re guaranteed a good challenge on the day.


For anyone who like myself (working) or Damian (running the Dublin city marathon) was unable to make it to the league you can get a flavour of the day from the following photos.


Showing, how it should be done

Donegal Gaeltacht’s showing and dressage show at Greenacres Equestrian was blessed with a beautiful autumn day. Whilst numbers at the show were down a bit on what would have been hoped for, turn-out was definitely up…there were some superb looking combinations. Congratulations to our own competitors, especially Marina and her gorgeous Six Silver Lane. He is looking a picture and is obviously enjoying life in the northern part of the country. Results, and some photos of our riders, are given below.




For anyone who would like to improve their flatwork there is a non-airc flatwork clinic coming up in Greenacres. This is being run by Mary Devine and is open to everyone. Contact Mary directly on 086 3197696.



It’s OK, you haven’t missed it!

The closing of entries for the Donegal Gaeltacht’s show in Greenacres has been extended to 6pm this evening (Wednesday 9th). What better reason to polish up your boots, shine your horse and prettify yourself? Top marks to our neighbors for running showing classes.


Something a little different to enjoy


Triumphant treasure hunters

What more glorious way is there to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than hunting elusive treasure in the hills of Donegal? One of the annual highlights for Letterkenny Riding Club members is without doubt Francis and Maura’s treasure hunt, with its extremely cryptic clues and breathtaking backdrop followed by top class refreshment on return to chez McNicholl. The 2019 event certainly did not disappoint.




Riding club requests

The Association of Irish Riding Clubs is an excellent organisation to be involved in. One of the services it provides is to give us a voice at national level in times of need. One aspect of equestrianism which appeals to almost everyone is hacking out, particularly if there is access to good off-road routes. Whilst the following link refers to Dublin forestry uses, I’m sure the more input there is from the equestrian community as a whole the greater the chance of forestry access being granted countrywide. Please try to take the time to read and respond;

Coillte, the semi-state body, has opened up a consultation process in respect of the Dublin Mountains Forests – A Woodland for our Future.

You now have the opportunity to comment and engage in this process regarding the use the Forests for equestrian activities.  We understand that signage has been erected in Barnaslingan and Carrickgollogan forests in Dublin which prohibit access to equestrians.

Horse Sport Ireland is currently engaging with Coillte on the matter.  However, clubs and individuals have the opportunity to put forward their views directly and we would encourage stakeholders to do so.  Should you wish comment to Horse Sport Ireland directly, please email

Here’s a link to Coillte Natures plans

We are also being asked to take a look at an AIRC survey regarding grading of riders within the organisation. Our club will be submitting feedback on the 23rd of October and each member’s input would be greatly appreciated. Have a gander at the proposed upgrading review and give your feedback to Hazel.


Lots to look forward to

With our Derby Show over us for another year we can look forward to getting out to lots of other club’s events over the coming weeks The following are a taster of some of the great shows coming up.


In Stracomer Stables, Bundoran:

Two day clinic – open to everyone. Pony club, riding club and individuals

Day 1 – flatwork/polework
Day 2 – showjumping
Both private and group lessons available.
Approx 4/5 riders in each group
Lessons will last 1.5 hours each day to ensure each rider gets plenty out of the two days. If you are unable to attend both days individual days can be booked

For more information please contact Sonya McAleer on +44 7874 350665

At Deanes Farm Equestrian in Bruckless:


Derby show a great success

All the club members who turned up to take part in or help out at the Derby were very glad that they made the effort. The weather gods were very kind and, once a morning shower passed over, the day was warm and dry. The venue was perfect for the event, with an impressive array of jumps available for Trish to use in designing the course. Kyle Hayes, of Aldertree Equine, was our dressage judge for the day. He was cheerful throughout and provided plenty of helpful comments on his judge’s sheets. Congratulations to all the competitors, particularly those who went away with a ribbons. A very sincere thanks to everyone who took part. We had a very good spread of clubs on the day and every club took home some rosettes or silverware. 

Grace Rogers claimed the Primary Derby winner’s rosette.

Caroline Shiels was the AP Derby winner, with Samantha O’Neill and Suzanne Deeny-Wylie coming in 2nd and 3rd .

Cliff did Letterkenny proud when he managed a 1st and 3rd in the Intermediate Derby, with Lynne Thompson coming 2nd, Marina Hamilton 4th, and Francis McNicholl 5th.

In the Advanced Intermediate class Stephen Greene took the top prize, with Derek Kane 2nd, Daire Diver 3rd, Vanessa 4th and Jodie Carr 5th. Rachel will be back in action soon to keep this lot on their toes!

The dressage arena saw Ann Keaney take first place in the Primary dressage.

Nicola Coxford took 1st place in the AP class, with Vicki Hopkins 2nd and Samantha O’Neill 3rd.

The Intermediate class had Francis take a well deserved 1st on the ever improving Bonzo, with Lauren McLaughlin 2nd and Erin Fergus 3rd.

Nadine Gallagher, back in an equestrian saddle after a summer on bicycles, took 1st place in the advanced intermediate class. Cassandra McGee was 2nd and Andrea Gallagher 3rd.

Finally, the worthy winner of the Orla O’Riley cup was Nadine Gallagher who in the words of the judge showed great partnership with her horse. It was wonderful to have Orla’s partner, Jimmy, and her parents Brian and Helen, at the show to present Nadine with the shield in memory of a young lady who was such a supportive equestrian in our community.




If anyone would like to get a top class photo as a memento of a great day they should contact Megan Coxford, who too some stunning shots on Sunday and is extremely professional to deal with. Check out Megan’s Facebook page at