Posts Tagged ‘Horse riding’

Shillelagh and District Hunt, Tally Ho Meet, November 17th 2012

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

David Nolan with the hounds.

Pierre serves up some Dutch courage.

Howard rallys the troops.

Mandy and Dixie ready to rock.

Tally Ho meet.

Following the hounds.

Tinahely Riding Club Show Jumping Event, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

A great day was had at the TRC show jumping event held at Coolboy last Sunday 15th May 2011. Committee and club members worked hard before the event gathering sponsorship and organising the various competitions and entries, with the result that everything ran like clockwork on the day.

A happy crowd at the TRC Show Jumping event, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

Mandy Hayden marked the scores and ushered the various competitors into the arena.

Mandy Hayden cracking the whip.

Competitors and their steeds were well dressed for the occasion.

Lorna Rothwell and friend.

Competition was fierce and a jump off was required before the main prizes could be handed out.

An EU dimension at the TRC event in Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

A nicely laid out course in a very pretty location.

Flying through the jumps at Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

Lift those legs.

Heading for a clear round, TRC event at Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

There’s always a jump to repair, rock on Howard Woods.

Four faults and a jump to rebuild at Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.



Tinahely Riding Club Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

The TRC held a hunter trials at their Coolboy showgrounds last Sunday 10th  April, 2011. The sun was splitting the stones with afternoon temperatures hitting 20 degrees, all preparations had been made and the crowds came out in force. One hundred and fifty five entries competed over various categories and a good day was had by all.

Early entries at the TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

Proceedings were kept moving nicely throughout the day with singles and pairs competitions.

Competing at the TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Privately owned, the TRC have developed a wonderful facility that includes a full cross country course, sand arena with floodlights, dressage arenas, and a warm up area. There is plenty of room for parking, local catering enterprises supply coffee, teas, soft drinks, burgers, chips, and snacks, while the Little Moon Public House (The official TRC club house) is a two minute walk away.

TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

A real family day out the kids were having a ball.

Who needs a horse, quads go faster, but they can't jump.

Overseeing proceedings was progressive TRC chairperson Mandy Hayden.

TRC chairperson Mandy Hayden riding Dixie, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow.

The TRC facility at Coolboy is a great benefit to the community providing a social outlet enjoyed by everybody. A natural parkland that on event days explodes with life and colour.

Leading the team, TRC Hunter Trials, Coolboy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

For information on future events or becoming a member why not visit the TRC website,

Cheshire Home Hunt, Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow.

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

The Shillelagh and District Hunt held the 50th annual Cheshire Home Hunt last Saturday. The final meet of the season and one which is always looked forward too, staff and residents of the Ardeen Cheshire Home in Shillelagh, Co Wicklow, enjoyed the buzz and spectacle as the hunt members gathered before setting out. Celebratory stirrup cups were handed around, banter was exchanged, and a group photograph was taken. Then to the sound of a hunting horn and the baying of hounds the large contingent literally headed for the hills.

Ready for the off, Shillelagh and District Hunt members gather outside the Ardeen Cheshire Home.

A real family day out, there was as much interest from those not taking part as those in the saddle. Even the damp weather didn’t put the followers off as they headed to their favourite vantage points above Shillelagh village.

Andy and Tara Kinsella enjoy the annual Cheshire Home Hunt.

Me, I headed to a place called, “The Birney”, I think that is the way you spell it, out the Parkbridge Road and turn right at the first crossroads, then on up the hill to where the lane bisects a forestry. Damp but not cold, it was not long before I heard the hunting horn and the sound of galloping hooves carried by the mist.

Huntsman David Nolan clears a forestry barrier above Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow.

In a flash of reds, blacks, and browns, snorting, steaming, horses, ponies and hounds, shod hooves ringing on tarmac, quips, laughs, and smiles they were gone, off into the forest. What I like about the Shillelagh’s is the sense of community, encompassed in the young riders who are encouraged to take part. They start them young in these parts, and there is no shortage of enthusiasm either, epitomised by father and son team Jasper and Jed Kelly.

Community spirit epitomised by the Shillelagh Hunt, Co. Wicklow.

I enjoyed following the hunt this year. It acts as a focal point for social interaction, gets people out in the air, and grounds one to nature and conservation of the rural landscape and way of life. I even get up on a horse myself now, but whisper it, “you won’t catch me going hunting”, I value my legs and arms too much. An armchair horseman, that’s me.

Huntsman David Nolan leading the hounds, Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow.

Sunday Morning Hack Out.

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Carrig Wood is a combination of spruce, larch, and beech woods. Clear felling of the evergreens by Coillte, The semi state forestry organisation, has been ongoing for a number of years resulting in bare patches on the mountain. The broad leaf sections thankfully have been left alone. A legacy of the recent children’s hunt is a jumping course combining natural obstacles such as fallen trees, ditches, dykes, and logs criss crossing between the beech woods and the pine forestry. It adds a new dimension to what is an enjoyable place to ride out the horses and ponies.

Cluney, a Connemara Pony who is learning the ropes.

Howard and Alan Woods of, Tally Ho Connamara’s, wanted to school a couple of youngsters, thus an arrangement was made to meet at the entrance to Carrig Wood on Sunday morning last. Crisp and frosty with no wind and a clear blue sky, it was a fine morning to be out.

A leisurely Sunday morning in north county Wexford.

The relations were up for the weekend and it did not take much persuading for the niece and sister in law to accept a steed and join the party. The idea was for the inexperienced horses and ponies to mix with the senior animals in a group situation and learn from the outing. The new jumping course being an ideal environment given its natural location.

Roz and Dixie jumping a pine log in Carrig Wood.

Young Erica and her green pony had a ball negotiating logs, ditches, and banks. The pony was well up for it and Erica showed her ability as a young rider which was duly noted by Alan and Howard. “As good a pair of hands as we have seen in a long while for someone so young”.

Erica and her green pony jump a log in Carrig wood.

The morning progressed with a trek along various forest paths before another round of jumping. The horses and ponies working up a sweat and enjoying the ride out.

Coming down the mountains, north Co. Wexford, Ireland.

On the day Erica’s pony showed its class, is definitely a prospect, and would be a credit to any junior rider once it has a few more miles on the clock.

At full tilt, horse riding in County Wexford, Ireland.

Where would you get it? Sunday morning in good company, enjoying the fresh air and shooting the breeze. I’m often asked about living in a remote area and possible disadvantages. Whisper it, ” there are no disadvantages”.

New Years Day Hunt, Carnew, Co. Wicklow

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

What better way to start the new year and blow away the party cobwebs then to take a rough and tumble ride in the country. The Shillelagh and District Hunt meets in Carnew, Co. Wicklow, annually on the first of January. At least forty riders ventured out this year, some a little worse for wear, and had a fine day out in glorious sunshine.

Meeting outside Sinnott's pub, Carnew, Co. Wicklow.

Heading out the Fern’s road the plan was to work a wide loop around the village towards the Kilcavan gap. Due to soft conditions a lot of farm land was out of bounds. To make up for this various makeshift jumps had been organised along the planned route.

Huntsman David Nolan leading the charge.

David Nolan works and manages a fine pack of hounds. They love the run out and are very responsive to his calls and commands.

On the scent.

Hedges, ditches, gates, or pallets, there is no stopping the Shillelagh Hunt members when they get going. Hold onto your hat, grab the mane, and keep your heels down!

Howard Woods clearing a gate, Carnew, Co. Wicklow.

Tally Ho!!

Friday, December 31st, 2010

The recent cold spell decimated the hunting calender locally with eight meets called off. However nothing was going to deter the Shillelagh and District Hunt from holding their traditional boxing day event in the village of Tinahely, Co. Wicklow. It was agreed to give the hounds a run and stage a walking hunt. Not quite the same razzmatazz given the equine absences but an escape from cabin fever and a chance to socialise non the less.

A huntsman and his hounds, boxing day, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow.

Gathering in the village square outside Murphy’s Hotel the local community imbibed hot whiskeys and ports, discussed Christmas, snow, the economy, future meets, and what ever else caught your fancy. The hounds yelped and the huntsmen added a bit of colour. To the sound of a hunting horn the group headed off in the direction of Coolboy hounds sniffing and quartering the ground. A fine tradition upheld.

Crossing a stubble field, Parkbridge, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

The following Tuesday after a sudden and welcome thaw Egan’s public house of Parkbridge hosted the annual children’s Christmas Hunt. An opportunity for the youngsters to experience a hack out over open country. Well attended the day was mild and grey, the ground soft but not heavy. Hip flasks and stirrup cups are the pre-hunt ritual, keeping warm or dutch courage? Probably a bit of both.

Participants arriving to the Parkbridge hunt.

The Tinahely Riding Club and the Shillelagh and District Hunt are fundamental to the local community, like the GAA they are inextricably linked with rural life. Horses create a common bond and a deep rooted social outlet appreciated by both young and old alike.

Clearing a ditch, Parkbridge Hunt.

The kids had a ball on what was a grey foggy day. It stayed mild and the rain did not fall. The horses got a much needed run out and the hounds enjoyed mooching around the countryside.

Out of the fog, Parkbridge Hunt, Co. Carlow.

At days end all those involved retired to Egan’s for much needed sustenance. Hot soup and sandwiches for all, crisps and lemonade for the youngsters, and of course we cannot leave out uncle Arthur.

A pint of the black stuff, Egan's of Parkbridge.

Hack Out in the Snow

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Four days snowed in, the lane outside is a sheet of glass. Three times in one year, will definitely be purchasing wheel chains. Meanwhile, to make the most of this early winter wonderland there is nothing like a good ride in the woods.

Mandy astride Dixie, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Plenty of trees down to jump.

Dixie jumping a fallen tree, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Getting rid of the cobwebs.

Dixie and Mandy cantering, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Practicing for the hunt.

Stretching out, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

Would you really consider developing a hard rock quarry here?

Heading home, Carrig Wood, Ballythomas Hill, Co. Wexford, Ireland.