dunbyrne equestrian

BHS Ridden Exams - What does it take to pass?

In May this year our two British Horse Society Accredited Coaches, Ross and Lorna attended the two day BHS Conference in Cavan. One of the many talks presented was by Alex Copeland and Tim Downes and centred around how candidates are assessed for ridden examinations and what is required to pass.

The pair explained that the pass criteria varies through the exam structure.

  • At Stage 1 level, all marks (100%) are available for the riding and 70% is required for a pass to be achieved.

  • At Stage 2 level, 80% of the marks are available for the riding and 20% for the oral section. 70% overall is required to pass

  • At Stage 3 level 70% of the marks are available for riding and 30% for the oral section. 70% overall is required to pass.

  • At Stage 4 level, 60% of marks are available for the riding section and 40% for the oral section. 70% overall is required to pass. This means that a candidate cannot pass on their riding alone - they must be able to evaluate and talk.

  • At Stage 5 50% of marks are available for riding and 50% for the oral section. This underlines that the qualification is not just about being able to ride - candidates must be able to evaluate an animals way of going, to explain what they are feeling and have done and to understand how to progress

Alex and Tim also explained that assessors will assess whether a candidate is lacking in skills or if they have skills which are developed in the wrong way. It is more of a concern to see incorrect training and habits (for example a rider thinking they should pull the head in and giving incorrect aids) than to see embryonic skills needing development.

The differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2 riding exams were clarified by the team:

  • The team clarified that at Stage one candidates are required to walk and trot without stirrups where as at Stage two they must also canter.

  • In stage one the light seat is introduced where as in Stage 2 candidates must jump

  • In Stage 2 assessors must gauge how well balanced is the rider and are they effective enough to ride a horse forward to a fence. Sabrina Jones explained that the new skills record which must be signed off by a professional accredited coach before a candidate can attempt their Stage 2 exam has meant that far less candidates are being stopped before the jumping phase.

The team explained that at all levels people make mistakes but assessors are not looking to fail anyone on a small mistake. In fact the team will question to identify if the candidate understands the background of why something should be done a certain way - for example where a candidate has their stirrup twisted the wrong way the assessor will question to ascertain if the candidate understands the correct way and why.

The exam structures are designed to future proof riders because following process and technique means riders will go on to ride at a higher level.

Information provided around Stage 3 and 4 riding exams gave the following insights:

  • At Stage 4 level it was clarified that the assessors will have sat up on the horses that candidates will ride beforehand and that at this level candidates may ride horses “long and low”. in fact at Stage 3 and 4 assessors don’t want to see people candidates riding immediately in a dressage test outline and do not wish to see riders riding movements without understanding why a movement is or is not beneficial to the horse.

  • At stage 3 and 4 level the candidates need to be able to influence the horse so balance is key as is a basic understanding that the horse out of balance users their head and neck to balance. Riders with bad balance pulling a horse on the bit is an issue as the horse cannot work correctly. Assessors see too many riders riding backwards thinking they must ride a horse in a frame - they want to see that the rider is balanced and can ride forward into an outline.

  • At Stage 4 the horse should lift frame and go into the elementary balance with the withers up.

  • A lot of riders at Stage 3 and 4 level say ‘I am going to use transitions to improve the horse’ but it is important to remember that only good transitions improve the horse, bad ones don’t!

  • Riders at Stage 3 and 4 level should read the horse they are riding and should be surprised and comment if a thoroughbred is lazy rather than or a cob is sharp off the aids. Candidates should understand the makeup of the horse, what it typically goes like and should comment if it is not true to type. As Tim said ‘if a 30 year old Land Rover drives like a Ferrari - you would be surprised and would comment on it’

  • At Stage 3 and 4 correct candidates are starting to influence the horse. At Stage 3 the odd support aid in the rein is understood. At Stage 3 the intention should be to ride forward with independent aids - at Stage 4 candidates should be doing this. The biggest issue seen by assessors is candidates intentionally riding the horse backwards. Intention is key - the rider must show that they intend to ride a horse forwards into the contact in balance even if they have not yet achieved it.

  • At Stage 3 a candidate can be unsuccessful in their flatwork exam but if they are workmanlike and sufficiently balanced they can go on to pass their jumping exam as they have been seen jumping at Stage 2 and have been signed off for Stage 3 jumping.

  • At Stage 4 under the new format there will be a specific dressage assessment -candidates will ride one horse that is at elementary level, one that is not yet there yet and one that they ride over trot and canter poles. In showjumping candidates will ride three horses - one to do with riding over a course, one to ride related distances and one to show how they develop flatwork into jumping using poles.

  • At Stage 4 the rider needs to be training the horse and candidates need to take responsibility for the how the horse is going when solving problems. When discussing fixing issues self reflection is important and candidates need to say not just what they will do to the horse but also what they will change in their riding

  • A sign off for Stage 4 wont be mandatory until next year.

  • At Stage 5 there wont be a sign off book instead candidates will complete a training and cpd log which they will bring with them and discuss.

At Dunbyrne Equestrian we have our own onsite BHS Assessor and BHSI Ross O’Hare. If you are working towards your BHS riding exams and need some training, sign off for exams or a mock assessment please get in touch - dunbyrnestud@gmail.com

Dunbyrne Summer Camp 2019

Summer Pony Camp 2019!

Welcome to Summer 2019. Many of you have been very proactive and have contacted us to enquire about Pony Camps. Thank you for your patience while we created our Summer time table. This blog post aims to tell you everything you need to know about summer pony camps at Dunbyrne Equestrian. 

Dates:

We aim to run camps on the dates listed below subject to a minimum number of bookings per camp. Camps run from Tuesdays through to Fridays from 10am to 4pm. 

 

  • Tuesday 2nd July - All levels, beginners welcome

  • Tuesday 9th July - All levels, beginners welcome

  • Tuesday 16th July - All levels, beginners welcome

  • Tuesday 23rd July - All levels, beginners welcome

  • Tuesday 30th July - Advanced camp, approval required pre booking.

  • Tuesday 6th August - All levels, beginners welcome

  • Tuesday 13th August - All levels, beginners welcome

  • Tuesday 20th August - All levels, beginners welcome

Times:

Pony camp runs from 10am to 4pm. On the first day campers should arrive by 9.45am for registration. Campers should aim to be on time each day. Campers must be collected before 4.15pm each day. 

What to wear:

We can and will provide a hat of approved standard and a back protector free of charge for use during riding lessons. We have a limited number available. We also have riding boots in a limited number of sizes that can be borrowed. We ask that you wear boots with a heel, a long sleeved top (without a hood) and jodphurs / breeches / thick tracksuit bottoms. Long hair must be tied up at all times and jewellery aside from small stud earrings may not be worn

What to Bring:

Campers should bring a change of clothes, waterproofs and a packed lunch. 

What happens at pony camp?

Tuesday to Thursday - campers will ride under instruction from BHS instructors, take stable management lessons where they will learn how to look after their pony and will enjoy games and activities. Riding lessons will comprise of flat work and jumping and where appropriate, cross country and hacking . 

On the Friday we will have a show where campers will get their ponies ready before show casing their skills over a course of fences / obstacles in the afternoon followed by a prize giving. We would encourage parents and guardians to come and watch the show if possible as the children really enjoy it. 

Costs:

Pony camp costs €130 per child per week for one child or €120 per child per week for two or more children from the same family or for agency bookings. We believe that our prices are fair and competitive given the quality of instruction provided. All of our instructors are 18 and over and BHS (British Horse Society) qualified with first aid training, Safeguarding and Garda Vetting. Please do not ask for discounts as refusal may offend.

Levels:

We welcome all levels for pony camp aside from our advanced camp which takes place the week of July 30th. Advanced camp is restricted to our more advanced riders. If you are a regular client and unsure if advanced camp will suit you please ask your instructor for advice.

Where we have a mixture of levels in pony camp we will cater to those levels and will split classes where we have quantities to do so. While we welcome advanced riders our ponies are riding school ponies and therefore any jumping will take place over an appropriate height. 

Booking:

To book a place on Pony Camp please email us - dunbyrnestud@gmail.com. the team are unable to take booking in the riding school - please email to book so that we can ensure that we have everything in order and your child can enjoy camp.

Children must be aged six years or over to attend camp.

When booking, please advise us of the following information

  • Campers name

  • campers age / height / weight,

  • Name and number of emergency contact / next of kin

  • campers level of riding experience,

  • Which camp you would like to do.

  • Any allergies or illnesses.

    A €30 non refundable booking deposit per child will be required in advance to secure your booking. Places are limited so please book soon as only bookings with a deposit paid will be confirmed. You can pay your deposit by bank transfer (putting your name as reference, by paypal or by cash / cheque. Cash / cheque payments will only be accepted by the riding school when in an envelope labelled with your name, childs name and the camp that you are paying a deposit for.

    Your balance will be due before camp commences. This can be paid on the first day of camp at 9.45am by cash or cheque or you can pay us in advance by bank transfer or paypal.

Jumping into 2019

It was the first show of 2019 yesterday for a number of our riders and some of the DBS horses. We are located just ten minutes from Coilog which gives us easy access to a great competition venue. Coilog are currently running an unregistered combined training league which is a brilliant opportunity to get horses back into competition mode with a choice of levels.

Rory competed in the dressage with our beautiful bay home bred mare Chanel. This was this mare’s first competition and also her first ever offsite outing but she has a very sensible and mature attitude and took it all in her stride scoring over 68%. She is definitely one to watch.

Rory also competed with bay gelding Oisin in the 90cm combined training. They led from the dressage phase and delivered a smooth clear round to take the overall win.

Lorna and Sammy (DBS Second Chance) had their first outing of the year in the metre combined training. They had a solid dressage test and a clear round in the showjumping phase earned them second place.

Sisters Niamh and Sinead Davitt made their debut outing with their bay mare Star. Both girls were delighted with their double clears in the 80cm showjumping class. Star (Killelton Starlight) was a surprise Christmas present and she definitely lives up to her name!

Our team and clients have a busy schedule ahead of them in the coming weeks as they get into the 2019 season and make the most of the longer evenings. We love coaching our clients and helping them to set and achieve goals. We also take pride in producing and showcasing our own DBS horses. We look forward to doing plenty more of both this Spring.

Dunbyrne Christmas Show

Our Christmas Show took place on Saturday 22nd December. We had a Christmas festival feel with a tea, coffee and hot chocolate van, a stand with local plastic free soap supplier Janni Bars and the Holmestead Saddlery mobile tack shop.

We were really overwhelmed by the fantastic turnout on the day and would like to thank all of our clients for taking part. We were really proud to see how much riders have improved and especially to see some of our riding school clients placing in the maxi showjumping class. Congratulations to all of our prize winners and clear rounds.

Our riding school is currently closed for Christmas and lessons for our regular clients will resume on Saturday 5th January.

Results:

Dressage:

Under 10:

1) Caoimhe Logan (Lone Ranger)

Under 12:

1) Zara Logan (Dustmister)

2) Ella Callan (Millie)

3) Caitlin Harrington (Cosmic)

4) Kayla Brown (Betty Blue)

Preliminary:

1) Orla Harrington (Othello)

2) The Alders Bobby Dazzler (Laura Kavanagh)

3) Millionaire Monty (Aoife Harrington)

4) Miia Pekkala (Chanel)

5) Suzanne Walsh (Yukon Don)

Novice:

1) The Alders Bobby Dazzler (Laura Kavanagh)

2) Rebecca Hoary (Honey)

3) Tabitha Walsh (Yukon Don)

Show Jumping:

Mini:

Shared between: Caoimhe Logan, Kayla Brown, Grace St. John, Rachael Gordon, Isabelle Smith, Emily Smith, James Smith, Emily Keegan, Simon Keane, Bradley Kavanagh, Joey Gordon, Ella Brown, Maeve McGrath, Charlotte kelly, John O’Connor, Robin Byrne Healy, Sophie Evans, Robyn keogh, Alannah Hilliard Duff, Sally Grogan, Alannah Balfe, Laura Tierney, Emer Markey, Aoibhe Murphy, Zaren Zammit, Nicolena Zammit

Midi:

1) Niamh Davitt (Star)

2) Zara Logan (Dustmister)

3) Sophie Flood (Monty)

4) Jessica McBride 9merrylegs)

5) Jessica Dunne 9Shadow)

6) Faith Wilson (Domino)

Clear rounds: Aoibhe Murphy, Saoire Byrne, Emma O’Carroll, Lila Traynor, Ciaran Carty, Anna Mooney, Gemma Carter, Kate Dooley, Fergus Dunne. Lucy Byrne, Sophia Manning

Maxi:

1) Caitlin Harrington (Cosmic)

2) Niamh Davitt (Star)

3) Ellie O’Keefe (Ludo)

3) Molly Dunne (Phoenix)

4) Tabitha Walsh (Vee)

5) Ella Callan (Millie)

5) Chloe Wyeth (Dan)

6) Thomas Cruise (Dan)

Super Maxi:

1) Aoife Harrington (Cosmic)

2) Tabitha Walsh (Yukon Don)

3) Sinead Davitt (Star)

4) Ella Callan (Millie)

5) Molly Dunne (Phoenix)

6) Emma Keogh (Shadow)

Best Costume - Caitlin Harrington & Cosmic

Best SJ Round - Tabitha Walsh

No Slacking November

Forget no stirrups November - what we have got here is no slacking November! The weather has turned, leaves are falling, the evenings are dark and yet we have been so impressed by the dedication of our clients to continue to work hard with their horses and improve.

Halloween Pony Camp

We had our Halloween Camp from the 30th October to the 2nd November. This was our biggest camp ever with over 30 attendees! Thank you to our instructors - Tara, Rebecca, Samantha, Mary and our team for making it the success that it was.

Pony Club Halloween Show

On Friday the 2nd November a group of DBS Tail Blazers went to Coilog with Lorna for the Newcastle Lyons Pony Club Halloween Show. This group of riders really excelled on the day and did Dunbyrne Proud! Zara, Caoimhe, Sive, Sinead and Ella gave it socks in the jump off against the clock earning well deserved rosettes. it was Caoimhe’s first ever pony club show and her pony Judy was on flying form. Zara and Ella were on new mounts and are on the way to growing successful partnerships with them. Laura and Bobby took on the fences in the biggest class with great confidence. Thank you to Newcastle Lyons for a great show.

Riding Club Autumn league success

Our riding club members have been knocking it out of the park in terms of results lately and have turned into a real group of show jumpers and dressage divas. We were delighted to see how well our club was represented in the final results of both the Dressage and Showjumping West Leinster Autumn leagues.

  • Michelle Davitt, second place in the primary showjumping league

  • Cailey bergin sixth place in the primary showjumping league

  • Tori Cummins Kennedy sixth place in the advanced primary league

  • Susanne Walsh second place in the primary dressage league

  • Deirdre Doyle sixth in the primary dressage league

  • Mary Wade winner of the intermediate dressage league

  • Miia Pekkala fifth place advanced intermediate dressage league

  • Lorna O’Hare winner open dressage league.

Well done everyone! Great to see the hard work paying off. Well done also to Emma Downey second in the open league, Emma trains with Ross O’Hare and has put huge efforts into her training this year.

We look forward to seeing their riders collect their prizes at the Regional awards night later on in the month. We have sponsored a lesson with Ross and lesson with Lorna at Dunbyrne as prizes for the raffle on the night and Lorna (Equestrian Reality) will present an prize sponsored by Clippers Ireland to the best dressed human on the night

Dressage Ireland success

Orla Harrington and her four year old Othello set out to compete this Autumn with the goal of qualifying for the Dressage Ireland Winter Finals at Cavan in April. In just two shows, one of which was in some pretty horrific weather conditions this pair nailed it and have achieved their qualifying scores to earn them a place in the preliminary finals. They will work now towards Novice over the winter training with Ross - what a brilliant start to Othellos dressage career.

Grid Work Sessions

Ross our BHSI has started running grid work sessions at 2pm on a Saturday. These sessions use grids to help riders to gain confidence in their show jumping and progress over height. Starting at 80cm and working upwards during the hour these grid work sessions are open to our liveries, our riding club members and also to anyone who wishes to travel to us to take part. Just contact us at dunbyrnestud@gmail.com to get involved!

Pony Club Championships Success

The Irish Pony Club championships took place last week at Barndown and we had a number of excited DBS Tail Blazers heading down to compete in the event for the first time. Sive Murphy and Molly Dunne travelled down on Thursday to compete in the combined training. Sive and her pony Cooper had an amazing dressage score followed by a clear round show jumping to take fourth place in the Under ten combined training! 

Laura Kavanagh competed on the Newcastle Lyons pure dressage team with her pony The Alders Bobby Dazzler. The team took sixth place in a hotly contested competition. Laura and Bobby also competed in the open novice combined training where they placed fourth over all and also received a special award for getting the highest score awarded in the dressage phase. This was a fantastic achievement for Laura who was also recently awarded camper of the year at the pony club summer pony camp. 

On Friday Niamh Davitt, Sinead Davitt, Molly Dunne and Sive Murphy formed part of a team of fourteen riders who competed in the musical ride. They rode their world cup display to music by Lorna and movements Choreographed by Anne O'Connor. The team only started practicing last month and were delighted to take fifth place in the competition. With the coaches, parents and children all feeling enthralled and inspired by the various routines in the competition its safe to say this will be on the radar again next year! 

Livery Available!

Summer livery!

We are delighted to be able to offer some spaces in our stable court yard for livery this Summer. We have the following services available from the first of June. Whether you and your horse need a change of scene, some schooling or a makeover - we can cover it. 

Full livery:

Full livery allows your horse to live in one of our spacious stables in the courtyard with a deep shavings bed. High quality feed twice a day, haylage three times a day, daily mucking out and fresh shavings twice a week are included. We do daily turnout into individual paddocks where horses can enjoy the summer weather and grass. 

Liveries can enjoy facilities such as our 70 * 50m all weather arena, sand gallops and wooded hacking trail, cross country field, secure tack room, free horsebox parking and heated rug room. We have an onsite riding school but this is housed in a separate tack room, arena and stable barn. 

We live onsite so the stable yard has no restriction on opening hours for livery clients. We also have a BHSI and two HSI coaches onsite for all of your training needs. Our riding club Dunbyrne Riding Club is based around the yard and is ideal for the amateur competitor. 

Schooling, exercise and Holiday livery:

Going on holidays? Tied up with work commitments? Need a break?

If you need someone to look after your horse while you are away or when you are busy, book in for holiday, schooling or exercise livery. Your horse will enjoy all of the benefits of full livery plus you can select to have them exercised by the team, schooled by our BHSI or groomed, trimmed and pampered by our BHS qualified groom. Come back to a well mannered horse who looks fabulous. *prices vary based on options selected

Coaching Livery:

Are you working towards a specific competition or championships? Our BHSI has trained clients to championship level in Dressage Ireland, Eventing Ireland, Showing, Pony Club and Riding Livery. Coaching livery allows you to train with our BHSI several times a week while on livery to maximise your performance. 

To talk to us about any of these livery options please call 0858059529 / 0862222440 or email dunbyrnestud@gmail.com

 

Everything you need to know about our Summer Pony Camps

Summer Pony Camp 2018!

You wouldn't think so judging by the weather but it is officially Summer 2018! Many of you have been very proactive and have contacted us to enquire about Pony Camps. Thank you for your patience while we created our Summer time table. This blog post aims to tell you everything you need to know about summer pony camps at Dunbyrne Equestrian. 

Dates:

We aim to run camps on the dates listed below subject to a minimum number of bookings per camp. Camps run from Tuesdays through to Fridays from 10am to 4pm. 

 

  • Tuesday 10th July - All levels, beginners welcome
  • Tuesday 17th July - All levels, beginners welcome
  • Tuesday 24th July - All levels, beginners welcome
  • Tuesday 31st July - All levels, beginners welcome
  • Tuesday 7th August - Advanced camp
  • Tuesday 14th August - All levels, beginners welcome
  • Tuesday 21st August - All levels, beginners welcome

Times:

Pony camp runs from 10am to 4pm. Campers should aim to be on time each day. Campers must be collected before 4.15pm each day. 

What to wear:

We can and will provide a hat of approved standard and a back protector free of charge for use during riding lessons. We have a limited number available. We ask that you wear boots with a heel, a long sleeved top and jodphurs / breeches / thick tracksuit bottoms. 

What to Bring:

Campers should bring a change of clothes, waterproofs and a packed lunch. 

What happens at pony camp?

Tuesday to Thursday - campers will ride twice a day, take stable management lessons where they will learn how to look after their pony and will enjoy games and activities. Riding lessons will comprise of flat work and jumping . 

On the Friday we will have a show where campers will get their ponies ready before show casing their skills over a course of fences / obstacles in the afternoon followed by a prize giving. We would encourage parents and guardians to come and watch the show if possible. 

Costs:

Pony camp costs €120 per child per week. Discounts are available for groups, families and block books. a €30 deposit must be paid a month in advance to secure places. 

Levels:

We welcome all levels for pony camp aside from our advanced camp which takes place the week of August 7th. Advanced camp is restricted to our more advanced riders. If you are a regular client and ensure if advanced camp will suit you please ask your instructor for advice.

Where we have a mixture of levels in pony camp we will cater to those levels and will split classes where we have quantities to do so. While we welcome advanced riders our ponies are riding school ponies and therefore any jumping will take place over an appropriate height. 

Booking:

To book a place on Pony Camp please email us - dunbyrnestud@gmail.com and advise us of the following information - campers age / height / weight, campers level of riding experience, and which camp you would like to do. A €30 booking deposit will be required in advance to secure your booking. Places are limited so please book soon. 

 

Making A Show Of Ourselves

It's mid April and it has been another busy week at Dunbyrne. On Friday the 13th our team took part in a local table quiz held in aid of My Lovely Horse Rescue. Our team, the DBS Bar Flies (Stine, Tori, Miia and Lorna) came second. We had sponsored some prizes for the raffle in aid of this good cause so two lucky raffle winners won a voucher for a private lesson with Ross and Lorna. 

On Saturday a group of our DBS Tail Blazers enjoyed pony club cross country training at The Field Equestrian in Ballyadams. Zara, Hannah, Mia, Sinead and Molly took part with Lorna instructing and had great fun tackling the water fences, steps and combinations. 

On Sunday Dunbyrne Riding Club held our leg of the West Leinster Region Linda Moore Showjumping League. Our own members did us proud on home turf. Michelle Davitt and Zono won the primary class - their second win in a row in the league. Tori Cummins Kennedy then won the advanced primary class. Lorna and Sammy competed in the advanced intermediate class with just four faults. Well done to all the winners on the day - Michelle Davitt (Primary), Tori Cummins Kennedy (advanced primary), Gay Parkinson (Sportsmans) , Audrey O'Dwyer (Intermediate), Grainne Alexander (Advanced Intermediate), Caoimhe Delaney (Open). We ran a coffee shop on the day to raise money for the Irish Horse Welfare Trust

Laura Kavanagh headed off hunter trialling with Bobby yesterday while Hannah Groves travelled to the Interschools at Mullingar with Brogan competing on a team who earned sixth place in the final. 

Orla and Aoife Harrington were at Killossery yesterday for the Dressage ireland league final in the Leinster region. Aoife and Cosmic placed second in both classes to take second overall in the league in both the Preliminary and Novice categories. Orla placed third in the league on the elementary class. 

 

 

Supporting Spring Success

With the beast from the east and the son of the beast finally moving on it has been a relief for us and our clients that we can all come out of hiding from riding, get back in the saddle and make up for lost time over the past few weeks.

The first week of April saw a hectic schedule with some very promising results. We have a dynamic group of riders here at the moment performing across a variety of disciplines under different governing bodies.  

Stine Anderson has been working hard through the Winter to prepare Alva Gunne's show horse Dutchess for the Northern Ireland Festival. The pair competed this weekend winning the 90cm Working Hunter which was a great result and ideal preparation for heading to Cavan for this festival next week. 

Mia Browne and Hannah Groves headed to Annaharvery for their first ever hunter trials at the weekend. These two DBS Tail Blazers are keen Pony Club members and wanted some hunter trial experience to compliment their minimus training. They flew around the pre-novice pairs with their ponies Belle and Brogan. 

Sisters Orla and Aoife Harrington were at Cavan this weekend for the Dressage Ireland Winter Finals. Aoife and Cosmic took fourth place in the Junior Trailblazers preliminary championship while Orla and Semperit were 9th in the Elementary Category 2 championship.

With private lessons, DBS Tail Blazers and Pony Club coaching scheduled for this week we are delighted to see so much enthusiasm for training and learning from our riders here at Dunbyrne and look forward to seeing what the Spring and Summer competition season will bring.  

Riding Club will be the main focus for Dunbyrne Equestrian next weekend when we host our leg of the West Leinster Region Linda Moore league on Sunday the 15th April. 

Blazing a trail at Dressage Ireland

We have a number of talented young riders at Dunbyrne Equestrian and recently two of our coaches Ross O'Hare BHSI and Lorna Keogh (BHS/HSI) formed what we now call the Dunbyrne Tailblazers. The tailblazers team allows these riders access to quality competition coaching to encourage them to improve their riding and to compete with a positive mindset.

The first tailblazers sessions focused on dressage with riders learning the dressage arena and letters and how to ride the movements within a test. After three weeks of training the team travelled to JAG in November with the Dunbyrne lorry to compete at Dressage Ireland in the trailblazers competitions for young riders. This day out, the first ever dressage competition for the team was a great success with everyone scoring above 60% and lots of positive and developmental feedback from the judges to work on. Zara Logan, Sive Murphy and Hannah Groves competed in the mini trailblazers while Niamh Davitt, Laura Kavanagh, Blaithnaid Sharpe and Molly Dunne all competed in the junior trailblazers. 

Aoife Harrington, a young rider who has been competing for over a year at Dressage Ireland Trailblazers acted as a guide for the tailblazers team members, riding test demonstrations to help them to learn their tests while her sister Orla a successful competitor at Dressage Ireland and riding club was at JAG on the day to help the riders on their first day out. Aoife travelled to Marlton last weekend to compete at Trailblazers. She scored an impressive 73% in her prelim test to take second place. Aoife also rode her first ever novice test on the day earning third place and a good score with plenty to work on for 2018 to progress at this level. 

As the tailblazers team has evolved at Dunbyrne Equestrian we have started to include showjumping coaching into the schedule. Our team have been learning how to ride lines, jump combinations and count strides. We have a showjumping session planned for Saturday as well as a talk for the team on competing with a healthy, positive and balanced approach to competition.  Our riders will compete on Sunday at dressage and showjumping at our Christmas Show - we cant wait to see them in action 

Interschooling Around

We are always delighted to see the variety of activities that our clients take part in across different disciplines. A group of our young riders have been taking part in the Equestrian Interschools showjumping league which runs throughout Ireland from Autumn to May.

Aoife Harrington, Lola Gabor Sweeney and Laura Kavanagh are three talented teenage riders who are stabled at Dunbyrne Equestrian and who attend Newbridge college and  compete for the school in team and individual competitions. The girls and their parents have travelled far and wide to compete at various venues throughout the country. 

Laura competes with her bay gelding Bobby who she became the owner of last year. The pair have gone from strength to strength and have become a really consistent team. Lola Gabor Sweeney competed up to recently with her pony Miss Gort who she unfortunately outgrew. Lola's new mount is a bigger horse, a bay gelding called Murphy. Lola has been getting to grips with her new horse and has made a quick and smooth transition already competing successfully with him just a few weeks into ownership. Aoife Harrington, a keen dressage rider is enjoying her first season at Interschools with her grey pony Milkyway (Cosmic). The pair had a very successful outing recently where they completed four clear rounds in one day. 

The girls have been consistent performers so far in the season achieving several team and individual placings. This weekend Lola and Aoife competed together on a team of just three instead of four riders at Wexford equestrian centre. This was also Lola's first competition on board Murphy. With a new partnership and a small team the group performed really well taking sixth place. 

We wish Laura, Lola and Aoife the very best of luck as they continue to represent their schools and Dunbyrne Equestrian in the Interschools League. 

Kavanaghs of Newbridge Dressage League at Dunbyrne Stud

On Sunday the 15th October we held a leg of the West Leinster region riding clubs league the Kavanaghs of Newbridge Autumn Dressage League. We ran seven classes on the day across the various riding club levels and had over sixty entries. We had two local judges on the day - Gisela Holstein and Patricia Creighton who assessed riders in each class. The weather was a worry but we were very luckyto escape with just some wind and rain given that Hurricane Ophelia arrived the next day!

We had a number of our members and clients competing on the day on home turf and we were delighted to see them do well. Anna Marie Curry and her horse Pixie took third place in the Sportsmans class while Michelle Davitt and Ozono took sixth place in the Primary. The open class saw a great result as Orla Harrington and Lorna Keogh took first and second place on board chestnut geldings Semperit and DBS Second Chance. Orla won the class with 70.69% in what was a very impressive performance on board a horse with whom she has only been a partnership for two weeks. 

Thank you very much to our riding club members who gave up their time to help us run this show and also to the West Leinster region members who came to support it. We held a cake sale on the day and will donate the proceeds to the Irish Horse Welfare Trust

Results - Dunbyrne RC, 15th October 2017

Advanced Open
Place Name Horse Club Result %
1st Deirdre Kane, Mighty Clever, Greenhills 60.76%

Open
Place Name Horse Club Result %
1st Orla Harrington, Semperit, Dunbyrne 70.69%
2nd Lorna Keogh, DBS Second Chance, Dunbyrne 69.83%
3rd Marian Murphy, Roxy, Calliaghstown 67.41%
4th Julie O'Callaghan, Poulboy Hidalgo, Greenhills 61.72%
5th Sara Wood, Whacky Jack, Celbridge 60.17%

Advanced Inter
Place Name Horse Club Result %
1st Fionnuala O'Connor, Mighty Clever, Greenhills 71.88%
2nd Genna Kavanagh, Royoco King, Killcarrick 71.04%
3rd Ceara Banner, Soprano, Abbeylands 70.63%
4th Stephane Greyling Weston, Furzvale Zuri, Cill Dara 67.50%
5th Orla Carroll, Bridgehousestud Riverking, Cill Dara 66.46%
6th Michelle Wright, Panda Bear, Cill Dara 65.83%

Intermediate
Place Name Horse Club Result %
1st Olwyn Alexander, Santero, Greenhills 72.14%
2nd Anne Casey, Dusty of Lishmar, Greenhills 69.76%
3rd Kathleen Moore, Garveys Joy, Celbridge 69.29%
4th Evin Foley, Highfield Hunter, Greenhills 67.38%
5th Patricia McGlynn, Salalah Princess Khareef, Killcarrick 66.67%
6th Niamh Daly, Seaview Volvic, Moyglare 63.10%

Sportsman
Place, Name, Horse, Club, Result %
1st Louise Parkes, Freelancer, Calliaghstown, 70.23%
2nd Deirdre O Loughlin, Rathnagerra Casino Royal, Cill Dara, 67.05%
3rd Anna Marie Curry, Pixie, Dunbyrne, 59.55%
4th Sheila Fuller, Sailor Blue, Celbridge , 57.50%

Advanced Primary
Place, Name, Horse, Club, Result %
1st Mary Leavy, Bozzie, Moyglare, 68.64%
2nd Katie Mc Parland, Crimson Dancer, Rathangan, 67.95%
3rd Rebecca Corr, Anonymous, Annaharvey, 67.05%
4th Catherine O'Leary, Geoffrey, Moyglare, 64.55%
5th Jennifer Moss, Freddy, Killcarrick, 64.55%
6th Noeleen O'Brien, Bento van de Noordheuval, Greenhills, 64.09%

Primary
Place, Name, Horse, Club, Result %
1st Kasper Feurer, Honey, Calliaghstown, 65.71%
=2nd Carmen Sánchez, Honey, Calliaghstown, 63.57%
=2nd Chantal Stewart, Move Over Sweetie, Calliaghstown, 63.57%
4th Karen Ferris, Lincoln Lane, Greenhills, 62.62%
5th Laura Byrne, LWS Quida, Greenhills, 62.38%
6th Michelle Davitt, Zono, Dunbyrne, 61.90%

Joining A riding club in Ireland

Riding clubs, affiliated to the Association of Irish Riding Clubs (AIRC) are one of the biggest amateur sport organisations in Ireland. Riding clubs provide a friendly and affordable environment for amateur riders in Ireland to compete across all disciplines. If you have never joined a riding club before the information and process might seem daunting so the aim of this blog post is to provide help and encouragement to anyone thinking of joining for the first time. 

In Ireland each affiliated riding club belongs in a region. There are over 100 affiliated riding clubs in Ireland. Our club, Dunbyrne Riding club is based in the Kildare area and falls under the West Leinster region. Riding club members compete representing the club that they choose to join and can compete in local shows run within their own region, in competitions held by other clubs and regions and in National championships. 

Why would I join a riding club?

Riding club brings together like minded amateur riders to learn and compete in a welcoming and enjoyable environment. It is the perfect way to meet new friends and build up experience. 

How do I join a riding club?

You must be aged 17 or over to join. To join a riding club you simply need to contact the club secretary and request to put in an application. All riding clubs and their details can be found at www.airc.ie. Our own club can be reached at dunbyrne@airc.ie / 0858144739 To apply to join a club the secretary will need you to provide your contact details, your competition and riding experience and details of any previous riding club members you may have had. They will also need your date of birth and some passport photos. 

You do not need to be on livery at a yard or living close by to join a specific club. Most riding clubs will base themselves around a yard or equestrian centre in order to enjoy facilities but riders can base themselves where ever they choose. Our riding club is named Dunbyrne Riding Club after our equestrian centre but membership is open to all and members do not need to be on livery with us to join and enjoy the club. 

How much does it cost?

Riding club is a very affordable sport as membership is simply paid annually for the rider. There are no extra charges for registering horses and owners. Membership to a club will vary from €65/70 + depending on the club. Membership runs from January to December with a discount usually offered to anyone joining in the autumn months. For example membership from October to December is available now at just €30. 

What level do I compete at?

If you have never joined a riding club before the club grading officer will asses your riding and your competiton record with other associations (if you have any) in order to advise you on the correct grade for you. In riding club the emphasis is about grading the rider rather than the horse. Riders can upgrade as they progress through the levels. Riders receive a grade for dressage, showjumping and cross country and there can be some level of variation between the grade for each. Beginner riders would be graded at the lowest level for dressage and showjumping and would not do cross country. 

If you have competed before your competition record will be assessed by the grading officer in order to advise on the best grade to start out as. A rough guide is below:

Dressage:

Dressage Ireland preliminary - Riding Club Advanced primary / Intermediate, Dressage Ireland Novice - Riding Club advanced intermediate, Dressage Ireland Elementary - Riding club open, Dressage Ireland Medium + - Riding club advanced open

Jumping:

SJI 80cm - riding club advanced primary, SJI 90cm - Riding club intermediate, SJI 1m - riding club advanced intermediate, SJI 1.10 - riding club open, SJI 1.20 - Riding club advanced open

Cross Country:

Eventing Ireland intro - riding club intermediate, Eventing Ireland pre novice - riding club advanced intermediate, Eventing Ireland novice / 1* - riding club open, Eventing Ireland 2* - riding club advanced open. 

Are there many shows?

We are very lucky in the West Leinster region as there is a dressage and showjumping league which runs in the spring and autumn which has approx 5-7 legs of competition in each. There are also a number of other shows run throughout the year in West Leinster or neighbouring regions including one day events and showing. OUr own club run 3-4 shows a year in the West Leinster region at Dunbyrne Stud in Kilmeague

What about the social side?

Riding club is known for its great social opportunities and outing as well as competitions. Most clubs run social events for members with and without their horses and the West Leinster region also organises a number of social and training days which club members can join. 

Our Case study:

Michelle Davitt started riding lessons at Dunbyrne Equestrian when she and her horse Zono joined us on livery in the Summer. In Michelles first lesson she was asked about her goals for herself and her horse. She stated that she would love to be able to join a riding club and compete at some point but wasn't sure how long it would take her. Michelle joined Dunbyrne riding club during the summer and worked during her lessons towards her goal of competing in the West Leinster autumn league. Michelle was ready to start competing on time for the autumn league and had an amazing riding club debut winning the primary showjumping and taking sixth place in the primary dressage. She and bay gelding Zono are looking forward to continuing to compete through the league and working towards their next goals. Michelle was nervous about competing for the first time but was supported and encouraged by our other riding club members including Susanne Walsh who competes successfully at primary herself and mum and daughter Clare and Orla Harrington who compete at dressage. 

How can I apply to Join Dunbyrne riding club?

You do not need to be on livery with us to join our riding club. We have a number of clients who keep their horses at home or with friends and who join us for lessons, competitions and training. To apply all you need to do is contact our club secretary Charlotte on dunbyrne@airc.ie / 085-8144739

Working pupil position with accommodation for rider and horse available

We have an exciting opportunity coming up for anyone wishing to join our team and train with us full time to become a BHS (British Horse Society) instructor at Dunbyrne Equestrian. The BHS exams are internationally recognised exams in riding, stable management and instruction / coaching. Successful candidates will train for these exams under our onsite BHS qualified instructors and BHSI. 

Dunbyrne Equestrian is a family owned professional yard located at the foot of the hill of Allen (five mins from Coilog). Dunbyrne Equestrian includes an AIRE approved riding school and a livery and competition yard.  Our top class facilities include a floodlit 70*50m arena, all weather sand gallops, heated rug room, spacious stables and wooded hacking area. 

This full time course will begin on the 21/08/2017. There are no course fees for this position, accommodation is available onsite at our yard in Kilmeague, Co. Kildare and you are also welcome to bring your own horse with you. It may also be possible to have exams and equipment paid for if certain criteria are met. 

http://www.aire.ie/index.php/courses/bhs-and-other/23-bhs-news/114-new-intake-of-cdetb-students-for-bhsai-traineeship-march-2015


While the course will begin on 21/08/2017 it will be required for anyone interested in the position to attend a trial day at the yard in advance. If you are interested in applying for this position please contact Michelle today at 085 8059529. 
 

AIRE Test Success for Dunbyrne Riding School

Last Saturday 18 of our riding school pupils took their first AIRE (association of Irish Riding Establishment) tests at Dunbyrne Riding School. The pupils, trained by our yard manager Michelle Leonard were tested on the day by Ross O'Hare (BHSI) riding either their own ponies or our riding school ponies.

Michelle does an amazing job of helping all of our pupils to develop and learn and the AIRE tests show the progression they all have made. All of the proud pupils received AIRE certificates from Dunbyrne Riding School. We celebrated afterwards with a barbecue in the yard where everyone enjoyed Len's legendary cooking skills. 

Foundation D Test recipients. 

Alex Noonan, L:aura Kavanagh, Blanaid Sharpe and Hallie Cullen

Foundation C Test recipients.

Molly Dunne, Amy Carty, Beth Dempsey, Martha WIlliams, Hanna Groves, Sinead Davitt, Lauren Power and Sive Murphy

Foundation B Test recipients.

Jessica Dunne, Jessica McBride, Ciaran Carty, Sienna Laffan, Gemma Carter, Alimay Conroy, 

 

 

Dublin Qualification for Megan & Mia

Megan Quigley was determined to qualify for the ladies side saddle class in the RDS Dublin Horsehow 2017. Megan competes with her chestnut mare Mia (With Or Without You)The pair travelled the length and breadth of the country in recent weeks to attend the hotly contested qualifiers.

Last Sunday at Athlone show Megan and groom Rebecca were delighted to earn their ticket to the side saddle class as Mia put in a fantastic qualifying performance. Rebecca's springer spaniel added some icing to the take taking himself home a ribbon in the gun dog classes!

Summer Competition Hots Up For Dunbyrne

Last weekend was a busy one for us and our clients. On Saturday Rory and Ross headed up to Coilog for Showjumping Ireland bringing three of the young horses with them. All three were bought as foals and professionally started and produced here at Dunbyrne Equestrian. Five year old bay mare DBS Looks Royale (Lux Z X Erins Cavalier/Cavalier Royale) and four year old bay gelding DBS Oisin (Shannondale Sacro X Leadmore Myth Ire) went clear in their class with Rory on board. Meanwhile four year old bay gelding DBS Cuchulainn (Pacino X Rassan Blaithin / Coolcoran Cool Diamond) was clear in the metre class with Sean Kavanagh on board. It is great to have the facilities of Coilog on our doorstep to help us to develop these young horses by allowing them to gain experience in the ring and over a variety of fences. 

Aoife Harrington was at Dressage Ireland on Saturday competing in the preliminary class with her pony Milkway (Cosmic). The pair took third place in their class with a great score of 69%. Aoife was delighted as this performance helped her to achieve her goal of qualifying herself and her pony for the National Dressage Championships in September in Cavan. Lorna has been coaching Aoife at dressage and was very proud to see her results. The pair will work together now towards the championships and the silver spurs. 

Ross and Lorna travelled to Annaharvey to compete at Eventing Ireland on Sunday. It was the second ever event for both horses with Lorna competing her own Sammy (DBS Second Chance) and Ross competing Mandy Driesch's Trakehner stallion Grand Marnier. Both horses performed well in dressage and had a double clear in the showjumping and cross country phases to finish on their dressage score. This left Ross in sixth place in the EI100 and Lorna the winner of the EI90 amateur. 

At Dunbyrne we love seeing our team, our clients and our pupils out enjoying their horses and achieving their goals whether those are in or out of the competition arena. If you have a goal you would like us to help you to achieve, please get in touch today. 

Grand Marnier Starts His Eventing Career

Five year old Trakehner stallion Grand Marnier began his eventing career on Saturday at Killossery Lodge Stud. The buckskin stallion, owned by Mandy Driesch took part in the EI100 pre novice at his first ever event finishing eighth in a strong class. Grand Marnier aka Friday was ridden by Ross O'Hare and the pair finished on their dressage score after smooth clear rounds on the showjumping and cross country courses. It is the middle of breeding season for Grand Marnier who will hopefully have many foals on the ground next year but this did not phase the stallion at all with his manners as impeccable as ever. 

It was a great weekend of eventing for Dunbyrne riders with Lorna Keogh and DBS Second Chance and Ellen Merrins and Sillan Ludene making their eventing debut in the EI90 class. Rory O'Hare and DBS Anchorman competed in Clyda on Sunday in the 2* class. 

Successful Start to June for Dunbyrne Riders

The June bank holiday weekend saw success in the dressage and show ring for some of our riders. 

Sisters Orla and Aoife Harrington competed in Dressage Ireland at the National Sports Campus on bank holiday Monday. Fresh from her success at the riding clubs dressage qualifier, Orla continued her winning streak winning the elementary class with DBS Goldfever with over 70%. This was a lovely finish for Orla ahead of her leaving cert this week - she will be hoping to get the same scores in her exams! Aoife Harrington and her pony Cosmic (Milky Way) competed in the preliminary class. Aoife previously competed in an unregistered class and has been training to improve her riding of the test ahead of her first registered competition. The hard work paid off as she and her pony took first place on the day. 

On the same day Megan Quigley and Lorna Keogh headed to Killossery for their horse and pony show. Megan competed with her chestnut mare With or Without You (Mia) and Lorna competed with her chestnut gelding DBS Second Chance (Sammy). Megan and Mia won the lightweight hunter class and took second place in the side saddle class while Lorna and Sammy took second place in the Small Hunters and reserve champion.