DRESSAGE fans are being well catered for this weekend with the two-day Wild Atlantic Dressage Festival starting this morning on the west coast while, on the opposite side of the country, the Irish Pony Club’s national dressage day takes place tomorrow.

Action in both arenas at the Ard Chuain Equestrian Centre in Co Sligo commences at 9.30am and throughout the day there will be championship classes from Preliminary level upwards while there are also two young horse classes on the day’s schedule. Tomorrow, when there will be a third arena staging Trailblazer classes, there is an earlier start time of 8.16am.

Two British judges, Sarah Leitch and Gwyneth Lewis, are officiating at the Festival along with the home-based quartet of Dermot Cannon, Clare Fitzsimons, Vida Tansey and Jane Whitaker.

Tomorrow’s IPC national dressage day is being held once again in Spruce Lodge, Co Wicklow where three arenas will be in use.

While there is a disappointing entry in the higher level, it’s good to see that the competition is receiving support from Branches throughout the country such as the Dublin-based Rathfarnham Pony Club and The Kingdom Branch in Co Kerry.

Meath’s Isabella Gogan, who won last year’s Junior competition on Small Print, has moved into Intermediate company and, with her 20-year-old Masterpiece gelding, is one of those challenging the 2021 winner of that division, Killinick’s Faye Murphy who rides the nine-year-old mare, Grove Street Lady.

The 18-year-old gelding Barkway State Affair, who was partnered to success in the Under 12s’ competition last September by Charlotte Goor, returns under his new rider, Duhallow’s Amber Lane.