THIS week, Dressage Ireland announced that its inaugural Youth National Championships will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 24th and 25th, at CoilÓg Equestrian in Co Kildare.

Classes will cover all youth levels, ranging from riders under 21 years of age on January 1st to Trailblazers and encompassing Junior Category 1, 2 and Preliminary classes to Prix St George, FEI pony, children on horses, Junior and Young Rider classes, youth para equestrian and freestyle to music for all levels. The qualification period commences on March 25th. The National Championships in September will be restricted to riders over 16 years of age.

At present, DI members of all ages have plenty of opportunities to compete this month, as they search for qualifying scores in advance of the National Winter Finals at Mullingar Equestrian over the weekend of April 6th and 7th.

There are three shows scheduled to take place tomorrow at Annaharvey Farm (Midland and Western Region), Clonshire Equestrian Centre (North Munster) and Maryville Stables (South Munster). The Northern Region, which held a show at Danescoft last Sunday, is moving to Knockagh View Equestrian for its show next Saturday, while, the following afternoon, the North Leinster Region is staging its first show of 2024 at CoilÓg, where some members participated in subsidised training at Preliminary and Novice level last Sunday.

Looking ahead

The Eastern Region, which is running a test riding clinic on Saturday next, February 10th, at Monastery House, Enniskerry, is holding its awards evening on Friday, February 16th at the Parkview Hotel in Newtownmountkennedy, which will be followed two days later by the first regional show of the year at Marlton. On the same afternoon, the Midland and Western Region is due to stage a show at the Drummindoo Stud outside Westport.

The month is rounded off with four DI shows. The first of these, being organised by the South East Region, takes place on Saturday, February 24th at Spruce Lodge, while the three on Sunday, February 25th are listed for Annaharvey Farm (Midland and Western), Laurel View Equestrian Centre (Northern) and Greybrook West (South Munster).

Referred to above, Mullingar Equestrian has also been announced as venue for three of this year’s Association of Irish Riding Clubs’ national events, the Festival on June 8th and 9th, the show jumping championships on July 21st and, of most importance here, the dressage championships on September 1st.

Pony Club

The Irish Pony Club is moving from Co Wicklow to Co Kildare for its 2024 national dressage day, which will take place on Friday, April 5th at CoilÓg, while in Area 17 of The Pony Club (Northern Ireland) the Seskinore Branch, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is due to host this year’s Area dressage on Saturday, July 27th at Omagh Showgrounds. At present, Area 17 members are busy competing in arena eventing, dressage and show jumping qualifiers for the Barrier Animal Health Spring Festival at Castle Irvine, Necarne next month (March 22nd to 24th).