The ride was initially organised by a small band of enthusiasts working with ILDRA to try and establish a local International and flagship ride for the Island of Ireland. Many many hours driving and walking the countryside and talking to local farmers and landowners were invested in the Autumn and winter of 2013/14 to establish what is now the core 32km loop. It involves open countryside and farm land, Old disused Railway tracks, forest, farm lanes and tracks, sme local gallops including part of the original Downpatrick Recourse dating back well over 300 years to 1685, and of course beaches, miles of beaches.
St. Patrick’s Coast International Endurance Ride first ran in April 2014 as a FEI ride featuring CEI 2*, CEIYR 2*, CEI 1* and CEIYR 1* International Rides alongside classes for national riders from 32 km to 120km CTR (Competitive trail Rides) and ERs (Endurance Rides) and Pleasure Riders.
The first year it was held earlier in the year than it now is and we had awards for the best Shod, a Pony Club Event, Riding Club and Schools Competitions as well as an RDA ride. Special awards were also there for Barefoot, Bitless, Sidesaddle and Western.
Early in the season the going was challenging in places, especially some of the grass (well mud) tracks in the forest but the whole ride was a phenomenal success with 99 horses competing at the various levels. The seed was sown.
The Venue itself was made for the ride, 100 stables on site, easy access to the local countryside and the 32km loop we had developed as well as hand from the local ports for international riders to get here. A race track for the finish – what more could one ask for.
We currently have over 40 Landowners and farmers who work closely with us and without them we just would not have a ride at all – we own them all a huge debt of gratitude.
Our history section will be further added to as the site develops
From an idea to run a ride a little bit differently than the normal rides here in Ireland!
To scale it up a bit and make it International!
To involve as many horsey people as possible!
Make use of the stunning beauty of teh County Down coutryside!
We even had to build 2 bridges in year 1