Ballydougan Road, Downpatrick, Co. Down
It is with great regret that we have to announce that St. Patrick's Coast Ride 2020 has had to be cancelled as yet another casualty of the current covid-19 global pandemic. This decision has not been taken lightly but our first priority has to be the safety of everyone involved.
We have been in consultation with our venue and key supporter, the Racecourse, and also with other relevant bodies and landowners. We have to abide by the limiting protocols from Horse Sport Ireland and the Racecourse has similar obligations to Horse Racing Ireland. There are obviously overheads and huge efforts involved in running this ride and, unfortunately, with so much uncertainty as to the protocol situation in September we have had to make this decision to cancel the 2020 ride.
The event requires an immense amount of "volunteer" work to be done over several months in the lead up to the ride, as well as a massive administrative burden and also financial commitments. The current protocols would increase this administrative burden and financial commitment so we felt it prudent to make a decision now as there is no way to anticipate what the covid-19 situation will be in September.
We are so grateful to our sponsors who have steadfastly supported us. Our thanks also go to all the people who have volunteered to help and, rest assured, we will keep you all on the list for next year! We are also indebted to the landowners, both for their help in past years and for their willingness to support us again this year. A special thanks must go to the team at the Racecourse who are themselves struggling to salvage what they can of their 2020 race programme in this most difficult year.
Taking all these factors into account we have decided to put our resources into running a bigger and better ride in 2021. We will announce a provisional date soon but it is likely to be early September again and will depend on tides, prospective race meetings at Downpatrick and the training plan for the ranges at Ballykinler.
St. Patrick's Coast ran the best attended Home International and Celtic Challenge competitions in Ireland in 2016 and had offered its services again in 2020 - the team stands ready to welcome the Home Internationals and Celtic Challenge events back in 2021 in the event that the competition reverts to Ireland.
Once again, our sincere thanks to all our supporters, competitors and volunteers, for their support and encouragement and we are just sorry we cannot pull it off this year.
Unfortunately the 2020 Home International and Celtic Challenge Competitions have been cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic and they will not be returning to St. Patrick's Coast this year.
St. Patrick's Coast Endurance Ride 2019 - what a great success it was. Record entries and the introduction of the new Team event played a large part in this success..
Congratulations to all our winners...
2020 sees us in our 7th year and the development work continues to make it bigger and better again. A stunning 32km (20 mile) loop taking in forest, old railways, farm lanes and fields as well as a significant distance of beaches, less than 1.5km of road work to top it off.
Due to Covid19 a decision of whether the 2020 event can run will be made nearer the time and announcements made on Social Media and here on the web site so watch this space.... The saftery of all involved will be the priority behind any decision to run or cancel.
The event features Pleasure Rides for all, non-members welcome, of 16km (10 miles) and 32km (20 miles) [note the 16km ride does not take in the beaches]. Competitive Rides (CTRs) from 32km (20 miles) up to 80km (50 miles) and this will be joined by Endurance Race Rides (ERs) of 80km (50 miles) and 120km (75 miles) and if demand is there a 2-day 160km (100 mile) event.
Leaving the beach in 2017
We always try and host a Farmers and Prizegiving event on the Saturday evening after the ride.
We would encourage anyone who can stay to please come along and support this part of the event. It is our chance to say thank you to many of the farmers and landowners over whose land you will ride. Stabling and Camping is available, there are many local B&Bs as well - why not make a weekend out of it and join us for some great criac and good food after the ride. It is open to everyone - book your tickets for the BBQ, Camping and Stabling with your entry.
For 2018, with the support of Murphys Bar and Restaurant, we are delighted to also ask, as our guests, the many road stewards to this event - even more reason for riders to attend and help us say thank you to them all. You can book your tickets with your entry.
As usual the 16km (10 mile) Pleasure Ride will not take in the beaches at Ballykinler and Tyrella so if you want the beach ride enter for the 32km (20 mile) class.
There are also prizes for Pleasure Riders - to be eligible all you have to do is Vet before starting and within 30 minutes of finishing and make sure your times are taken at the start and finish - no extra cost - so why not plan to challenge yourseleves and improve on last year or set a benchmark for next year.
from 2016 aproaching the finish line
Thanks to Aloeride for this great wee reminder from the St. Patrick's Coast 2016 ride when we welcomed teams from England, Scotland and Wales to the Home International and Celtic Challenge Competitions.
There are more videos of the ride on the Aloeride web site at www.aloeride.com/videos-st-patricks-coast-ride-home-international-2016
Please note ALL horses entering the race course property MUST have up-to-date (annual) Flu Vaccinations. Therefore we cannot accept entries from horses or ponies that will not be up to date with their shots. Sorry no exceptions.