Meath Hunt Ladies Side Saddle Meet Saturday 19/01/2013

Meath Hunt Ladies Side Saddle Meet Saturday 19/01/2013
Ladies & Gentlemen as you many already know on the 19th January at 11am the Meath Hunt are hosting a Ladies Side Saddle meet in Boyerstown, Navan Co. Meath.
We have Lady riders joining us from all over the world and they are bringing a large following.
Pre Hunt Gathering champagne reception  8pm Friday 18/01/2013
On the Friday night @ 8pm in the Knightsbrook Hotel we have organized a Pre Hunt Gathering where we will have a champagne reception at 8pm followed by music and finger food. That night we will have a raffle and auction of some of the sponsorship prizes such as Dubarry Boots, Bontanic Hampers, Wake Up with MakeUp vouchers etc. All welcome so please do come and make these people welcome. 
Huntball Saturday 19/01/2013
The hunt is on the Saturday where we will hopefully set a new record for the number of Ladies Hunting, following this we have the Huntball.
Huntball Tickets still available so if interested contact Susan 086 0842994

Annual Side Saddle Annual Points Awards winner for 2012

 

NEW PARTNERSHIP Katie Marks

NEW MEMBER Meabh Charlton

BEST JUNIOR RIDER Vicky Ryan

INTERMEDIATE Winner Esme Mansergh Wallace

LADIES Winner Suzanne O’Brien

LADIES 2nd Place Lucy O’Donoghue

LADIES 3rd Place Ciara Ryan

1st & OVERALL JUNIOR Winner Ciara Connolly

2nd OVERALL JUNIOR Vicky Ryan

3rd OVERALL JUNIOR Katie Marks

4th OVERALL JUNIOR Meabh Charlton

5th OVERALL JUNIOR Alix Cunneen

6th OVERALL JUNIOR Leila Oakman

7th OVERALL JUNIOR Sarah Killeen

Side Saddle Annual General Meeting 2012 – Hon Sec Report

The Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 25th October 2012 even though the attendance did not break any records there was a great air of positivity and enthusiasm. It would appear that as long as the enthusiasm remains and events supported that there will be continuous occasions where members will be able to partake and enjoy ridding side saddle throughout the winter season.

The minutes from the 2011 AGM were read proposed and seconded. The Side Saddle association officers were all returned unopposed for 2013. Ciara Ryan ran into a hitch at the last moment and was not able to travel, but she had been sending me ideas for our agenda throughout the day all of which we covered along with a great deal more all of the topics covered were concluded on a positive note.

Ciara has stated that she is willing to organise more treks in Mount Juliet, then there is always Castle Leslie and there has to be a great deal of venues that would love to see elegant ladies hacking around Side Saddle, if members continue to come up with ideas and are willing to help the association are here to support as much as we can, sure isn’t, it all meant to be for enjoyment. Is that not the Aim of the Game!

There truly is tremendous enthusiasm about and it is through members that this will be kept afloat. Jennifer Torrance had already 11 confirmed for the weekend at the Glenamaddy Clinic where three of the UK’s top instructors are coming over.

Susan Oakes has done wonders to highlight what can be achieved while ridding side saddle including breaking the world high jump record at Aintree. Watch this space she is not finished yet. She completed a Point-to-Point in mid October. Apart form all else she plans on doing she along with the Meath Hunt are organising a day out with the Meath’s hunting Side Saddle already she has over 40 riders confirmed!! And these ladies are coming from as far as Canada, USA, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Israel, France, UK and Ireland.

Philippa Mansergh Wallace informed us that she had been speaking with Johnnie Wragg who would love to take on the puissance wall in the RDS in 2013 along with Susan as a type of dual we all thought this a marvellous idea. Again watch this space, to keep up with progress.

There was a great deal more topics covered all with the same productive theme. Yes the year started in a very negative position, with very few members but there was not a person that left last nights meeting without having added one if not more constructive ideas to the table, a great feeling of optimism was created it was a very encouraging evening with a wonderful sense of positivity in the air. We have succeed and achieved a full turn, approaching the close of the year on a high and very positive note with a great deal of thanks going to all those who have helped us tremendously thought-out the season. I was able to down my tools for over three weeks and leave the control of administration in the capable hands of Suzanne and Amie Garrigan who took up the reins knowing that Adrienne Traynor was manning the website and the Our chairwoman Gina Galvin and Liz Sanford would organise the tuition at a very enjoyable day in Ardmulchan Where Susan Oakes brought her self and her wonderful horses to introduce new ladies to the art of riding Side Saddle at the ‘Give it A Go Day’.

So if we can just bottle the enthusiasm and maintain the pulsating rhythm the entire country will be afloat with elegant ladies ridding Sideways!!!

Following the AGM the Annual Awards were handed out Side Saddle Annual Points Awards 2012

NEW PARTNERSHIP Katie Marks

NEW MEMBER Meabh Charlton

BEST JUNIOR RIDER Vicky Ryan

INTERMEDIATE Winner Esme Mansergh Wallace

LADIES Winner Suzanne O’Brien

LADIES 2nd Place Lucy O’Donoghue

LADIES 3rd Place Ciara Ryan

1st & OVERALL JUNIOR Winner Ciara Connolly

2nd OVERALL JUNIOR Vicky Ryan

3rd OVERALL JUNIOR Katie Marks

4th OVERALL JUNIOR Meabh Charlton

5th OVERALL JUNIOR Alix Cunneen

6th OVERALL JUNIOR Leila Oakman

7th OVERALL JUNIOR Sarah Killeen

Some of the group gathering in front of the house prior to off at ‘Mount Juliet’ 20th October 2012

From L-R Maura Mansfield on Prince, Rosemary English on Chad, Evelyn Glynn on Caesar, Sarah Furney on her own cob Cahirmee, Ann Shouldice on her faithful 29 year old mare Lia, Karen Gibney on Big Dave, Hannah Gibney on TJ, Emily Meredith on her own hunter Mac, Claire Madden on Grey Harry, Ann Marie Walsh on her own mare and Rachel Lawlor on Bonnie

Report from Mount Juliet ride

Claire’s first Experience to ‘Have a Go’ riding Side Saddle was at the ‘Beginners Clinic’ held in Ardmulchan on the 8th September.

Then nothing would do her but to head for Mount Juliet on Saturday 20th October for the ‘Trail – Trek’ in the fantastic surroundings of the Kilkenny Country Side where under the watchful eye of both Ciara Ryan organiser of the wonderful day and with great guidance and assistance from Susan Oakes.

Claire wrote to thank us all which is very much appreciated and makes it so worthwhile just to see smiling happy faces of both Father Flor and Daughter Claire”

‘Thank you for all your help last week. You were very nice to me and thank you for letting me borrow Amy’s habit – it is really lovely. Daddy will bring it back to you shortly.

 

I felt really important and all grown up even though I am only nine when I was all dressed up last week. I had the best day of my life in Mount Juliet  – everyone was kind to me. Ms Oakes helped me to jump on my own – she is GREAT – I want to jump the ginormous wall in the RDS some day just like her.’

Claire and Flor Madden

Claire and Flor Madden

The Fania Mahony Memorial Cup

Fania Mahony, born in 1936 in County Derry, was one of the Side-Saddle Association’s founding members, her keen interest in horses developed from an early age. This interest continued on into adulthood where both she and her husband, Denis, set up Carrickhill Stud in Portmarnock, County Dublin, where numerous top class show ponies were bred and went on to great success.

One of her most noted accomplishments was being a very talented side-saddle rider. Her elegance and poise were seen on numerous occasions while she successfully competed at The Royal Dublin Horse Show. Her sad passing in 2007 brought great sorrow to the equestrian world, thankfully her legacy continues on in the Ladies Side-Saddle Class at the annual Tattersalls Ward Union Hunt Show in Ratoath Co. Meath, where the winner will receive The Fania Mahony Memorial Cup ,which has been kindly presented by the Mahony Family.
For any side-saddle rider to have their name inscribed on this beautiful cup would be an honour.

Letter from Lorna Keogh regarding the ‘Have a go day’

I have always wanted to have a go at side saddle. I love anything steeped in tradition and whenever I watch side saddle showing I always think the riders look so elegant and polished. I’ve never had the chance to have a go until recently. A few weeks ago I spotted an add on the Side Saddle Association Facebook page advertising a ‘Have a Go At Side Saddle’ day at Ardmulchan in Navan Co. Meath. What can I say – I was on the phone like a light to book a place.

The side saddle association of Ireland was founded in 1981 to promote and assist side saddle riders. Patricia Hanson (previous vice president of the UK Side Saddle society) was the driving force behind starting up the association. The association is a voluntary organisation that aims to promote the traditional style of horse riding for ladies in Ireland. Over the years the association has acquired and bought saddles and habits which are rented out each year to members. This hiring system saves members from the cost of buying outright. The association supports ladies and children over the age of eight years of age. The ‘Have a go’ day was an opportunity for the side saddle association to appeal to wider audience. The association had often heard people saying that they would love to try side saddle so the ‘Have a Go’ day was organised in order to provide ladies with an opportunity to try it out either on their own horse or on a horse supplied by the association. The idea of the day was to allow ladies to try side saddle and to ascertain if it is something they would like to continue with in future.

On Saturday the 8th of September  I headed over to Ardmulchan with two friends. The weather was glorious when we arrived and the venue was a stunning mix of rolling grassland and immaculately maintained old stables and buildings. The day had obviously attracted a lot of interest as there were twenty other riders there including some who had brought their own horses. Once registration was complete we headed into the viewing gallery of the indoor arena. Gina Galvin, Chairwoman of the side saddle association,talked us through the correct fitting of the side saddle explaining the fit and function of the girth, over girth and  balance strap.

Several horses had been provided for riders to try side saddle on and the first set of riders were invited to enter the arena and mount up. I adopted the role of photographer as three friends were in the first group. This proved a very good idea as I could watch the session and hear the instruction which was something I learned a lot from. Mounting proved an exercise in agility as riders were legged up from the ground and then instructed on how to sit correctly. Susan Oakes provided advice and instruction from the ground. She advised riders to place the weight into their right leg and onto their right hip. Riders were also advised of the importance of bringing their right shoulder back in order to help the horse to balance especially on the right rein.

My one worry when booking the session was that it may be a little sedate and time on the horse might be quite short. I could not have been more wrong. This really was a have a go session with riders encouraged to get stuck in and challenge themselves from the start. Once all riders were established in walk they progressed to trotting in the group and then one at a time. After this all riders were brought into the centre of the arena and sent out one at a time to try a canter on each rein.

The session finished and suddenly it was my turn. The phrase ‘put your right shoulder back’ struck fear into me as it is the most commonly used phrase in any lesson I undertake on a horse. Due to a C curve scoliosis in my back my right shoulder likes to keep itself up and forward if permitted to and I struggle to put weight into my left leg. Well I need not have worried. Side saddle required me to put my weight into my right leg and hip which I can do no problem. Bizarrely when sat on the side saddle I actually found it easier than usually to argue my right shoulder into going back. When asked what sort of horse I liked I said I didn’t mind as I am used to riding all shapes and sizes. I was assigned to a blue and white gelding who was very handsome. Mounting up was not too bad and once I had myself sat into the saddle off we went walking. While the feeling was odd, once I worked the right side of my body I got comfortable and felt quite secure. While many of the riders had found trotting harder than canter, I loved the trot. For once in my life I felt tall and elegant on a horse and I was happy out trotting along. My lovely mount rode nicely on the contact and was so obedient staying out to the wall no problem on both reins.

Canter was quite another story. I was told the horse had ‘a long stride and a big canter’ and indeed he did! I will admit to feeling a little sea sick at this point and was quite aware of being a lot smaller than the horse! However we managed a canter on both reins and I stayed on so I was quite happy with myself. I was stunned to find out that the horse I was riding is just four years old as he was so calm, patient and willing.

At this point we were asked would we like to do anything else and someone mentioned the word ‘jump’. Susan was more than happy for us to try a fence and asked who would like to jump. Naturally myself and a friend were top of the queue like two excited children at pony camp. I was amazed to be allowed to jump on our first time riding in the side saddle but certainly was not going to refuse the opportunity. The jumping position was explained and demonstrated for us and we were advised to lean forwards and to look and lean towards the horses right ear to maintain balance. Off I set towards the fence. Keeping straight with one leg was a challenge but we got there. The horse flew up and over and I felt like I was jumping three feet high. I suspect I used muscles I did not know I had to keep myself on but I made it and was told afterwards that we had taken quite a big jump over it. I came round again and managed a much smoother jump over the fence. The time came to dismount which was harder than it looked. Unhooking our right leg we were instructed to face away from the horse and slide down holding the saddle. At this point I realise I was quite high up and I was not the most graceful to dismount.

We watched the third and final session which proved eventful as some of the riders negotiated not just a jump but a straight pole too. I was amazed at how many riders had brought their own horses that had never tried side saddle before. The horses really seemed to take to it quite easily and willingly which was very interesting to watch. As the last session finished we said our goodbyes and headed off back home. I left the yard feeling on a high having done something I had always wanted to try. I have to say having experienced jumping a small fence I really have gained a new found respect for anyone who jumps let alone hunts side saddle – these ladies are amazingly brave and balanced!

The side saddle association were delighted with the day as they could see how much we all enjoyed ourselves and they had not expected such a high level of interest. The side saddle association would like to thank the Galvin family for the use of Ardmulchan and also to Liz Sanford who fitted the saddles onto the horses that were present on the day. As a result of the success of the day, a follow up session and more ‘have a go’ days are being planned. The association are planning some hacks in Mount Juliet in October so I may just find myself heading on another adventure.

For anyone interested in trying side saddle I would definitely recommend to contact the side saddle association. http://ssaireland.com/

Side Saddle display at Tipperary Racecourse Friday 10th August

Tipperary Racecourse have been in touch to ask the Side Saddle Association to put on a simple display at their ‘Fillies Friday night out’ race night for Action Breast Cancer.

Riders are asked to parade in the ring for this event and GROUND PERMITTING (!) we might also be able to have a canter down the track in front of the stands. It will be a great practice for the noise and excitement that accompanies the Dublin Horse Show less than a week later.

The display will take place immediately after the 6.30 race. All interested riders are asked to phone Ciara immediately on 087 2266 321. Please note you must be a fully paid up member of the SSA to take part.

All of the extra information below is from the Tipperary Racecourse website.

Susan Oakes won the Leaping Ladies High Jump Competition

On the 31st of July in Aintree Racecourse Irish rider Susan Oakes won the Leaping Ladies High Jump Competition and she also set a new world record by doing so.
Susan set the new record on grand Prix Show jumper Brandy & Red at 5’8 and then attempted to jump 6’6 but just touched the pole off. The unofficial record of 6’6 set in 1915 by Mrs Ester Stace is believed that she was jumping off a Springboard or that there was a ramp running up to the fence-that’s why the horse is going in such a strange shape.

Now Oakes has been giving a fantastic opportunity by The RDS at a chance to break her own record over the Puissance Wall on home ground on Saturday the 18th August at 6pm.

She would like to thank all the people who have supported her over the last few months from all around the world’.

Any one interested in joining a group of Side Saddle Association supporters to cheer on Susan Oakes during her Side Saddle high Jump over the Puissance Wall which is schedule to take place on Saturday afternoon during a break in the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show International Puissance.

Please make contact as soon as possible to allow ample time to organise and hopefully be able to purchase as many seats grouped together as possible

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