Members of the Side Saddle Association enjoyed a summer hack at Borris House on Saturday the 20th of July. The hack was organised by association member Ciara O’Connell and took place on the grounds of the estate by kind permission of Mr &Mrs Morgan Mac Murrough Kavanagh. The intact walled estate includes a square mile of land and has been the ancestral home of the Mac Murrough Kavanagh family, the high kings of Leinster, for the past five hundred years.
This historic venue provided the perfect backdrop as nine ladies in full side saddle attire set off across the estate riding on cross country tracks through the woods and fields. The wooded areas provided welcome shade from the sun and a splash through the river was enjoyed by horses and riders.
The Irish ladies enjoyed the company of a member of the Spanish Side Saddle Association on the day. Andrea Muro Nebreda enjoyed her first Irish side saddle hack riding aside dun Connemara stallion Coral Mistys Comic. She was accompanied by the stallion’s owner renowned side saddle rider Susan Oakes from County Meath. Susan also took part in the hack on board her grey stallion SIEC Atlas. This stallion is an experienced international show jumper and is one of the horses that will travel to Aintree with Oakes next week as she aims to break the world side saddle show jumping record as part of the Leaping Ladies Side Saddle Challenge.
The pair were joined on the day by Sarah Conway, Niamh Drea, Aine Dagg, Sarah Moran, Lorna Keogh and Jennifer Maher Mulcahy while Ciara O’Connell led the way on her own liver chestnut mare Texas Diamond. This was Ciara’s first side saddle outing since the birth of her beautiful daughter Charlotte seven weeks ago.
Members of the Side Saddle Association will return to Borris House on the Bank Holiday weekend as a number of ladies will ride in a side saddle display as part of the National Country Fair which takes place on the grounds of the estate on the 3rd and 4th of August. Details at http://www.
Photos by Aoife D’Arcy