National Dressage Day by the IPC
Saturday 15th June will see the Delahoyde family play host to the IPC National Dressage Day at their own Marlton Stud. Generously sponsored by TRI, the day is run by the Irish Pony Club with the aim of promoting the discipline among young riders. In the words of organiser and dressage judge Marie Hennessy, “dressage is the foundation of all the Olympic equestrian sports, and it is important that young riders gain an appreciation of it at a young age”. Awareness of the importance of dressage is growing here, as was shown last summer by how the Irish pony team led from the front at the Pony European Eventing Championships, and the pony club intend to build on this trend.
The day takes the form of a warm-up test, followed by the championship test, at each of the usual pony club levels, and the final class is an open freestyle music. It is recommended that riders enter all classes at their level to make the most of their day. The freestyle is particularly interesting and entertaining, and is an opportunity to create a test specific to both the strengths and the musical preferences of horse and rider. Further details as to what is required in the freestyle and relating to the day in general can be found on the pony club website. Entries must be made through branch DCs and close on 7th June.
During the day there will also be a demonstration by Paralympic medallist Helen Kearney, presented by Joan Keogh. Helen won Ireland’s first ever para-dressage medal at the 2011 European championships. In London she achieved an even greater feat by leading the Irish team to a bronze medal, and then going on to claim another bronze and a silver in the individual rankings. She will be performing with her Paralympic horse Mister Cool, and will also talk about her experiences afterwards.
This is only the second year the pony club has ran this competition, and they hope to build on the successful day that was enjoyed by all last year.