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08 April 2014

Newbridge College Equestrian Club

The Equestrian Club in Newbridge College is all about commitment, pride, inclusion, healthy competition and very hard work. The idea of getting up at 6 am every weekend to ride a horse in a competition 3 hours journey away and not returning

until 8 pm that night seems crazy to most, and that does not take into account the daily exercising, weekly training in Coilog and the washing and plaiting of your horse in preparation of the competition. That is the life of the interschool’s rider.

The club begins its year with our introduction to the new riders and their mounts. As every level of riding ability is catered for everyone who wants to ride joins a team each weekend to represent the school. Within the league the Newbridge College teams have a great name for professionalism, team spirit and pride in both how they ride and turn out for the school. We are all very proud to be part of this.

The equestrian season starts early in September as the new league season begins and Newbridge College hosts our own Interschool’s Competition in Coilog Equestrian Centre. 63 Teams competed and it took a lot of organisation by the parents and all club members as they helped organising judges, picking up knocked poles, taking entries or recording performances. As the parents are running the show the team spirit shown by the riders is exceptional as they help each other tack and mount up. The encouragement given by the older riders as they show the novices how to walk a course or jump better angles and how to ride a corner all adds to the sense of belonging to the club. The show is a great bonding experience for the parents who will play groom for the next few years of their lives to these equestrian stars.

Win after win in the league means that Newbridge is at the top of the show jumping league with the final due to take place mid-April. Newbridge College are also topping the table in the Best Turned Out league and the Attendance League.

Last year Newbridge took three titles, Hunter Trials Championship, League Winners, and Show jumping Champions. What a history of equestrian excellence we have in Newbridge. In 1985 the first equestrian team riding for Newbridge College won the Interschool’s League, we are so privileged to be part of that tradition.

One of the highlights of the equestrian year is the Horse Show to be held on Sunday May 11th. This year is a very special year as it will be the 30th year of the running of the Show and we will have the added attraction of the Past Pupils V Current Pupils Challenge Show jumping Competition. The rules will be the exact same as the Interschool’s Competitions. The Perpetual trophy was kindly sponsored by the Manning Family and we hope that this new class will be a constant in the Horse Show Schedule going forward. We will also have a prize for the longest serving member of the Past Pupils Society who competes on the day.

The First Horse Show was organised by Mr John Hayden, and members of the Equestrian Society, Mr John Norton, Robert and Mark Fagan and was sponsored by Irish Permanent (Newbridge), Mr Dermott Weld, The Eliott Building Firm and Curragh Bloodstock Agency. The prize fund at the time was €1400. The course was designed by Sgt Major Steve Hickey of the Army Equitation School who also designed at the RDS that year.

The equestrian club members love the show as all their friends get to see them compete. The students from TY are heavily involved and love getting a couple of hours off to help erect tents, arenas and jumps. The rattle of horse Lorries and food vendors into the fields from early morning provides a great atmosphere. Being the host club gives the riders such pride as they wear their jackets emblazoned with the Equestrian Club logo as they take results, rebuild fences and help make sure the day runs smoothly. The Horse Show will be the culmination of another fantastic year.

A full schedule is attached to the main Newbridge College Website under Equestrian Sports.

Contact Yvonne Byrne on 0872070217 if you wish to ride as a past pupil or support the Horse Show.

Newbridge College Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Republic of Ireland Tel: +353 45 487200 Fax: +353 45 487234 Email: info@newbridge-college.ie