Galway County Show

Galway County Show

The one thing that can be hard working for ourselves is having to take the bookings when they come, even if it means missing a competition or show we would love to enter. Sometimes the bills are more important. After the personal success at last years Galway County Show, we had hoped to take other horses and have a bit of craic widening their horizons and showing them what fun horses can have too. The kids took turns doing the photography, the results of which can be seen in full on our facebook page here!

Galway County Show
Side Saddle

The Galway County Show heralds in the summer showing season here in the West of Ireland. Up and down the Wild Atlantic Way horse trucks, lorries, little trailers load up their horses, dogs, cattle, & sheep for the chance to shine at the Ballybrit Racecourse on the outskirts of Galway city.

Our interest is naturally in the equine classes, but even those not enamoured by our four legged friends can find something of interest for themselves and the family. There was the amusements located close to the entrance but cleverly placed away from the animals to avoid unnecessary hardship and competitors. The screaming from the waltzers could upset even the best trained animals.

The 2 day affair is not one to be missed, and thankfully a contingent from Cooper’s Hill ,managed to sneak away late Sunday afternoon to grab a hours at the show. We were not disappointed. The Grand Prix Jump Off had just started, and we got up close and personal to some spectacular horses jumpIMG_4942ing over huge obstacles. We briefly watched the Connemara Stallions, Connemara Mares some with foals, Coloured Hunters but by far my personal favourites were the Side Saddle ladies. Horses so well turned out, that you have to wonder if they are wrapped in bubble wrap or clingfilm when not showing. I cannot imagine the time, patience and effort that goes into making horses that fabulous. I crazily wondered if maybe the horses were hoovered because no matter how much I bathe ours, or groom them I can never get them looking so good.

Sadly, our disappearance was noticed after a couple of hours. The dreaded phone call came and we had to make our way back to help sort the horses out for the night.. Not before we had one last spin on the waltzers though.

For scientific purposes, and general curiosity I did investigate if you can hoover a horse… apparently the answer is yes!

Check out this video link.. Vacuuming a horse

For more dates on agricultural shows in Ireland check out this website.

Irish Shows Association

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Horse riding holiday options at Cooper’s Hill Livery

Full list and description of holiday options at Cooper’s Hill Livery

  1. Beach Ride.DSC_0230
  2. Extend Beach Ride.
  3. Country Lane Ride.
  4. Island Ride(Depends on tide times).
  5. Haunted Castle Trail:  includes tea/coffee and sandwiches during rest stop at Castle.
  6. Cross country boot camp.
  7. Hunt Clinic(Saturday only)
  8. Hunting

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Continue reading Horse riding holiday options at Cooper’s Hill Livery

Hunt Clinics with Coopers Hill

Hunt Clinic

Learning to Hunt…Irish Style

Hunt Clinic
Promotional Poster for Hunt Clinic

Hunting is an important part of the equine industry in both England and Ireland. In addition to the heritage associated with the sport itself, it also contributes to other facets of the equine industry e.g. improving the confidence and courage of show jumpers and helping racing trainers to test horses over the diverse terrains of the Hunting Field. Unless one is closely affiliated to traditional hunting circles, the continuity of hunting knowledge from generation to generation is scant at best. Although there is vast amount of literature available on hunting it can be difficult to interpret or translate the written word onto the Hunting Field. It is therefore very important to maintain the tradition of hunting and a core element of this is an understanding of hunting etiquette.

Budding young equestrian riders, many of who in fact begin hunting as an equine pursuit, are clearly critical to the passing on of hunting knowledge.
It is our firm belief that education is required to prevent the loss of this tradition and to help improve the day’s sport by assisting the Huntsman as a member of the field rather than hindering their efforts to hunt.
At Coopers Hill Livery our goal is to help riders that have never hunted in Ireland, improving their hunting etiquette from all aspects including dress attire, horse turnout and the ability to cross the country. Thus we aim to help them to enjoy the whole experience of a day’s hunting in a manner that will also help them to contribute to preserving the heritage of the sporting tradition that they are continuing.
Coopers Hill Livery’s inaugural hunt clinic took place on November 7th 2014 with our experienced team overseeing simulations of what an actual hunting day is like and how to negotiate the renowned stonewalls of County Galway.

The clinic has a realistic component that focuses on covering the ground at the correct pace, safely keeping the correct distance so that you allow the horse in front of you enough time to negotiate the obstacle. We go on several runs encountering natural terrain, which are predominantly walls, ditches and hedges. Everything is fully explained by our experienced team and there is an opportunity for questions at the end of each phase.

If you are looking to start hunting or brush up on your existing skills then the Hunt Clinic is for you. The Hunt Clinic gives you an insight of what to expect when you arrive for your first hunt and will give you the confidence to hunt well and safely in Ireland and most of all enjoy the thrills and spills of this wonderful country pursuit!