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Friday 20 April 2018

Athlacca ride is a roaring success

OBSTACLE: Irish international showjumper Bertram Allen (front left) tackles one of the challenging jumps in the Dromin Athlacca Charity Ride 2013, in aid of the JT McNamara Fund and other charities
OBSTACLE: Irish international showjumper Bertram Allen (front left) tackles one of the challenging jumps in the Dromin Athlacca Charity Ride 2013, in aid of the JT McNamara Fund and other charities
Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Showjumping boy wonder Bertram Allen took some time out from his busy international career to tackle some alternative obstacles in the Dromin-Athlacca Charity Ride recently.

Our picture, above, shows Bertram (front left) and ride organiser Brian McMahon (centre) leading riders over the imposing car fence.

While the 18-year-old may be more used to riding on sand surfaces over coloured poles, he showed that he's still got what it takes to cross any country.

Almost 170 riders took part in the event, with some riders even taking two horses to ride on the day.

In an effort to broaden the appeal of the Athlacca ride, the course was divided into three for the first time this year.

The main ride, led by Brian McMahon, consisted of the toughest riders and horses, who tackled the usual challenging route of fences, ditches, drains stone walls and banks.

There were approximately 75 jumping efforts in the main ride, covering 15 miles and passing through 35 farms.

NOVICES

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The second route, led by Tom Griffin, was designed for novice horses and riders.

About 70 riders, a mix of adults and teenagers, took this option and jumped about 30pc of the same jumps.

Finally, the inaugural running of the 'Happy Hackers' route attracted 25 riders who were game for some small jumping but were mainly just out to support the JT McNamara Fund and other local charities.

The youngest participant was only six years old. Natalie O'Rourke tackled the Limerick course on a lead rein, led by her grandmother Marion O'Brien.

At the other end of the scale, the oldest entrant was 75-year-old Wexford man Jack Lambert. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Jack was, as usual, mounted on one of the trademark greys produced by his now deceased stallion Grange Bouncer. Another veteran of the ride was John Hyde.

Thousands of euro have been raised for the JT McNamara Fund and other local charities.

"We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who helped out in any way, including the 35 farmers who allowed 170 horses through their land," said organiser Sue Foley.

Irish Independent