Sunday 24 March 2019

International riders heading to Kilguilky event

Maria Herlihy

There will be a warm Céad Míle Fáilte to the International event riders, from nine nations, that will be heading to Duhallow this weekend for the International Horse Trials.

This is the sixth year that the event is being held at Fernhill Sport Horses Kilguilkey House, which is near Ceilstown in Mallow. This event is being hosted by Danny and Michelle Dulohery, and their International Trials  event has grown and grown in popularity each year.

While the sunny weather has been lifting everyone's spirits, it is certainly not ideal for horses.  However, Mr Dulohery has been extremely busy taking measures to make sure the ground is in tip top condition for the weekend of events. 

Over 200 horses and riders will pass through the gates of Kilguilkey this weekend representing nations including the UK, Canada, Italy, Australia and Argentina, to name but a few. Olympic and World Championship cross-country course designer, Mike Etherington-Smith has brought his expertise to Kilguilkey once again and has been working closely with the Duloherys to create a cross-country track at three-, two- and one-star level. May visiting riders will be gaining experience at Kilguilkey ahead of this year's World Equestrian games, which will take place in North Carolina in September. 

Dressage and show jumping for the feature classes will take place on Saturday, June 30, with the all-important Cross Country phase bringing the action to a close on Sunday, July 1. One of the big highlights of the weekend is the Rider's Party on Saturday evening where the renowned musician and Barnacurra native, Liam O'Connor, will play.  Mr Dulohery said that it was hard to imagine that his holding 12 years ago was a dairy farm, and while they still have cattle, the International Horse Trials have been a major boost to them. In addition, he heaped a deluge of praise upon IRD Duhallow, who provided funding for their enterprise.  "It really is a lovely weekend at Kilguilkey, and entry is free, so it is ideal for families and children to come and see what our event is all about. There is a fantastic atmosphere," he said.  All of the participants stay at Kilguilkey in their own state-of-the-art trailer homes, and the highlight of the weekend will be the Rider's Party on Saturday night.