We are dedicated supporters of equestrian sport here in Ireland and are long standing supporters of both the Irish Pony Club and the Showjumping Association of Ireland, not to mention the many local and regional events and teams that we support throughout the year!
And we’re delighted to extend this support to a new discipline for us – Endurance, through our sponsorship of leading Irish Endurance rider – Nicola Boud.
Nicola is a rider with an abundance of talent and enormous dedication – two things that are essential to succeed in the sport of Endurance riding.
We’ll be following Nicola in her training and competition achievements over the coming months and in this blog post we catch up with her to find out a little more about her and how she got into the sport of Endurance Riding in Ireland…
“I have been passionate about horses all my life, so it was an easy transition for me to make it a career.
I trained to be a BHSAI , at Calliaghstown Riding Centre under their guidance of Grainne Sugars. It was here in 1996 that I discovered endurance, long distance riding, and I was bitten by the bug from then on.
I love the partnership we form with our endurance horses. It’s a very close bond, a lot of hours go into training for even the shorter distances of 40 km, right up to the 160 km rides and all the distances in between.
And then in endurance itself, is a very special community, where everyone helps each other and we make new and lifelong friends along the way.
I have been involved in all aspects of the sport now, from crew-rider-event organiser-FEI 4* official and national committee and regional committee member. This year I turned my focus to international competition.
I had an opportunity to base my 2 competition horses in France, which is the hub of Endurance riding in Europe with over a 100 races staged there each year.
Inchaallah Claddah – 8yr old mare owned & trained by Nicola Boud
Frandore Al Maury – 7 yr old mare owned by Clifford Fenton, trained by Nicola Boud
Both horses were bred by Clifford Fenton and are out of ‘Cheska’, herself was a 3* endurance Anglo Arab who was ridden by Clifford’s daughter. I also trained along with Clifford to the pinnacle of their career, which was the European Open Endurance Championships at Punchestown 2004.
Cheska in turn gave us Claddah and Fran, both full sisters by Grade 1 winning Arabian “Sunbeam Al Maury ”
My goal is to qualify for team selection for the World Equestrian Games 2018, which is an exciting prospect.
In the discipline of endurance, equipment is an integral part of success. From the lunging essentials, to leg wraps, numnahs and fleece coolers, I find Mackey products meet my horses’ requirements and have being using for years.
For me, I need also to be comfortable riding for long hours in competition as well as training. My essential bits of kit are my Mackey Cedar Boots, which have lots of support but are great for when I have to jump of our horses to either run beside or ease our way across some rough stones terrain.
I’m really delighted that such a great Irish equestrian company has offered me their support and I look forward to sharing my journey with you.”