Irish Sportshorses.

Cavan Equestrian Centre
Cavan Equestrian Centre, situated just an hour and a half West of Belfast in Ireland is the place to be this week to see a real top class selection of quality Irish horses. The six day indoor showjumping event which started on Tuesday 19th and finishes this Sunday the 24th has attracted a whole range of horses ranging from four year olds to Grand Prix.

It was my very first visit to Cavan and I can only say that I was very impressed with the standards of the facilities, the organisation, horses and riding. The program of classes suitable for horses from four year olds to Grand Prix attracted over 2,500 entries from all over Ireland plus a few from Scotland and England. The competitions were a joy to watch with so many good horses and riders competing at various levels. It is little wonder that Irish riders have this year won ten Nations Cup events, when you consider the superb horses they breed and the quiet yet effective way they ride and produce them.

Mervyn and Pauline Clarke run the Cavan Equestrian Centre as a family business giving it that personal welcoming touch which the Irish are renowned for. Yet Cavan is professional, well thought out, smart, efficient and altogether very impressive. The two indoor arena's sit side by side and are services by a superb outdoor practice area of 260 X 150 feet (85 x 50meters) lorry parking and stabling. An entire upper level is designed for the comfort of spectators who can look down into both arenas's, enjoying a good meal in the cafeteria or a drink at the bar while keeping track of the action.
The Clarke Family

These same facilities make Cavan one of the best places in the world to buy Irish Sports horse with a total of six sales held every year. The next two sale dates are the Irish Draft sale on the 3rd of October, the sports sale for foals, yearlings and two-year-olds on the 4th of October. International Performance horse sale dates are October 11th & 12th and the 29th & 30th of November this year 2000. For further details tel. 00 353 49 433 2017 or fax 00 353 49 433 1400. For inside information from someone who knows more about Irish horses and breeding than most people have forgotten,

E-mail and I will put you in touch with the right person.

Unfortunately I had to leave early on Thursday before the unique "Two arena indoor Derby" where riders compete over a Derby course which uses both the connected indoor arenas creating a covered jumping arena of approximately 200 ft x 200ft.

My first impression has been of a bright clean well run centre where friendliness is mixed with efficiency. In contrast with some countries almost 70% of the riders are male, and there is a definitely great emphasis placed on the breed lines of the horses.

Most of all as a trainer of riders I was impressed by the free forward riding style of so many good riders.

Photo compliments of Brian Mulligan Tel. 00 353 049 555 2104

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Updated: October 2005.