It may be a case of sound and picture not matching but combinations were none the less happy to move indoors last week at Ravensdale Lodge
The words winter and indoor seemed out of place as the country enjoyed the continued spell of fine weather that seemed to find its way to all corners
While the weather is playing it’s part, there is no doubt that the evenings have closed in rapidly over the past month and there is a chill in the air that everyone is happy to escaspe when it comes to night time competitions
The 12-week run of autumn and winter shows commenced last week at Ravensdale Lodge with an SJI registered indoor horse league on Thursday and this league continues weekly until Thursday, December 11
Warrenpoint based Sean and Prionnsias Cooney’s Botanica International sponsor the centre’s ever popular Friday evening indoor horse and pony training league
Show organisers are slow to change a formula that works so well and this league, which runs to Friday, December 12 has its usual start time of 5.30pm and classes from X poles to 1.10m Another thing that remains unchanged about this league is the weekly class prizes which are kindly sponsored by Botanica International
Saturday afternoon saw the start of the centre’s indoor arena eventing league which is sponsored once again by Paddy Hughes’ Horse First, a local firm and global suppliers of supplements to the horse industry
This show, which has weekly class prizes courtesy of Horse First and runs to Saturday, December 13 has three classes and a start time of 2pm for the 70cm class, 3pm for the 85cm class and 4pm for the 1m class
The indoor dressage finishes the weekly competitions at Ravensdale Lodge This popular competition, which runs to Sunday, December 14 has a start time of 2pm and all weekly tests can be found on the Ravensdale Lodge website
It is hard to believe that it is 12 months since the launch of the ‘Smart Leagues’ initiative which was so popular with competitors last year
Five hi-tech smart tablets were given out over the final week of competition in December of last year with some very happy competitors going home with an early Christmas present
Such was the popularity of this initiative that show organisers have decided to continue it this season and add a few more surprises along the way!
The spring and summer run of shows saw over 80 bespoke Ravensdale Lodge saddle pads given out among competitors with everyone being in with the same chance of being drawn out of the hat for one of these lovely equestrian accessories There will be a chance of winning some more saddle pads throughout this run of shows and they will be joined by signature Ravensdale Lodge rugs during randomly picked ‘bonus shows’
Once again, everyone who competes will be in with the same chance of winning a smart tablet, saddle pad or signature rug as all qualified names will go into a draw so one lucky winner will go home very happy
Add to this the weekly class prizes courtesy of Ravensdale Lodge, Botanica International and Horse First and you have a treasure trove of prizes on offer to competitors
Riders are aware of the world-class facilities at the centre and also appreciate the courses that are designed and judged by some of the best professionals in the country With ease of access, real value for money and fantastic weekly and final prizes, what more could competitors ask for?