Connemara Therapeutic Riding CLG (CTR) is currently recruiting for a number of positions. We are looking to hire a full time Manager; an Equine and Sessions Co-ordinator; and a Marketing and Administration Assistant. Ideal candidates will have a strong awareness of the needs of people with disabilities and an understanding of community based projects. Closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday 7th February. Full details of all positions can be found below:
Connemara Therapeutic Riding CLG welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD that it is to be granted funding under the Community Services Program. Minister Ring announced the news on Friday 25th October during his visit to Forum Connemara in Letterfrack, Co. Galway and said he was “delighted to be able to support the wonderful work being carried out by Connemara Therapeutic Riding” while also speaking of the importance of having services and a community to support people especially those in a rural area. Clients and volunteers from Connemara Therapeutic Riding were in Letterfrack along with a Therapeutic Riding Connemara pony to welcome Minister Ring.
The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports community companies and co-operatives to deliver local social, economic and environmental services that tackle disadvantage by providing a co-funding contribution towards the cost of employing a manager and full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.
Connemara Therapeutic Riding (CTR) was formed as a CLG in 2017 after operating successfully since 2015 as a voluntary community group. CTR provides a community-based Therapeutic Riding service for adults and children with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities while promoting the Connemara pony as an ideal equine. Therapeutic Riding is a worldwide recognised therapy to improve physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioural and educational skills as well as being a healthy and fun activity. To date over seventy people have availed of the service. The service is delivered at Errislannan Manor, Clifden, Co. Galway with fully qualified Therapeutic Riding coaches using specially trained Connemara ponies. Minister Ring’s announcement will enable CTR to employ a full-time manager and three full-time equivalents providing a welcome boost to the local economy. Cathy Keane, Chairperson of CTR says “the Community Services Programme will enable CTR to grow it’s social enterprise and enhance the service it is providing to current clients as well as attracting new clients. This much needed funding will give also CTR the opportunity to develop a tourism offering”. CTR plans, with the aid of CSP funding to promote Connemara as an accessible tourism destination and to develop links with other tourism service providers in the area.
Since its formation Connemara Therapeutic Riding has worked closely with local organisations such as Forum Connemara, the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society, businesses and strategic partners, and also local schools and daycare centres. Support has also been given to participants from Ability Connemara. The Ability programme provides funding to local, regional and national projects in the Republic of Ireland that focus on bringing young people with disabilities between the ages of 15 and 29 closer to the labour market.
CTR is committed to supporting the objectives of the Community Services Programme and looks forward to embracing the next part of it’s journey.
For more information on Connemara Therapeutic Riding please visit www.connemaratherapeuticriding.com .
Manor Arena, Clifden, Co. Galway was once again the venue for the third annual Connemara Therapeutic Riding Novelty Show. The show took place under blue skies on Sunday 22nd September. Boasting over 140 entries this year the show continues each year to attract more entries.
An exciting schedule of inclusive classes enticed entries from adults and children alike and Judges Eleanor Curran and Padraig Geoghegan had a hard task in selecting winners from the hotly contested classes. One young competitor even travelled the long distance from Dublin to take part. The Mini Handlers and Young Handlers classes started the day off with 21 and 16 competitors respectively enjoying the opportunity to show off their pony handling skills. These young competitors left no doubt in anyone’s mind that they will be the showing superstars of the future. As in every class all competitors received a rosette and a novelty prize with the judges selecting Aoife Gorham and her pony Doonhill Misty Dawn as the winner of the mini handlers class. Kathryn Conneely showing Saoirse na Mara was victorious in the Young Handlers Class.
A new addition to the schedule this year was the Walk Trot class, which proved very popular and was deservedly won by Inishbofin native Kitty Concannon riding her pony Lenny. The lead rein showjumping and cross pole showjumping classes are always well supported and they give future showjumpers the chance to impress the judges and spectators with their bravery and skill. Taking the lead rein showjumping title this year was Tiernan Diamond Carey, while Eliosia Boulger took the title in the cross pole showjumping class.
The jockey and groom showjumping class involved teams of two with the jockey first jumping the course on a pony followed by the groom jumping the course on foot. It was evident that had Philip Duane and his groom Diarmuid Roche had serious practice put in beforehand which led them to jumping clear in the fastest time.
Beautifully and creatively plaited ponies entered the ring for the best mane and tail class. A huge amount of time must have gone into getting ponies ready for this class, with manes and tails decorated in flowers, ribbons, bows and glitter. Sadhbh O’Toole took a break from her busy dressage career to attend the show and her plaiting skills were rewarded when she received first prize for her pony Kayleigh.
An array of colour could be seen in the arena for the Fancy Dress class. Entries included a superhero, Rapunzel, Pocahontas , and Willy Wonka. Following a long deliberation in a class of very creative entries the judges chose Yann and Alex Walch entry ‘On Safari’ as their eventual winner.
Pony most like its owner was awarded to Belle and her owner Ciara Heanue who wowed the judges in their purple ensemble. The obstacle course is always great fun and once again proved challenging for all contestants. Spectators were on the edge of their seats as they cheered on the riders. The appearance of a giant Winnie the Pooh caught out a few people. Ciara Heanue and her pony Lochy scooped the prize in the final class of the day.
A huge thanks goes to the Noonan Family for the use of their fantastic facilities, to the judges, stewards and volunteers without whom the show could not have been run. A very special thank you to all the generous sponsors and most importantly thanks to all the competitors who took part. We look forward to welcoming you all back again next year. Keep an ear out for some exciting news regarding next year’s classes.
All photos from the show can be viewed on the Connemara Therapeutic Riding Facebook page. If you are interested in finding out more about Connemara Therapeutic Riding please contact Marion on 083 8418448.
Connemara Therapeutic Riding (CTR) established a permanent Therapeutic Riding Service in 2015. CTR has witnessed firsthand the huge impact Therapeutic Riding has had on a number of families in the Connemara region. It aims to provide a community-based Therapeutic Riding (TR) Service for children and adults with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities in a remote rural setting in the west of Ireland while promoting the indigenous Connemara Pony as an ideal equine for this therapy. Currently forty clients are availing of the service including a number of children who attend as part of the curriculum in the Autism (ASD) class in local schools. TR sessions take place at Errislannan Manor on the Errislannan Peninsula, which is located outside Clifden, Co. Galway. The setting is probably one of the most picturesque and peaceful locations in Ireland. Sheltered by a surrounding wood the Manor overlooks a trout lake and is bounded by Connemara’s moors and mountains, lending itself to natural sensory trails and a stress free environment.
This year Ireland is set to host the 16th HETI Congress of Equine Facilitated Programmes in the RDS from June 25th – 29th. CTR is honoured to have been invited to partake in the opening ceremony with Connemara Ponies on the 26th June. Connemara ponies have proven to be the ultimate therapy pony with their gentle disposition, sturdy conformation and sure footedness and CTR looks forward to demonstrating to a worldwide audience the suitability of Ireland’s native pony as the perfect TR pony. Two Connemara ponies, a group of TR coaches and a number of volunteers will travel from Connemara to the RDS to attend the HET congress.
CTR is grateful to receive continuous support from the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society, Horse Sport Ireland and the Connemara Pony Sales, Clifden, all of whom recognise the important role the Connemara pony plays in TR. Noel Brett, President of the CPBS says “We are delighted to see the Connemara pony being marketed as the ideal equine for Therapeutic Riding, which really shows the versatility of this fantastic breed. The CPBS is proud to play a part in supporting CTR’s attendance at HETI”.
Loretta O’Malley, Chairperson of CTR feels HETI is “an important opportunity for CTR to communicate the benefits of TR and the work being done by this largely voluntary organisation, while promoting the Connemara region and the indigenous Connemara pony”.
Visitors to Connemara are welcome to come along and experience a TR session. For more information on Connemara Therapeutic Riding please visit www.connemaratherapueticriding.com or like Connemara Therapeutic Riding on Facebook.
Please join us Sunday 17th September 2017 @ 11 am. Fun for all the family…
Download entry form: SHOW SCHEDULE AND ENTRY FORM