Our History

Eddie Fowler receiving an EFI Medal of Honour from President of Ireland Mary Robinson on 15th September 1995
Eddie Fowler receiving an EFI Medal of Honour from President of Ireland Mary Robinson on 15th September 1995

During the early seventies, the riding club movement in Ireland grew steadily.

In 1973, sixteen clubs grouped together to form the Association of Irish Riding Clubs. They included Ait Aoibhinn (Co Cork), Ards (Co Down), Ashbank (Co Down), Bann Valley (Co Derry), Ballyteigue (Co Limerick), Bord Failte (Dublin), Bord na gCapall (Dublin), Capall (Co Down), Castle Howard (Co Wicklow), Cork (Co Cork), Foxborough (Co Wicklow), Galway (Co Galway), Waterford (Co Waterford), Meath (Co Meath), South Wexford (Co Wexford) and Warrenpoint & District (Co Down).

The Association held its first meeting in Portlaoise under the chairmanship of Eddie Fowler with Helen Mangan as Administrator.

Since then, the membership of the Association has grown steadily to the present day 125 affiliated clubs, 8 regions and almost 3,500 members nationwide.

The number of activities has also increased with championships held annually for individual and team show jumping, individual and team dressage, hunter trails, and horse trails. Events are also held occasionally for Trec and Cross Jump.

The Association also holds Irelands biggest equestrian amateur event, the Riding Clubs Festival. This two-day event features up to 70 competitions and has attracted entries in excess of 2,500. Competitions are held in show jumping, dressage, showing and working hunter. The event is designed to cater for everyone as no qualification is necessary to enter the majority of the competitions. Punchestown racecourse hosted the first Riding Clubs Festival in 1990.

Today the Association strives to promote the amateur leisure rider as it has done for the last number of decades.

Past Honorary Presidents

TermTitleForenameSurname
1984MrsDanLanigan O'Keeffe
1985 - 1986MrsPamGillespie
1987 - 1997MrEddieFowler
1998 - 1999MrCarlGeisler
1999 - 2003MrJim Collins
2004MrPeter Roberts
2005 - PresentMrsHelenMangan

Past Honorary Vice Presidents

TermTitleForenameSurname
1973 - 1984MrEddieFowler
1985 - 1996MrCarlFowler
1997 - 2002MrPeterRoberts
2003 - PresentMrTonyEnnis

Vision

Enjoying Equestrianism

Mission Statement

Encouraging riding as a sport and recreation, to promote good fellowship among riders and to improve and maintain the standard of riding and horsemastership in Ireland

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