The Co. Galway Hunt, The Blazers, Branch of the Pony Club is sadly one of Athenry’s lesser known organisations. Its band of loyal followers have one thing in common, the love of horses. I myself am a member of The Blazers Pony Club, and proud to be one. The aim of the Pony Club is to encourage young people to ride and learn to enjoy all kinds of sport connected with horses and riding. To provide instruction in riding and horsemastership and to instill in members the proper care of their animals. To promote the highest ideals of sportsmanship, citizenship and loyalty, thereby cultivating strength of character and self-discipline.
We have a rally every week in various parts of the countryside where we are given instruction on all aspects of horsemanship. Clean, well fitting tack, well groomed animals, proper dress and good manners are essential. Our main meeting place is the Kennels in Craughwell, home of “ The Blazers”. Our District Commissioner Mr. Finbarr O’Regan also makes his farm in Kilskeagh available for most of the rallies. This place is ideal for our flat work, cross-country and showjumping.
For the younger members there are mounted games and we enter a team each year. In fact we represented our area in the All Ireland Pony Club mounted games for the past two years. We also send a team to the All Ireland Triathlon which is usually held in Adare, Co. Limerick and this year’s team did quite well, The Triathlon includes swimming and running as well as riding cross-country.
The highlight of the year is a week long camp which was held this year in Kilskeagh. It was lovely to see a herd of over twenty horses and ponies out in the paddock together as they were kept there for the week. The grooming, tack cleaning, instruction, quizzes and mucking out was hard work, but the games, showjumping and cross-country were more enjoyable. At the end of the week when the tests were over and passed we had a barbecue and prize giving. I was delighted with my prize for the cleanest tack.
The Athenry members include: Annabel Brody on Trigger, Giles Brody on Grease Lightning, Doug Costello on Dinky, Olivia Finn on Whiskey, Sarah Gavin on Jessy, Lisa Holland on Amanda Lady, Geraldine Gannon on Ginger Lady, Michael O’Regan on Star, Brian O’Regan on Beauty and Indiana Jack, Sarah O’Regan on Crocodile Dundee, Lorna O’Regan on Dusky Traveller, Vanessa Sheridan on Mickey Star, Pierce McInerney on Happy, and myself, Rose Barrett on Dawn Run.
We thank our parents and instructors Helen and Paula – and all involved for their help.
Feature photo: Prizewinners from the Blazers Pony Club at the Athenry Agricultural Show this year were – Sarah O’Regan (Crocodile Dundee), Sarah Gavin (Jessy) and Vanessa Sheridan (Mickey Star). This team also represented our Branch at the Triathlon in Adare.
Written by Rose Barrett
Published here 09 Feb 2021 and originally published August 1995
Athenry Arts and Heritage Centre
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