urra horse riding background

Background

The Ulster Rural Riders’ Association (URRA) is a friendly, non-profit making organisation and is a Bridleway Group affiliated to the British Horse Society (BHS).The Association campaigns tirelessly for safe off-road riding in Northern Ireland. It provides riders with the opportunity to enjoy off-road pleasure rides, and supports its members in asserting rights of way for horse riding. It also informs motorists of the special needs of horses and riders in the proper use of both roads and bridleways.

The Ulster Rural Riders’ Association organises safe, social, off-road leisure horse rides at regular times throughout the year. The rides take place in stunning settings, such as forest parks and country estates, including Clandyboye, Castleward and the Tollymore Forest Park. The Clandeboye Estate is situated 12 miles from Belfast, and covers a total of 2000 acres. The Estate consists of woodlands, 250 hectares of farmland, formal and walled gardens, lawns and a lake. Castle Ward is an eccentric 18th-century mansion set on a rolling hillside, and overlooking the tranquil waters of Strangford Lough. The Tollymore Forest Park is a spectactular forest park nestling in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains. Tollymore is well known for its collection of garden follies, and experimental forest plots.

The Ulster Rural Riders’ Association brings horse riders together.

to enjoy the camaraderie experienced amongst horse lovers in a safe and scenic environment

The Ulster Rural Riders’ Association welcomes applications from new members. Membership of URRA is open to all persons who support the objectives of the organisation.Association membership is just £7 for an individual and £12 for family per annum, due on the first day of the calendar year. This membership fee also insures riders taking part in planned events so offers fantastic value for money.
The events attract people of all ages; the majority are from the Co. Down area. Some attend in groups, whereas others prefer to ride alone. The rides are also popular with families who simply like to enjoy a day out in the picturesque countryside.

The rides take place up to eight times per year.  At the start of each ride, riders are asked to register and to pay a small £8 fee. Riders are able to make their way around the course at their own pace; there is no crowded, en masse start. The Association welcomes riders of all ages and abilities; younger riders can walk or trot, whilst more experienced riders are able to canter and gallop – but not passed other horses!!The route is clearly marked and flagged and in the interests of safety, all riders are given a mobile telephone number for the Event Organiser. If riders encounter any problems on their way around the course they can ring this number for assistance. In addition, The Ulster Rural Riders’ Association have the St. John Ambulance in attendance at every ride. At the end of every ride, each rider is presented with a rosette as a reminder of a relaxing and rewarding day spent in the company of horses and their fellow horse riding enthusiasts.

IMPORTANT – When riding at a pleasure ride

  • Please enter at the check-in , on foot, not on horse back
  • Please keep to the marked route, especially where we have been kindly granted the use of private land.
  • Please do not turn and ride against the flow of other horses, except where the horse traffic is two-way,
    or in an emergency.
  • Please respect well kept verges.
  • Please clean up after your horse in the car parks.
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The rides are open only to URRA members.

By joining the Association you can ensure that horse riding can continue to take place safely, in a rural setting, for many years to come

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