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 3,400 members nationwide.

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

The Association also holds one of Irelands biggest equestrian events, the Riding Clubs Festival.  This two-day event features up to 70 competitions and has attracted entries in excess of 2,000.  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 it’s activities for all riders as it has done for the last number of decades.

Honorary Presidents

1984MrsDanLanigan O'Keeffe
1985 - 1986MrsPamGillespie
1987 - 1997MrEddieFowler
1998 - 1999MrCarlGeisler
1999 - 2003MrJim Collins
2004MrPeter Roberts
2005 - 2018MrsHelenMangan

National Chairpersons

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


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