Susan Stuart

Chairperson

I rode as a child in Ireland, mostly whizzing about over and under things. Then career and being married to a ‘townie’ put riding out of mind for about twenty years! In 2007 I made a break for the countryside and started to ride a friend’s horses, both of whom, the horses not the friends, were happy to let me build up my confidence and leg muscles, and then, in 2010 I bought Alfie  – the handsome and rascally chap in the photograph. I thought fun and success were just around the corner … but Alfie had other ideas, all of which had us whizzing about in all directions, over, under and sometimes around things, and rarely with the kind of planning or forethought that would have led to rosettes, or as my good friend says, medals.I rode as a child in Ireland, mostly whizzing about over and under things. Then career and being married to a ‘townie’ put riding out of mind for about twenty years! In 2007 I made a break for the countryside and started to ride a friend’s horses, both of whom, the horses not the friends, were happy to let me build up my confidence and leg muscles, and then, in 2010 I bought Alfie  – the handsome and rascally chap in the photograph. I thought fun and success were just around the corner … but Alfie had other ideas, all of which had us whizzing about in all directions, over, under and sometimes around things, and rarely with the kind of planning or forethought that would have led to rosettes, or as my good friend says, medals. Yet, in the last couple of years, and with the unending patience of several trainers and the encouragement of lots of friends, Alfie and I have competed successfully in several BE80 one day events, and even completed a 90cm hunter trials at Gleneagles. We are proof that it can still be done in your 50s!

I first started riding at Fergushill Riding School when I was 10 years old and I struck gold 2 years later when I responded to a rider advertisement in the local newspaper. This advert was the start of my wonderful equestrian journey when I got the opportunity to ride 2 fabulous horses for over 10 years!

In 2015, I bought my horse, Zac (who can be seen in my picture).

Zac tries so hard at anything I ask him to do which means we have had a go at pretty much everything… Eventing, team dressage / SJ, pairs dressage, ride outs and we love it all!

Zac lives with my grey Section A pony, Storm. Storm is the cutest, cheekiest and most lovable pony on the planet (or at least that’s what I think!). Storm’s best friend is Lilly who has rode Storm for many years and their favourite thing to do together is go hacking so she can show him off.

Before Zac, most of my competing was at Pony Club level, so I didn’t really know where to start in terms of joining a riding club and meeting new people. I decided to join Ayr riding club as I felt the variety of activities they offered suited me best. Soon after joining, I quickly realised how friendly all our members were so… I joined the committee! Joining Ayr Riding Club has allowed me to meet new people, get involved in all the activities, take part in team competitions and social events that I never would have done if I hadn’t joined the club.

I hope, as a committee, we can continue to organise fun filled activities and competitions and welcome our current and new members back year after year and hope it brings them as much fun as it has brought me!

Hayley Nelson

Vice Chair

Helen Green

Treasurer

I started riding when I was about 10 at the local riding school and after 30 years away from riding took it up again when I lived near Glasgow. When we moved to Ayrshire thirteen years ago I bought Scooby, a 14’1’’ Connemara, and since then life has changed completely. We have had a go at most things at low level and are taking things more slowly now. I joined Ayr RC four years ago and have enjoyed both the training and the competitions.  Isabel Forsyth inveigled me onto the committee; having started as Secretary I’m now Treasurer of the Club, so I spend my time on calculations – with the accounts and also dressage scoring.  I also look after the website.

Katie Nisbet

Committee Member

Maddie Moriarty

Volunteer Organiser

 I am happily retired  and spend  my time  volunteering  for cats protection  specialising in catching  and re-locating feral cats to stables/farms  and riding my horses whenever  I can . Luckily I have 3 horses, although Boston is retired.
My favourite  rides are the beach at Irvine and Eglinton Park and, as you can see from the photo of myself and Arthur,  I love taking part in access rides as well.
I have been riding for over 30 years – this all started back in Ireland at Lessans Riding Stables, which taught me a lot.  When I first moved to Scotland, I rode at various riding centres and since then have been lucky to help others out with their horses when I moved to Ayrshire 2005.
I originally joined Ayr Riding Club to take part in the dressage and combined training competitions. It has been a great way to get involved with a mixture of training, events and meeting a lot of new people and making good friends. Many of you may know me from my involvement with the BHS.
I have been on the Ayr Riding Club committee for over 5 years so this year will be my final year on the committee.  I have therefore decided to step back from the vice-chair role in 2021 that I had previously held to plan for committee progression. I have had great fun taking on the role of Team Manager over the last 5 years – a great way to learn about the qualifiers and meeting lots of new friendly people from the Club and across Area 1 as a whole. It is extremely rewarding.
Following breaking my shoulder in April 2015, thanks to former Chair Irene McKelvey, I became involved in organising our dressage and show jumping teams for the BRC Area 1 Qualifiers and looking forward to a time when we can return to these in the future. Prior to Covid, I would have been out competing at dressage at prelim/novice level on Merlin, a black fell who I ride for a friend. We also turn our hand to other fun things like riding club lessons, trec and rides. I also organise our annual joint Christmas beach ride with BHS Ayrshire and help organise other joint events with the BHS.

Julie Hanna

Team manager

Danny Moriarty

Volunteer Organiser

jousting

I started riding lessons when my younger brother started. I had lessons for a few years and then found other things to do. I started back with horses after meeting Maddie and that was because she had fallen off a horse. Since then things have got worse.

With my two previous horses there were many highlights. We arrived at our wedding on horse back, me on Megan and Maddie on Boston. The following weekend, Megan and I led the parade at the Historic Scotland event at Linlithgow Palace. The street was lined with men-at-arms, minstrels playing, lords and ladies of the court, James IV with his bride to be Margaret Tudor and the Knights of Royal England following. Boston and Darcy carried the VIPs.

I have ridden at Hever Castle ‘representing’ Scotland against England watched by Henry VIII: it was a diplomatic draw.

Then Scarlet helped me do dressage, show jumping and cross country. She enjoyed herself doing all that and was happy to take me along. One of, her many, highlights was crossing the finish line knee-to-knee with Maddie on Dave doing pairs cross country.

My current horse, Peggy, is a work in progress but we hack and go to the beach (subject to weather).  Alison Drummond persuaded us both to join the committee.

I have been riding for as long as I can remember and got my first competitive pony from the Waxwing stud when I was 5, my mum backed her and we began competing in M&M lead rein classes travelling up and down the UK. Following on from my first pony I was fortunate to have a selection of top class ponies for first ridden, then open ridden and then progressed to working hunter on probably my most memorable pony – Brynoffa Zak. Zak was the boldest jumper and would take me round many demanding HOYS working hunter pony tracks – my most memorable being the only Scottish rider to go clear in my class at the Scottish Horse Show HOYS qualifier class (me age 11 against lots of adults).

During the latter years of secondary school I had a bit of a break from competing and only did a handful of shows a year, university followed and I got involved in the university equestrian team which was great fun! In my final year of BUCS (university competitions) my team won our league competition, then the Scottish finals which qualified us for the National Championships at Bishop Burton College – another fantastic experience – although jumping a 1m course on a horse you’ve only sat on for 4 minutes and done 3 practice jumps is somewhat daunting!

In my final year of university I got a fantastic competitive Connemara pony from Ireland, we had great fun, with xc being her forte! We competed in a variety of competitions including qualifying and coming 5th in the Working Hunter Pony Final at NPS Summer Championships, winning some dressage competitions and winning the 80cm class at Drumclog Horse Trials. Drumclog was an amazing experience, but also probably the day I realised that I wasn’t quite brave enough to be flying round jumps – even on the best, bravest pony anyone could imagine!

Following Shadow I decided to pursue dressage, firstly on my sister’s Connemara stallion which is where I came across ARC – my first dressage test with Dusty was at the ARC Rozelle Park Show. We then got involved in riding club teams and qualified for the Novice National Winter Championships and the Summer National Championships at Lincoln Showground. Following success at the lower levels with Dusty, I set out to find a horse – and that’s when I found my current ride Tom or ‘Ice cold Fever G’. Going from riding native ponies to a 16.2hh dressage horse is something I have found extremely difficult, but finally after 18 months we are getting there and we are now ready to get out at medium level once shows can start up again!

Rebecca McNab

Committee Member

Rebecca
Louise Morgan

Secretary
Safeguarding Officer

After vowing 12 years ago that I would never venture into horse ownership again, I find myself the proud owner and totally besotted by Kenny, my Connemara pony.  I joined ARC while I was on a riding break just after a knee replacement, having told them I was interested in the team dressage opportunities.  Julie roped me into the committee and here I am still, a few years later!

Nesta Gilliland

Training organiser

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