Tomorrow we bid farewell to our Chairman, mentor and friend – Dr. Lawrence Smyth. Many of our members who are local to the area first knew Lawrence as a teacher, through his long career teaching in the Tech in Gortahork and for many years in PCC Falcarragh. As it’s only in the past 20 years that horse riding as a sport became more common in the Gaeltacht area, a lot of our members did not commence horse-riding until they were adults and it came as a surprise to many joining members to find that the driving force behind the Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club was non-other than their retired school teacher and former Donegal Person of the Year (1979), Dr. Lawrence Smyth.

Lawrence, who did not take up riding himself until his 66th year, built one of the first arena’s in the locality around the time he and his wife Rosaleen joined the Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club in 2004, while the club was still in its infancy years. In typical Lawrence & Rosaleen generosity, they opened up their arena, their yard, their home and most of all their hearts to the club, resulting in Killult becoming the epicentre of the club. In the years since, many a rider jumped their first jump and many a child rode their first pony at Killult, with adults and children alike receiving the same warm welcome from Lawrence. Not only was he generous with his facilities, but he was also generous with his praise, his humour, his enthusiasm, his time, and with the assistance and support he gave to the many equestrian friends he made.

Lawrence’s own riding progressed at amazing speed, particularly given his late entrance to the sport, and before long he and his trusted steed, Jenny’s Jigsaw, became known and respected the length and breadth of the country. Meanwhile, the club flourished under his, Rosaleen, and Trish’s direction. Lawrence filled the Chairman role exceedingly well, so much so that he was re-elected year after year. 

His enthusiasm and dedication to the sport led to his being awarded the AIRC Lancelot Awards Person of the Year in 2008 and Club Member of the Year in 2014, along with his election onto the National Committee in 2015 and then onto the AIRC Board in 2016, where he worked tirelessly to promote the Western area. No journey was too far for Lawrence when it came to fulfilling his committee duties, participating in competitions and for supporting his fellow club members. Under his chairmanship, the club was voted 2016 Club of the Year, had many members placed at national shows, had several teams compete in the RDS Team Show-Jumping and even had a team competing internationally in France. In addition to this, he was an advocate for the Donegal Gaeltacht region, and his warm hospitality drew other riders from throughout the country up to the hills of Donegal to compete in the annual beach show, long before the Wild Atlantic Way was heard tell of!

Even with all this going on, Lawrence’s energy knew no bounds as he continued to work in academia – writing 2 books in Engineering for Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Examinations, yet still finding time to compete himself and do the club proud with his many achievements listed below, which, considering his age and late start to the sport, are truly remarkable and inspirational! 

Lawrence was one of a kind, and will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by so many people in the equestrian community. We wish to express our sincere condolences to his wife Rosaleen, his sons Greg & Cristopher, daughter-in-law Pauline, grandchildren Anthony, Lucia and Connor, and to Trish – the person who first introduced Lawrence to the sport and whom he proudly referred to as “the daughter he never had”. You are all in our thoughts and our prayers at this sad time.

National Results: Lawrence Smyth & Jenny’s Jigsaw: 

  • Riding Clubs Festival 2019 1st – Advanced Primary Pairs Accumulator Show Jumping 6th – Advanced Primary Team Show Jumping 
  • Riding Clubs Festival 2018 6th – Advanced Primary Pairs Accumulator Show Jumping 
  • Riding Clubs Festival 2017 2nd – Advanced Primary Team Show Jumping 
  • National Hunter Trials Championships 2016 3rd – Advanced Primary Pairs 
  • National Hunter Trials Championships 2016 4th – Advanced Primary Championship Riding Clubs Festival 2016 4th – Advanced Primary Show Jumping 
  • National Show Jumping Championships 2014 1st – Advanced Primary Championship 2nd – Advanced Primary Accumulator 
  • Riding Clubs Festival 2014 2nd – Advanced Primary Team Show Jumping 
  • National Show Jumping Championships 2013 3rd – Advanced Primary Championship 1st – Advanced Primary Accumulator 
  • National Show Jumping Championships 2012 1st – Advanced Primary Accumulator Riding Clubs Festival 2012 7th – Advanced Primary Show Jumping 3rd – Advanced Primary Team Show Jumping 
  • National Show Jumping Championships 2011 1st – Advanced Primary Mini Derby

Happy New Year

As 2020 comes to a close we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year as we welcome in 2021.

2020 was a bit of a roller-coaster year for us all with the Covid pandemic taking hold from mid March onwards.

Despite the threat of Covid we managed a few activities through the year. The Victoria Teuton clinic in February was subsidised by club funds and proved extremely popular with our Members, we managed to host our Annual Beach show in beautiful Ballyness Bay in September, and several club Members took part in the National Hunter Trials Championships which were also held in September.

Donegal Gaeltacht RC is now accepting memberships for 2021.

A special reduction of €15 is available for 2020 members who are renewing their membership for 2021.

Please click on link below to renew your 2020 membership or to become a new member of Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club.


So the country is in a lockdown and will continue to be for to he next few weeks ,we need to keep ourselves busy, and stay focussed. We have compiled these fun quizzes for everyone to have a go at, go ahead and try the first one , we will post another one in a few days time.

#staysafe #stayathome

Link to Quiz Part 1 –


Happy Easter

Donegal Gaeltacht Riding club would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Easter.

Online entry will open on Saturday 21st March until Thursday 28th March.

All entries will be online and your horse must be registered with the AIRC prior to completing the online entry process.

AIRC have confirmed the following dates and venues for National Championships in 2020.

This year sees a change in venue for the National Eventing Championships which will be held in Flowerhill ( a favourite with the Donegal clubs!) on 30th August.

NW Spring League

Membership 2020

We are now processing memberships for 2020.

Renewals and new memberships can be paid online by clicking on link below https://www.itsplainsailing.com/club/dgrc

For further information please contact our secretary Ciara Boyle by email – donegalgaeltacht@airc.ie

Happy New Year

From all at Donegal Gaeltacht Riding Club, we would like like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

2019 was another eventful fun filled year for us all, and we look forward to ‘enjoying equestrianism’ together with our fellow riding clubs in 2020.

It’s also that time of year that club memberships need to be renewed, and this can be done online by clicking on the link – https://www.itsplainsailing.com/club/dgrc

New members are also very welcome, please contact our club secretary Ciara for further information mailto:donegalgaeltacht@airc.ie or PM our Facebook page.

Well done to all the competitors today who took part in the second leg of the Autumn League in Templemore EC kindly hosted by Letterkenny Riding Club.

The next leg will be hosted in two weeks time by Stracomer Riding Club in Greenacres EC, Convoy on Sunday 17th November.

Results available by clicking on links below-

Results Week 2 | Results Week 2 03.11.19

Points Table | POINTS TABLE – Autumn League 2019




Well done to all who took part in today’s first leg of the NW Autumn League 2019. There was great support for the Charity Fancy dress with an assortment of weird and wonderful spooky Halloween costumes on display, it was lovely to see everyone putting in so much effort into these costumes, so well done to you all in supporting My Lovely Horse Rescue .

Results available by clicking on links below-

Results week 1 |Results Week 1 27.10.19

Points Table |POINTS TABLE


The annual Autumn League kicks off this Sunday 27th October in Templemore EC.  This first leg will kindly be hosted by Inishowen RC.  A Charity Fancy Dress competition will be held immediately after the Intermediate Class, there will be an entries sheet for the fancy dress at the entries desk, for every rider taking part in the fancy dress there will be a €5 donation made to My Lovely Horse Rescue equestrian charity.

A reminder that for safety reasons horses are not permitted to be tied along the wall in the indoor arena in Templemore during the Autumn League, your continued co operation is much appreciated.


Well that’s it over for another year, we timed the day very well with the cross country ending just before the torrential downpour started. A huge amount of work and effort goes in to running such a large event, thank you to our judges, commentary and volunteers, thank you to all the competitors who supported the event and a huge thanks to Top Spec for sponsoring all the fabulous prizes.

Results | ODE Results 16.06.2019


We have had great support for our Annual One Day Event again this year, start lists available by clicking on the link below.

Please remember Dressage Tests must be ridden from memory and cannot be called.

Don’t forget your number bib, and please have a read through the AIRC Dressage and Cross Country Tack sheets attached below as tack checks will be carried out on the day.

Skull Cap and Body Protector compulsory for Cross Country.

Parking will be in the lower field beside the road, All Horse Boxes must use this car park

DRESSAGE TACK SHEET | D131_13 Dressage (Horse Trials) Tack Sheet

CROSS COUNTRY TACK SHEET | D133_13 Cross-Country Tack Sheet

START TIMES | One-Day-Event-2019-Times

ODE schedule


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