The IPC encourages its members to try their hand at (or turn their hoof to!) many different disciplines. The more commonly attended disciplines have their own pages on this site. Scroll down on each page to find news of upcoming events and competitions

Hunter Trials

This is a x-country competition only. It’s objective is to encourage members to gain experience and find enjoyment in riding across nearly natural country. This should be done at a good hunting pace and, where applicable, emphasis should be placed on riding as a team.

All competitors, regardless of age, must have passed their C test, though some branch competitions now include an U12 category for which D+ is the necessary test to have achieved.
Tack and rider turnout as per the cross-country tack sheet on our Downloads Page.
All ponies must be at least 5 years of age in order to compete.

The jumps are tough and there is no easy option at any of the jumps. The course is about 2 miles long and, as it is primarily a team competition, the elimination of one member means the whole team is knocked out.

Categories change each year but at the moment the categories are as follows.

Teams of 3, Over12 & under 21 1.05m
Consolation Pairs, Over 12 & under 21 1.05m
Junior Teams of 3, Under 15 90cm
Junior Cons. Pairs, Under 15 90cm

There may be a category for single competitors at either height band in any given year.

The championships are held the 1st Saturday after Easter each year and for the last couple of years have been in Ballon, Co. Carlow. In order to ride at the championship members must have competed at least twice over hunter trial courses as a team. However, as wet weather dictates that there are usually no competitions so early in the year in the north of the country, headquarters will allow suitably schooled teams to take part if their DC is willing to deem them safe. The Longford Hunt hunter trials are held on March 17th each year and provide a necessary eye-opener to the standard required.

A copy of the current rules is available on our Downloads Page for anyone interested in taking part.


The Tetrathlon combines running, shooting, swimming and x-country riding. It requires sound practical horsemanship and general athletic ability, and is the discipline in which personal bests are every bit as important as actually winning. For those members with a good x-country pony, and a desire to avoid dressage, it provides a wonderful opportunity to compete right up to international level.

Ponies must be at least 5 in order to compete.

For Tetrathlon all riders must have passed their C test. For minimus triathlon riders must be competent over a 75cm x-country course and should have passed their D+ test, though this is not compulsory.

Tack and rider turnout as per current x-country tack sheet on our Downloads Page. At all unmounted phases members should wear tracksuits.

At minimus level the competition is very beginner friendly, with people taking part who swim with their two feet on the ground!! At junior level, however, things get serious and to have any realistic hope competitively you need to be a strong swimmer. As mentioned before though, the greatest satisfaction comes from recording a PB, or personal best, and this is within everyone’s capability.

Regular swimming at your local pool, with a little effort to push yourself farther each week, will pay dividends, as will basic running. School athletics coaches are usually very helpful, as are local athletics clubs. But there is nothing to beat just getting out there each day and running up hill and down dale. X-country riding experience can be gained on the hunting field, at local hunter trials, 2-phases, jump-cross etc.

There will be between 16 and 20 obstacles on the x-country course, including one gate to be opened and shut whilst mounted and one slip rail to be opened and replaced while dismounted. No assistance may be given to remount.

At the moment juniors, U15, shoot with a rifle and seniors with a pistol, though the rifle is being phased out.

There is an extensive rule book available for anyone thinking of taking part.