Author Archives: Kelly Coughlin

Cross Country Clinic with Aidan O’Connell September 28-29 2019

Fraser Valley Hunt presents this great opportunity to learn theory of safety and defensive riding with sequential building blocks to gain confidence over jumps and riding cross country. This two day clinic prepares you and your horse to safely go over obstacles cross-country and in rough varied terrain.

Clinician Aidan O’Connell is a professional horse trainer and a former Grand Prix Show Jumper, with numerous successes in Ireland and abroad, including riding three times in the English Grand National Steeplechase.  An accomplished horse trainer, some of his horses reached the highest levels in their respective disciplines whether racing or show jumping. Aidan is a member of the Irish Horse Board, Eventing Ireland, The Show Jumping Association of Ireland, and eight foxhunting organizations. Aidan regularly teaches clinics in Ireland, Germany, and the United States.

Aidan has been able to develop a unique training program that benefits all riders, from beginners and pleasure riders to the serious advanced competitor. His clinics emphasize safety in the hunt field and cross country jumping by improving balance and building confidence.

Aidan’s clinics are divided into three sessions:

Session One – Theory of Safety; in-depth explanation of the difference between “cross-country” riding and ring riding, cross country is anything from a trail rider to a top level eventer, and what the rider needs to know to ride safely cross country. He will address your current issues, including a horse/rider evaluation and do a warm-up for Session Two and Three. Also the best tack (neck straps, etc.) and defensive riding.

Session Two – Sequential Building Session – each rider will work and progress to their level of ability, comfort and security on the flat and over jumps.

Session Three – Reinforcement – reinforces session one and two, and directly addresses individual issues of each horse and rider.

English tack preferred but western tack ok. The clinic can accommodate riders of all levels, jumping is done at the level each rider feels most comfortable with, and if you have never hunted but are curious- this is an excellent introduction to an amazing sport.

Location: Island 22 Equestrian Park 45695 Cartmell, Chilliwack V2P 4A6

Date:  Saturday September 28 Sunday September 29 2019-   9:00 am – 3:00pm bring a lunch.
Onsite camping is available for Friday and Saturday nights – no charge.

Clinic Fee: $300.00 for two days, $40 per day to audit

Registration: Registration and payment via ETransfer accepted at  Please register by September 25 2019
No refunds without a veterinary certificate.

Here are a few comments from riders that have taken his clinic:

I did the Aidan O’Connell clinic this weekend and had a great time. We were in the Training group and I thought he was both very safety focused and good at inspiring confidence. He did a good job explaining the different positions you might use on a green horse versus a more experienced and confident horse. I thought he was great at getting everyone relaxed and having fun.  Take away message – get them going in a good rhythm, keep your hands down, and don’t mess with them in the 3 strides before the fence.

I took a clinic with him a few years ago when my guy was a green bean. Shortly after I got on, my horse had a melt-down, and Aidan was really great at putting us back together one step at a time. We ended up doing quite well, and I took some useful insights away from that experience.

I’ve ridden with Aidan many times and he is my favorite clinician. He teaches you how to ride defensively and safely. He demonstrates by riding a horse himself and shows you what to do and what not to do. He is very concerned about each horse/rider and makes sure that they are both in balance before letting them jump bigger jumps or more technical jumps. He usually starts out with a small log and then does ditches and banks. He explains everything clearly and has interesting exercises. He really got me to learn how to jump down banks correctly and his clinics always give me confidence. “

I had a lot of fun at the clinic that I went to. No one was outfaced, but everyone seemed to learn something. I am not a big fan of clinics because it always seems the weakest rider and the strongest rider get the most out of the clinic and the middle people just pay their money and learn very little. I did not feel this way at all at his clinic.”  

Host a Hunt!

Landowners, horse and hound enthusiasts, we can bring the Hunt to you! 
Through the fall and winter months the Fraser Valley Hunt Club meets every Saturday at various private farms and estates ranging from Lynden Washington to Merritt to Pemberton.
We are looking to expand our territory to allow the hunt to continue and to allow more people to enjoy the sport and the spectacle. While open farm fields are traditional, any range land, trail or riverbank could be appropriate for a 2-3 hour ‘foxless’ drag hunt. We’d put up and take down portable jumps, and would provide a free pass for you to join us on the day.
We are appropriately insured for riding on private land, and ensure that all new/novice riders go out with a slower paced group and leader. All jumps are optional and Western riders are welcome. Spectators and photography buffs often follow the hunt, and all convene for ‘breakfast’ at the end of the day. If you think you might have appropriate territory, please contact John Strangway 604 – 226 -7432 or send us a message from our website,