A SPOTLIGHT will be shone on Quin on RTÉ One this Sunday (8.30pm), as John and Francis Brennan and the At Your Service team come to Ballyhannon House Riding School and Trekking Centre to work their magic.
In the first episode of a new series of At Your Service, the Brennan brothers, who own and run the five-star Park Hotel in Kenmare, will visit Johnny Hassett’s riding school.
The day they were previewing the riding school for the show, Johnny said it was just after the storms had hit and a lot of damage had been caused, so he felt this went in his favour to secure the Brennan’s help.
“I twigged that the worse it was, the more they liked it,” he said.
He said the reason for wanting to go on the show was to help raise the profile of Ballyhannon House but also there were some serious issues he felt needed to be addressed and he hoped the Brennans could lend their expertise.
“One of the best things to come out of it was we had a low to no budget and we got a few quid on the show from selling a horse. We have a big adult rider following. We are about 50% adults and they all came out three or four days and 20 of the customers came out to give us a day and help us painting and cutting up logs. It was great fun,” he said.
He also feels the advice they got from the Brennans will really stand to the school and will help provide a better service to its customers.
“We have restructured our lessons. We had an in-house instructor and now have four people that come to give lessons so we can give different types of lessons. We have one resident here, who is really great with the kids, and we have three others, one for dressage and one for those who want to learn to go hunting and then we have riding for beginners or more advanced and showjumping. So we have changed the structure of the riding school and we provide a bit better service. Then we focused more on trekking and the hotels,” he concluded.
In the programme, the Brennans will be encouraging Johnny to diversify and make the most of his facilities, which include stables, a disused hayloft and an intriguing gazebo in the garden.
Francis takes an adventurous horseback trek to the local pub, while John and Johnny sell a horse at the Goresbridge Sales in a bid to raise cash for much-needed renovations.