I count myself very lucky to own two wonderful horses who are insanely talented, and so different – it has been quite an adventure with them both! Read on to get to know them…

Paddy (Paddy’s Cruising)

Paddy (Paddyโ€™s Cruising) is a 10 year old Irish Sports Horse gelding who I have owned for four years. His sire is by Cruising, and his dam is by Lux Z – so he has lots of great showjumping breeding, and is a very talented jumper!

I originally bought him to event in 2016, however my dreams were short lived – at his third event (where he placed fifth!) he fractured his pedal bone, and was out of work for almost a year, between treatment, complications with his recovery and rehabilitation. He came back with a bang in 2018, making up for lost time – in less than 6 months he won Performance Hunter Champion, placed fourth out of 185 entries at the AIRC National Showjumping Championships, and qualified for the Dublin Horse Show, placing second! He then went on to win the 90cm Showjumping Final at Cavan Equestrian, and we had happily stepped up to 1m.ย 

Paddys Cruising Dublin Horse Show 2018
Paddy at the Dublin Horse Show in 2018. Credit: Louise O’Brien Photography

Unfortunately, in 2019, his injuries reared their ugly head again, and he was then out of work for another year. After some further time off and consultations with my vet and farrier on the best way to manage him, Iโ€™ve been slowly ramping back up his work and he is coping well and the soundest he has ever been. I talk a lot on my blog about this journey, and my approach to managing Paddy carefully to keep him sound and (more importantly) happy.

I cross my fingers that together we can pursue a happy career in showjumping, and one day compete in the Amateur classes (1.10m/1.15m). If not, he will be the most loved stable ornament ever!


Flash (Ballylurgan Ferro)

Flash is a 7 year old Irish Sports Horse mare who I have owned for a year – her sire is Creevagh Ferro and her dam is by Cavalier Two for Joy, so she has lots of jumping blood in her! She was a complete impulse buy, as Paddy had just been diagnosed with his second recurrence of the same injury and I was starting to box walk! She had relatively low mileage when I bought her, but had been reserve Coloured Horse Champion in the Dublin Horse Show as a 5 year old, and had jump for days – so I knew she was going to be very talented! My aim when buying her was to event her, as Paddy had to be kept on a surface to mind his feet.

Flash National Horse Sport Arena Showjumping
Flash Jumping at the National Horse Sport Arena. Credit: Louise O’Brien Photography

So far Flash and I have been on a real learning curve together – as we both learn the ropes of Eventing at the same time! She has unbelievable scope, three powerful and loose paces, and is unbelievably careful. I have spent a lot of time investing in coaching to learn how to get the best out of her, and so far we have showjumped up to 90cm and competed in our first one day event with good success. I am looking forward to getting a full season of eventing with her next year – I hope that one day we might get to Novice/2* level, however long it may take us!