Rising Star Eimhear Donaghy Shines at the 155th Balmoral Show

The 155th Balmoral Show, held at the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn from May 15th to May 18th, 2024, saw a remarkable performance from rising equestrian star Eimhear Donaghy. At just 16 years old, Eimhear has already made a significant impact in the world of eventing, and her recent achievements at Balmoral have solidified her status as a promising talent in the sport.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background in showing?

My name is Eimhear Donaghy, and I’m a 16-year-old eventer. I started learning how to ride at the age of 4 with Mary Corr at Moy Riding School. This was my first performance class I’ve competed in with Gaia.

How do you prepare yourself and your horse for a competition like the Balmoral Show?

To prepare for competitions like Balmoral, I take weekly lessons in dressage and show jumping alongside my own training at home most evenings. It’s a rigorous schedule, but it ensures that both Gaia and I are in peak condition.

Do you compete in any other disciplines? If so, what discipline would be your main focus/favorite?

I started eventing Gaia in 2023. This was her 5-year-old year, so we kept her at EI90 for the whole season, during which she produced some great results. We stepped Gaia up this year to EI100, where she has come home with 1st and 3rd in her two outings this season!

How do you manage nerves and stay focused during such a large competition?

On the morning of my class at Balmoral, I was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been. I was lucky to have the support of my closest friends, family, and Gaia’s old owner, who all helped tack up and turn Gaia out, which allowed me to relax and get myself ready without rushing.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in showing?

My biggest piece of advice would be that if it’s something you are truly passionate about, give it a go! Work hard at it and don’t give up; the results will follow with time.

What do you think are the most common misconceptions about showing?

I think one of the biggest misconceptions about showing is that it is solely about the horse’s appearance or how ‘flashy’ they are when really it means a lot more than that. It’s all about skill, talent, your drive to succeed, and how hard you are willing to work for the results you want.

What are your future goals and aspirations for this year?

In two weeks’ time, we are heading for Tullylish for Gaia and my first RDS Qualifier of the year. She will hopefully be competing in the Junior Event Horse class in Dublin, followed by Ballindenisk 1* in September.

Where can people follow your journey?

I post regularly on my Instagram and Facebook, eimhear_donaghy1.


My six-year-old mare, TMS Freedom, was one of three clear rounds in the 6/7-year-old Star of the Future performance class, gaining a top 10 placing!

Eimhear’s dedication and hard work are evident in her impressive results and her approach to the sport. Her performance at the Balmoral Show is just the beginning of what promises to be a stellar career in eventing. With her upcoming competitions, including the RDS Qualifier and Ballindenisk 1*, Eimhear is set to continue making waves in the equestrian world. Follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook at eimhear_donaghy1 to stay updated on her progress and upcoming events.

Her story is a testament to the importance of passion and perseverance in young equestrians, and in the backing of such a supportive group and community. Eimhear Donaghy is undoubtedly a name to watch in the future of equestrian sports.


Rising Star Eimhear Donaghy Shines at the 155th Balmoral Show

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