The Next Generation with Erin McCoy

We’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing Rising Stars since we launched The Grassroots Gazette. Of late, after meeting some of these young people with incredible potential just like Erin McCoy we realised that equine media across Ireland really aren’t giving these stars the coverage they want, need or deserve.

We have taken it upon ourselves to change this. We have taken it upon ourselves to support The Next Generation in any way and every way we can. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to do interviews with all the Rising Stars across the Grassroots Community here in Ireland. Today, we are starting with Erin and we are super excited about this. Huge thank you to Jane (Erin’s Mom) for helping us facilitate this interview.

Who are you? 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your interests and what you love most about horses? 

My name is Erin McCoy, I’m 16 years old and live in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. I am a dressage rider and have just started competing at FEI junior and advanced medium level. Outside of horses I also play hockey and have represented Ulster. My favourite thing about horses is understanding all their different personalities and how to get the best out of each of them. 

Tell us about your horse(s)? 

Cloud Atlas (stable name fidget, for a good reason) is my main competition horse at the minute – previously a very successful 3* eventer. I was lucky to get the opportunity to ride him last year, when my Connemara pony was injured. I first competed fidget at novice last year and he has very quickly taken me up the levels. I feel very lucky that my parents had the opportunity to buy fidget. 

Silver Charlotte (Lottie) is my 14h Connemara pony with a larger-than-life personality. She has returned from injury and we are looking forward to getting back to working hunter ring. 

We have also just purchased a 3yr old trakehner cross. Silken link – stable name bear -was an eventing foal champion 2019 and will be broken next year. 

What is your favourite thing about dressage? 

I love the accuracy, and detail required in test riding. It takes a lot of practice. I also love getting dressed up. 

When did you first love dressage? And why? 

I started dressage due to my very cheeky Connemara . In her previous home she had been used as a games pony – so I really had to take her back to basics to gain some control!

Tell us about the big event you went to last weekend? 

Last weekend I was at the BD Youth home international. This is a team event where selected riders from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete against each other. 

I rode at medium level in a team and junior FEI level individually. I am so pleased to have finished 9th individually in the very competitive FEI class.

Team Ireland also won the trot up award. 

What was your favourite part of the event? I really enjoy meeting riders with the same love of dressage. It’s so lovely making friends and competing together as a team, as dressage is mostly individual. 

What is the one event you would like to compete at or win? 

My dream would be to compete at the Europeans, but to represent Ireland at any event would be amazing. I would love to win a national title with dressage Ireland. What are your goals or dreams for the future? I am really looking forward to bringing my young horse up through the levels – placing with a home produced horse would be a great achievement. With fidget I would like to get the rest of my qualification scores and travel to some international shows.

Photo by Louise O’Brien Photography

The one thing we really wanted to do with these interviews was get to know our Rising Stars away from competitions and their disciplines so we came up with some fun questions to ask.

Getting to know the one and only Erin McCoy: 

Favourite programme or series that you like? 

Peaky Blinders – I have watched it too many times.

What is your favourite movie? 

Ride like a girl – it’s so inspirational.

What is your favourite song? 

Another love – Tom Odell – I’m a real soppy girl.

If you were pizza topping what would you be? 

Pineapple – you either love it or hate it.

What is the funniest thing your horse has ever done? 

There are so many funny moments with my pony Lottie – the funniest was when we found her wearing a traffic cone and spooking the other horses . 

Best result or proudest moment so far? 

Definitely the day I got my first international qualification score with fidget – there were happy tears . 

I really need to thank Claire Ewing for her endless patience, support and teaching. I also need to mention Esther at SVS equine for all her work and advice with fidget. She really helps keep him in top form.


The Next Generation with Erin McCoy

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