The road to Eventing Ireland Grassroots Championship: Overcoming Adversity and Chasing Dream

Trying to qualify for the Eventing Ireland Grassroots Championship in Ballindenisk on the 13th and 14th of July has been a challenging and rewarding journey.

After a hiatus due to injuries to both myself and my horse, Blairmore Tinderbox, the road back to competition has been anything but smooth. However, with relentless determination and the invaluable, we have managed to get going again and are on the brink of achieving a significant milestone.

The journey began with an unfortunate series of injuries that forced both Blairmore Tinderbox and me into an extended break from eventing. The setbacks were not just physical testing but also mentally testing. Testing our resilience and resolve. Like any time our horses pick any injury it really requires careful rehabilitation, a process that demands patience and meticulous care. Simultaneously, I had to navigate my recovery, ensuring that I could return to the sport stronger and more determined.

Returning to physical condition was no small feat. With the expert guidance of my coach, Aamir Ishtiaque, I embarked on a rigorous fitness regimen tailored to meet the specific demands of eventing. Aamir’s approach focused not only on physical strength but also on mental resilience, prepared for the challenges ahead. The training sessions were intense, pushing me to my limits and beyond, but the progress was undeniable. Each stride forward was a testament to our hard work and commitment.

With the championship date approaching, I find myself just one run away from securing a Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER). This final hurdle is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, a culmination of months of preparation and perseverance. The anticipation of competing at Ballindenisk, after such a long and arduous journey, fuels my determination to give it my all. Every training session, every early morning workout, and every moment spent in the saddle has led to this point.

While the immediate goal is to qualify for the Eventing Ireland Grassroots Championship, my sights are set even higher. This year is a crucial stepping stone towards my ultimate dream of competing internationally in 2025, with Millstreet as the pinnacle event. The path to Millstreet will undoubtedly be challenging, but the journey so far has taught me the value of perseverance, dedication, and unwavering belief in oneself.

As the grassroots championship approaches, I am filled with a mixture of excitement and gratitude. The journey has been long and fraught with obstacles, but each challenge has only strengthened my resolve. Competing at Ballindenisk is not just about the competition itself but about celebrating the journey, the recovery, and the relentless pursuit of a dream.

With the support of my family, I am ready to take on this final run and secure our place at the Eventing Ireland Grassroots Championship. This year is a building block towards greater aspirations, and with each step forward, the dream of Millstreet 2025 comes closer to reality.

Photo by Louise O’Brien Photography

In eventing, as in life, it’s not just about the destination but the journey. And this journey, filled with challenges and triumphs, is one I am proud to undertake.


The road to Eventing Ireland Grassroots Championship: Overcoming Adversity and Chasing Dream

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