Para Equestrian Ireland

About Us

Para Equestrian Ireland (PEI) was incorporated as a Company (limited by guarantee not having a share capital) on May 6th 2005.  It also received Charitable Exemption Status in 2007. Prior to this, it operated as a voluntary organisation, having been founded in the early 1990s out of “Riding for the Disabled” by Adeline Branigan and other supporters. Its mission statement is: “To promote and encourage amongst riders with a physical disability (including visual impairment) who have reached a given level of riding accomplishment, an interest in competing in equestrian events at national and International level; to provide practical assistance towards the preparation and development of such riders to standards which qualify them for such competition; and to foster amongst members and riders a deeper understanding of the effects of equestrianism as an aid in realising the potential of such riders in their personal, social and working lives. The company (Organisation) is governed by a Council, elected by the members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).  The present Council members are;

  • Lt. Col (retired) Gerry O’Gorman (Chairman)
  • Dara Kearney (Chef d’Equipe)
  • Adeline Branigan
  • David Bernie
  • Rachel Blayney-Woods
  • Eilish Byrne
  • Rosemary Gaffney (Riders’ Representative)

The company officers are:

  • Michael Kearney – Company Secretary
  • Patricia Leonard – Treasurer

Para Equestrian Ireland is affiliated to:

  • Horse Sport Ireland (governing body for Horse Sport in Ireland)
  • Paralmypics Ireland
  • The Irish Sports Council

PEI relies on the hard work of many volunteers and it has grown from strength to strength over the years. PEI has helped riders develop from grassroots level right up to winning medals at championship level.  Our greatest achievement to date came in 2012, when the Irish Para Dressage Team (Gerry Savage, Eilish Byrne, Helen Kearney and James Dwyer) won the team Bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and Helen Kearney (team member and Grade 1a rider) won individual Silver and Bronze medals. Many prizes have been won by other riders at International events over the past decade. PEI supports riders in many ways. For the high performance riders, training clinics are organised throughout the year with a clear focus on helping riders to improve their competition performance. Through PEI, riders have access to many services such as sports psychology, physiotherapy/ sports massage and nutrition. PEI also provides essential support to riders competing at international competitions.