From: Blarney, Co. Cork.
Occupation: Full-time rider.
Background: Angela competes at Grade IV level. She has been riding since she was very young, and competed in ponies at international level. A fall at the age of 15 resulted in a shattered hip and pelvis and, as a safer option, she then turned to dressage. She first got involved with PEI in 2009.
Horses: Tommy 12-year-old gelding
Achievements: As a member of the high performance squad she has attended numerous international competitions and regularly places in the top 10. Angela has also won multiple national titles in able bodied competitions.
From: Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow.
Occupation: Full-time rider.
Background: Helen was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia at the age of 12. It’s a neuromuscular disorder that causes progressive loss of coordination and muscle strength in the arms and legs leading to full-time use of a wheelchair. Helen has been riding since the age of 10. Initially she rode in all disciplines but has focused on dressage since 2008.
Horse: Zenzation (Benny) 8y.o Danish Warmblood gelding
Achievements: Helen has not been competing since 2016 due to ill health but she is hoping to come back and hopes to get out soon. She was Irelands sole Para Equestrian representative at the 2016 Paralympic’s in Rio. In 2012 Helen won three Paralympic medals, individually a Silver and two Bronze. In 2011 Helen claimed Ireland’s first ever European Para Equestrian medal, winning a Bronze.
From: Mooncoin, Co. Kilkenny.
Occupation: Full-time rider living in Belgium.
Background: James has been riding since he was a child but suffered a set-back when he was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 16. Despite years of treatment his right leg was amputated from the knee down in 1997. He joined PEI in 2000 where he rides at Grade V level.
Horse: Fleurette 12-year-old mare
Achievements: James went to the Paralympics in London where he helped the Irish team secure Bronze medal.
From: Tinahely, Co. Wicklow.
Occupation: HSI Level 2 coach
Background: Kate has been riding from a young age but an accident at the age of 3 left her disabled. Despite this she competed with the Pony Club for years at various events. She got involved with Para Equestrian Ireland in 2007.
Horse: Serafina T, 8yr old Anglo European mare by Rossgold Sunstar
Achievements: In 2019at Keysoe 2019 3 top 5 placings including a 2nd in the team test.. She was selected to go to do Europeans to injury. In 2017 she was Ireland’s sole representative at the European Championships where she finished 8th individually.
Occupation: Groom on a dressage yard.
Background; Kathryn was diagnosed with Turners Syndrome (growth disorder) at 14 and at 15 was classified as a Grade V, joining PEI in 2015.
Horses: Donald VII, 8 year old Hanoverian gelding.
Achievements: Kathryn has had many international placings since 2015 with a place on the team at the 2015 Europeans in Deauville.
From: London UK, Family Co Cork
Occupation: Studying Biological Sciences at University of Warwick
Background: Michael was born with a rare and progressive disorder called Dejerine-Sottas. He has no saving reactions. No sensation left in his hands and very little in his legs and feet. Very little muscle tone, strength or balance. Double spinal fusion, so with two rods down his back cannot bend or swing with the horse – takes a special horse to cope with this! Michael, a wheelchair user, has been riding since the age of 4 and it gives him an immense sense of freedom.
Rohan (Roo) 16.1hh 2002 Hannoveraner Chestnut Gelding Competed up to Grand Prix
Skjoldsgaard Hippo-Vo (Hippo) 17hh 2004 Danish Warmblood Dark Bay Gelding
Achievements: Michael has won or placed at numerous three star Internationals. He represented Ireland in the 2019 European Championships in Rotterdam. In 2018 you won all three grade 1 class is 3* International in Bishop Burton.
From: Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Occupation: Equine Course Director, Kildalton College, Pilltown, Co Kilkenny.
Background: Rosemary joined Para Equestrian Ireland in 2010 following a bad fall in 2007 where she had multiple fractures in her knee and leg resulting in her being classified as a grade V rider. In 2014 she suffered from another bad fall and injured her other leg. She now rides as a Grade IV
Horse: Werona 10yr old mare by Pained Black – This mare is new to Rosemary and she has done only 4 Internationals with her and they are making huge improvements each time they are out
Achievements: Rosemary has had many international placings since 2010 – They represented Ireland with a place on the team at the 2019 Europeans in Rotterdam. In October 2019 – Keysoe 3* Rosemary won the Team test, was 4th in the Individual with over 70% and won the music with a personal best of 74%+. Rosemary is aiming for Tokyo 2020
From: Oxford, UK
Occupation: Manages a competition and rehabilitation yard.
Background; Tamsin has ridden for too many years to count. She studied psychology at Queens University Belfast and graduated with a doctorate in sports psychology. She evented to 2* level despite being weak at the dressage phase! After bone cancer in her right arm she became the first person in the world to regrow an upper arm bone. She now rides in grade V.
Horses; Donna Siesta – 11 year old Danish mare & Fahrenheit – 8 year old Danish gelding
Achievements: A strong 2019 season with notable international placings on both horses including a hat trick of wins at Keysoe 2019 with Tamsin taking second place too, European championships, Rotterdam 8th, Mannheim 4th, Hartpury 3rd, and part of the third placed Irish team in Doha.