Eventing is an equestrian discipline comprising of 3 phases – Dressage, Cross Country (XC) and Showjumping. Originating from cavalry training, it tests the obedience, rhythm, balance and accuracy of the horse and rider combination in the dressage phase, the XC tests the bravery, stamina, accuracy/straightness and speed while the showjumping phase tests the accuracy of the horse and rider combination. Penalties are accumulated across the 3 phases, with the lowest overall score the winner. Classes usually go from 90cm (run nationally), all the way up to 5* events (Badminton, Burghley, Kentucky, Adelaide, Luhmuhlen and Pau).
Qualities required to become an Eventer
An event horse can come in many guises but there are certain attributes or qualities they commonly possess.
A good trainable temperament is key for an event horse to enable them to produce a calm, relaxed and obedient dressage test, be adjustable and rideable when galloping and jumping at speed when going XC and careful enough, with sufficient jump, to jump clear in the showjumping phase.
The event horse should go forward willingly and show natural footwork, or an instinctive ability to find the right take off spot when jumping.
They should have an intelligence about them and a good brain that is receptive to learning and trying.
A natural inquisitiveness in an event horse might also be a quality to look for – one that doesn’t shy away when asked a new question and shows an element of independence.
Toughness, or soundness, is also important in event horses as they need to be able to cope with the training and competition demands of all three phases, especially as a horse goes up through the eventing grades.
Quality of paces should also be considered, with a greater emphasis on a quality walk and canter. A horse with a more uphill natural balance can be an asset in the event horse.
Based in Co. Meath, Louise is an amateur rider/producer who, in conjunction with her mother, Mary Duffy, also breeds from two mares. Through the Pony Club Louise achieved the ‘A’ test, the highest award in the Pony Club exam structure. Over the past two decades Louise has had a particular interest in the retraining of ex-racehorses to progress to different careers in their lives after racing. Contact details for Louise:+353 (0)86 8877680 e:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Completed Tattersalls International FEI 2* event in 2010 and 2011 on former Willie Mullins-trained Grade 1 winner Assessed, in 2014 and 2015 on unraced TB Striking Accord, and 2019 on former Willie Mullins-trained 4 time Grade 1 winner Arvika Ligeonniere
- Qualified for RoR Retrained Racehorse Challenge Championship at Royal Windsor Horse Show three consecutive years with Assessed, with a top 10 result in the Championship in 2014
- Represented the AIRC at the British RC Eventing Championships with Assessed
- Won the Retrained Racehorse performance class at Tattersalls Ireland/Ward Union Hunt July show on Assessed in 2014
- 2019 IHWT Retrained Racehorse Performance Champion on Arvika Ligeonniere at Tattersalls Ireland/Ward Union Hunt July show.
- Completed Millstreet International FEI 2* Event on Striking Accord (2016 and 2018) and Arvika Ligeonniere (2018)
- Placed at Dressage Ireland Winter Championships and National Championships on Striking Accord
- 2015 ITM Racehorse to Riding Horse Supreme champion on Arvika Ligeonniere
- 5th place in 2015 RDS Racehorse to Riding Horse Show class on Arvika Ligeonniere
- Qualified for and completed Eventing Ireland National Championships at EI90, EI100 and EI110 on Arvika Ligeonniere and Striking Accord
- Wins and placings at Eventing Ireland competitions, up to EI110 with Assessed, Striking Accord and Arvika Ligeonniere
- In conjunction with mum Mary Duffy, have bred a multiple Show Hunter Pony champion (Merrycorner Mister Bui) from non-winning racemare Granny Vickie. Some of Merrycorner Mister Bui’ successes are:
- 2016 Dublin Horse Show Small Riding Horse winner and Riding Horse Reserve Champion
- Sold to UK in 2016 and has gone on to be Champion or Reserve Champion Show Hunter Pony at Royal International at Hickstead (RIHS), Royal Highland Show, Show of the North, Derbyshire Festival, Midland Counties, BSPS Championships, and was Supreme Champion Pony at the 2019 BSPS Summer Championships, amongst many other successes. He has also qualified for and placed at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) for the last three consecutive years