- Cooper jumping a clear round in the 1.45m classMagna Racino, Austria
I had heard a lot about the excellent facilities at Magna Racino, which is located about 30km from the centre of Vienna in Austria, and it was everything that I imagined and more. Owned by Frank Stronach, the hugely successful Austrian-Canadian businessman who says that horses are his passion, this purpose built horse show centre is by far the best I have ever seen. There is a racetrack on the grounds and acres of hacking and paddocks plus indoor and outdoor facilities that make this special venue somewhat of a horse haven!
The show went extremely well for me and my riders (see news). Next weekend is the final of the Spring Tour where a car is on offer to the winner of the Grand Prix. So needless to say - we will be trying!
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I'm building up a nice string of horses again that I can take to the 5 star events, starting with the Global tour in Wiesbaden in 3 weeks’ time.
Last Sunday night saw 9 horses, two trucks and 6 staff make a mass exodus from Karlswood in convoy and make the 3 day trip towards Magna Racino just outside Vienna. I fly there Wednesday morning and the action gets underway that evening.
It's been nice to have a few weeks without shows as it gives everyone a chance to regroup and freshen up.
I'm excited to say that I have acquired a new superstar at Karlswood. Cooper, a nine year old German-bred gelding will join my string of international horses and I expect him to be my main horse this summer. Cooper is a beautiful looking bay gelding with a magnificent temperament and huge ability and carefulness. I will aim him at the World Equestrian Games 2014, which is Team Ireland's first chance of Olympic qualification for the Rio Games 2016. Click here for horses page and see a video of Cooper.
We have a busy schedule planned in Europe until the end of July, taking us to several shows in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and France.
Click here to view my full show schedule.
2012 was milestone year for me and 2013 has started off pretty good too - let's hope it continues!!
Palm Beach in Florida is especially nice to escape the Irish winters. However after 7 weeks out there I must say it’s nice to return home to some sort of normality! The horses will take a well deserved break and while Ruth and I plan and organise our new home it’s quite nice to just regroup and have a break from shows for a few weeks. Having said that, after the short break we will all be dying to get back to the ring. We have a great schedule of events planned for the summer (see schedule) starting at the magnificent Magna Racino facility in Austria at the end of the month.
Ross Mulholland will travel with me to several of the shows and I'm also delighted to be coaching Canadian young rider Nicole Walker who will also do the shows with us on Blue Loyd and High Yummy.
This weekend I'm giving a clinic and demonstration at Castle Leslie Equestrian Centre in Co. Monaghan which promises to be a bit of fun.