Introducing Our New Brand Ambassador!
We are delighted to announce our partnership with a young and talented rider who will be acting as our new Brand Ambassador! Niamh Grimes Dooley will be representing Equipet at multiple events across the country as she competes in the world of everything equestrian and Show Jumping. To celebrate this huge occasion for both of us, we've been busy asking Niamh a menagerie of questions regarding her equestrian career so far and even her ambitions for the future. Also included is a schedule of the events which you will be able to see Niamh compete in and where you can show your support for Niamh on social media! Without further ado, lets 'jump' right in!
Niamh, how long have you been riding?
"I started riding in March of 2005, so I have been riding for 13 years now."
And when did you first discover your love for horses?
"My earliest memory of getting into riding was when I was at a circus and I rode a donkey, that’s when I thought it would be a great idea to start riding donkeys... but my parents suggested I try horses instead and that’s when it began for me really! My parents brought me to ride my first horse in Kilkenny where I walked across a field and back and that was all it took for me to get utterly obsessed! Horses have always been in my family; my grandad used to love horses and going to the races and my mum has always ridden since she was a child and she still does to this day."
Super! And what are your horse's like? How did you pick them?
"I currently only own one pony (Faye) and I have one on livery (Storm). Faye is a 14.3, bay, 14-year-old mare. Faye is the most special horse I will ever have. We got her on the 15th of March 2014. When we decided we were going to get our own horse. We had decided that we wanted to get a rescue. We got her from the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT). We tried a lot of horses and we thought we had made our decision but then Faye came into the centre and we went down to see her. I didn’t have to ride her to know that she was the one I wanted. It was nearly a month before I could sit up on her but it was well worth it, we brought her home after a month of travelling up and down to ride her and make sure she was the one. We had a rocky start for the first year or so but then one day we were jumping and everything just clicked! We did a small puissance with her and she jumped up to 1.35m and it wasn’t until then that we discovered we had a seriously good pony underneath us! Because she is a rescue we don’t have any breeding for her recorded. Storm is a pony that I ride who is owned by the yard owner, I really don’t know too much about him. He hasn’t competed in a couple of years so I am hoping to bring him back out competing and do a few smaller shows with him over the Summer. He is a 14.2 cremello, don’t actually know what age he is or his breeding, unfortunately."
So the real questions now, Niamh! Do you compete in Dressage or SJI?
And what are some of your goals or aspirations for the future?
"My goals are to move onto horses next year and to start moving up the heights. Hopefully, I'm going to do young riders next year with a younger horse. In the near future, I also hope I will be able to compete at the Europeans and at some shows abroad too. I am aiming to qualify for the RDS again next year on whatever horse I have."
So you've already been to the RDS, I take it?
"I have been to the RDS for the past two years with Faye, we competed in the 1.10m working hunter class. It has been the highlight of my horse riding career so far. It had always been my goal to go to the RDS. To have ridden in the RDS for the first time with my first ever pony is something very special that not many people get to experience. It would be very hard to top my first year in the RDS. I also competed in the same class last year with Faye and that was amazing. She is going into the RDS again this year but we are not sure yet how many classes she will be doing; depends on if she qualifies over the next few weeks."
That's really impressive! So what would you say to someone who is just starting out then? How do 'they' get to the RDS like you?
"I would tell them to enjoy it and have a goal. If you have something to work towards it is amazing how much it will help you improve because you are working that bit harder to get there! Watch top class riders and see what they do and try it out; you can learn so much from just watching other people ride. But the most real thing that I have ever been told, and it is so true, is to ‘ride with your heart and not your head’; I say this to myself just before I go into the arena at any show."
I guess you've fallen before? I'm sure everyone does but was it sore?
Your spirit is admirable! Last two questions Niamh! Who is your biggest influence?
"I don’t think I have one particular influencer, I look up to so many riders and aspire to be like them someday, but I find myself looking up to Nick Skelton and Ben Maher a lot."
I'm sure people will be looking up to you someday! Finally, Niamh what does being a Brand Ambassador for Equipet mean to you?
"It is really exciting to be a part of such a great company; when I go out competing I feel very proud to be able to represent Equipet and, even more so, the fact that Equipet is one of the very few Irish equestrian shops. I can't wait for the future with Equipet!"
We owe Niamh a huge thanks for taking the time to be interviewed amidst her preparations for the RDS qualifier on the 8th of July! Niamh is clearly a spirited young rider who, no doubt, will go far in her Equestrian journey; inspiring other young riders like her to do the same! We're delighted to have her onboard as a Brand Ambassador and we wish her every success in the future! Don't forget to check below where you can find out where to see Niamh in action and where you can follow her social media channels!
You will be able to see Niamh at the following events:
8/07/18 - Maryville Stables RDS qualifiers – Cork 2 days.
15/07/18 - Boswell Equestrian – Wicklow.
22/07/19 - Tattersalls ward union summer show – Meath.
8-12/08/18 - Dublin Horse Show - 3 days.
15-19/08/18 - Mill street Show – Cork TBC.
16/09/18 - Leinster championships (subject to qualifying).
You can also follow Niamh on: