A dream came true for a county Derry teenager after she rode a winner earlier this month against the cream of showjumping stables from across Ireland.
Ellie-Rose Cassidy, from Ballymaguigan, and her pony Claggan Gypsy Delight were winners in the 148cm category at the Dublin Horse Show.
The journey began back in May at the qualifier with 14 combinations making it through to the final and only six qualifying for the second round.
Spectators didn't have to wait long for the first clear in the first round as Ellie-Rose Cassidy and Claggan Gypsy Delight, first in, answered all their questions.
Although the pressure was on Cassidy as pathfinder in the jump-off, it didn't show as she negotiated a tight line to fence two and again from the double to fence seven and crossed the line, clear in a time of 40.91 to take glory.
"It was hard going first as there were fast combinations coming after me,” Ellie-Rose said. “I was told to keep my cool and try to get a sensible fast clear, and that would put the pressure on the others following me.
“Luckily it was my day and I got the win. I can't believe it to be honest, and I'm just over the moon. Winning in Dublin was always an ambition of mine but I never thought it would happen.....it's just a dream come true.
“I couldn't have done it without my amazing pony, Claggan Gypsy Delight - Samuel (his stable name). He is the most amazing pony with the biggest heart and gives his all every time he jumps. He's a true star.”
Ellie-Rose also thanked her parents, Gareth and Lucia, for all their support and her trainers, Adrian Williams from Parc Stables in Ennis Co Clare and Joan Adrian from Templepatrick, for their continuous mentoring and training.
The local angle didn't end there. Her father Gareth's other pony, Parc Judy, was ridden by 14 year-old Coen Williams and finished fifth in the same competition.
Ellie-Rose has been riding ponies from she was five years old and has numerous wins and placings throughout her pony career to date, at both National and International level.
She gained a gold medal for the Irish pony team at the Home Pony International Show in Wales back in 2015, when she was just 12 years old.
In the same year, Ellie-Rose made her debut at the Dublin Horse Show on Little Caesar in the 128cm class.
Two years later, she was in action on Ballywire Myra and Springhill Copper Beech in the 138cm category.
Last year, 2018, was her first year in the 148cm, also on Claggan Gypsy Delight, before returning this year to grab the glory.
Ellie-Rose was also crowned National Spring Pony Champion earlier this season in Maryville, Cork. However being crowned the RDS Dublin Horse Show 148 National Pony Champion, is her biggest achievement to date, and a very special win as this is her last year in ponies.
After fulfilling her dream, Ellie-Rose will carry on into horses.
“I have a lovely four year old which I am currently working with,” Ellie Rose concluded. “He is showing lots of potential. Hopefully I will have as much success in horses as I have had in ponies.”
Pic: Laurence Dunne
CLAGGAN GYPSY DELIGHT
Ellie Rose Cassidy & CLAGGAN GYPSY DELIGHT won the 148cms National Championship on Friday morning 🐎
Posted by Dublin Horse Show on Sunday, August 11, 2019
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