Horseware founder makes his mark on endurance
Tom MacGuinness, the 67-year-old founder of Horseware Ireland, has won his first FEI CEI-3* 160km contest, with his 11-year-old chestnut gelding Horseware Sasha D’Aillais. The pair completed the 25th anniversary Endurance GB FEI King’s Forest Ride route at just over 18km/hr.
Tom, who also plays polo in his spare time, said, “As Sasha is trained in Spain, I think he was acclimatised to the conditions and this might have helped. It was warm and humid at times but there was a breeze in the forest itself. This horse is amazing, I’m very happy with how he went. He is just so generous, even when we got lost, he just turned round and retraced our steps and got going. I didn’t have to dig into the well at all – he was just on the bridle and there was a lot more left in him which is exciting. After this he will have two weeks relaxing in the field and then come back into work with lots of walking out before he begins his training again. We will aim to do an 80km ride and then if we feel he is fit and ready to go, we will be at the European Championships.”
Tom’s entry at the 25th anniversary FEI King’s Forest Ride is part of the build up to the European Championships taking place over similar terrain at Euston Park in Suffolk in August. He also hopes to field an Irish team in the Nations Cup at the same event.
Tom added, “I thought I would give endurance a go and initially I thought I would find it boring but the more I discovered, it is anything but. I play polo but I am not born to it like I am to endurance. I love every aspect of it – the sense of adventure of riding one horse into the ‘unknown’ and the real team side of things behind the horse and crewing.”