Eoin Gallagher, The Irish international show jumper, based in Lincoln talks to Horse Scout about producing top class young horses and his dream to ride for his country.
How did you get into show jumping?
I’m actually not from an equestrian background at all… Born in County Down, I’m from a Gaelic footballing family, but as I was seriously ill with meningitis when I was seven, I was too weak to play. My next door neighbour went to pony lessons so I ended up tagging along. One day he stopped going. I never did…
What are your biggest achievements since then?
As a Junior I managed to get on a few trips to England with some good results, then a bursary to train with Stephen Hadley followed on from that. I was National Inter Varsity champion in Ireland when I attended Ulster university, before securing a full-time job with Dermott Lennon.
This year I had a couple of 2nds at a CSI 3-star show in Lanaken, Belgium, with Corbeagh Luxor in the 1.45m classes. More recently I have won a few 1.40m classes on the national circuit with horses I have produced from a young age.
Tell us about Corbeagh Luxor
He’s an 11-year-old, 16.2hh gelding — Irish bred (Corbeagh Vella x Lux Z (KWPN)).
I only began riding him this year and had some of the best results after just two months. He is scopey but like many Irish, easy to ride. Due to the success at Lanaken and various placings, he’s just been sold. I’m disappointed to no longer be able to compete him but he has a promising future with his new owners.
So you prefer riding Irish-bred horses?
Most Irish horses are fun and straight forward.
Some of the Continentals are more talented but take more figuring out to get better results.
So do you breed and if so what?
I just started breeding with my mare Loughview Diamond Lux (half sister to Loughview Lou Lou) as she unfortunately got injured earlier in the year. I picked the stallion Action Breaker (son of Heartbreaker) — a KWPN. I chose Action Breaker as I was very impressed by his jumping technique, his attitude and rideability. His qualities compliment my mares very well.
Tell us about some of your other horses.
Lord Luidam is an 8-year old, 16.3hh gelding (Luidam x Northern Madera) who belongs to my wife. We’ve had him since he was five, and this year he stepped up to 1.40m classes, winning the Nottinghamshire County Show in May.
Illustro De Laubry is an 8-year-old, 16.2hh gelding (Beverly VD Heffinck out of Uganda De Laubry x Darco) who I ride for Sophie Marsh and her family and is jumping up to 1.30m.
Laroc is a 7-year-old German-bred gelding, also owned by the Marsh family. I’ve only had him for six months and I’m producing him slowly, giving him time to mature. He won a 1.30m class at Messingham Show recently.
Finally, Quontum, an 8-year-old gelding owned by Melanie Davison, is here for the summer.
What is your goal this year and beyond?
Longterm it’s every rider’s goal to ride for their country and if that opportunity arises I’ll grab it.
I’ve never really had any long-term campaigners at a higher level because the 8-year-olds get sold on and I’ve always had slightly younger (5,6,7 year olds) to produce.
For now, I’ll continue to build a strong team of horses and maintain good relationships with their owners to help keep moving the business forward.
You’ve have a lot of experience training young horses — any tips?
Be patient! It’s very easy to get disillusioned as they can be challenging and keep you guessing. When I was younger I was guilty of thinking of the next show and not thinking about a year down the line… I guess I’ve grown to learn it’s not always about tomorrow but the longterm, particularly with the young ones. In terms of their weekly schedule, like any of my horses they get a day off every week and turnout every day in the paddock. More time (eg three sessions a week) will be spent on flatwork than jumping and I find lunging on the pessoa can help too.
Do you train with someone?
Not often enough. If I am struggling with something, I’ll go to Dermot Lennon.
He helped me last summer and a couple of little things made a huge difference. By letting his head down a bit and lengthening and shortening the trot and canter, the horse gained more strength and started working better.
What are your top tips for buying a show jumper?
Don’t make any rash decisions and, if you are not sure, ask someone you respect.
A lot of riders are confident in their own ability and think they can make a horse better, but it’s easier to have a good horse and let it teach you, than try to make a bad one into a good one.
What’s the best tip you’ve ever been given?
If you always do what you always did you always get what you always got.
I think that applies to life, not just horses.
Another good bit of advice, I think by 2006 World Champion Jos Lansink, is that when things go wrong go back to the basics.
Who else has inspired you?
Growing up… Eddie Macken, who is retired now.
More recently, Scott Brash has been an inspiration to whole industry — someone the same age as me beating the guys who have been around for generations…
I also admire John Whitaker at the highest level.
Why Horse Scout?
I liked it from the moment I saw it. It’s great that there is somewhere that targets more elite horse sales and the social/connections side of Horse Scout is so different from any other equestrian website — it’s cool that someone has finally thought outside the box!
Interview by Sam Lewis
How Horse Scout Connects You To The Best.
Horse Scout is dedicated to Sharing information about its professionals and the quality stallions listed at stud.
If you would like to find out more about Eoin Gallagher, international Show jumper based in Lincolnshire, then take a look at his professional profile page on Horse Scout. Eoin Gallagher is based at his training yard “Glebe Farm” in Lincolnshire.
Listed on the Horse Scout Horses For Sale pages he has two fabulous competition horses for sale, one of whom Illustro de Laubry is a Belgian Warmblood has already won several fox hunter classes and qualified for Newcomers, who also has Darco breeding, is by Bently Van De Heffinck listed on our Stallions at Stud pages by The Stallion Company. We have a blog about Bentley Van De Hefflink which you can read here.
His second horse listed Lord Luidam, a star in the making this horse is already competing at Grand Prix. Eoin has produced him since he was five and is justifiably proud of this lovely horse.
Horse Scout is dedicated to spreading the word about quality breeding and its professional producers. Sharing links to siblings is a key feature on our website, for instance Lord Luidam has a sibling competing at 1.40m in Romsey campaigned by professional competition rider Tegan Jones.