Why I love . . . horse-riding and eventing

Donnacha Anhold on his passion for all things equestrian

I grew up in Horse Holiday Farm, right on the Atlantic coast in the north of Sligo. We always had lots of tourists visiting from all over the world for trekking holidays, so horses and horse-riding became a way of life for me at a very young age.

Nowadays, things can be hectic between running my own solicitor's practice, Carter Anhold Ltd, from two offices in Sligo and Dublin, and trying to train for competitions, but I wouldn't have it any other way. My passion for horses has never left me.

I mainly compete in eventing – show-jumping, dressage and cross country. And we’ve had great success this past year with one of my horses, Citi Business, winning the Puissance in the RDS Horse Show and at the Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham. I’ve also managed to bring some of my passion for all things equestrian to my work life, as one of my specialities is equine law.

In terms of pure fitness, horse-riding is an amazing discipline. Obviously, it works your core the most, but it’s also an aerobic exercise when you’re practising cross country or jumping. You would usually combine other exercises like jogging (to keep weight down near competitions) and stretching (for flexibility), but horse-riding itself and all the associated yard work is enough on its own.

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It’s also a brilliant sport for your head. Being around horses is very therapeutic as you need to learn to work with them. It’s very much a team effort between horse and rider. Horse-riding and all that comes with it keeps me balanced. To head out for a gallop on the beach and watch the sunset over the ocean after a long day – what could be better to help you forget your worries?