Paralympic Games’ bid

DUNDALK woman Eilish Byrne is making a bid for a place on the Irish Para Equestrian team that has secured a team place for Ireland at the Paralympic Games for the first time.

DUNDALK woman Eilish Byrne is making a bid for a place on the Irish Para Equestrian team that has secured a team place for Ireland at the Paralympic Games for the first time.

Eilish was born with Spina Bifida and started horse riding at the age of 12 on the beach. She then progressed to show jumping, competing at Intermediate level with the Riding Club movement.

She first became involved with Para Equestrian Ireland in 2000. The Irish team will be competing in the Paralympic Games 2012 in London from August 30 to September 4.

Eilish has competed at Olympic, World and European level, including Norway (Europeans), Hartpury (World Championships), and Hong Kong (Paralympics).

Just before the Hartpury outing in 2007 she competed at a qualifier in Vienna and was crowned champion. Eilish represented Ireland at Hong Kong and placed a creditable second on the first day.

It was confirmed on Wednesday last by the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) that the Irish Para Equestrian team have secured a team place for Ireland at the Paralympic Games for the first time.

Horse Sport Ireland Chairman Joe Walsh congratulated the team on what he said was a hugely significant achievement.

“I want to thank Paralympics Ireland and the Irish Sports Council for their support and our affiliate Para Equestrian Ireland for their tireless work over a number of years to build up the para equestrian discipline in Ireland,” he said.