Sam Watson






Personal Best

World Ranking (early July): 47

Date Of Birth

December 28, 1985


Nurney, Co Carlow


Since his international debut (2002) Sam has competed in three World Equestrian Games (2010, 2014, 2018) and contributed to three top ten team finishes. His biggest achievement was 14th individual place in 2018 which helped Ireland to their historic team silver. He was 12th, individually, at the 2015 European Championships and 10th at the 2018 Nations Cup in Boekelo. Sam is co-founder of the sports data and analytics company EquiRatings. His father John, a multiple world and European medallist, competed in Seoul 1988 but had to withdraw after breaking his collarbone on the cross-country course.


Heike Holstein

Heike HolsteinEQUESTRIAN BIOGRAPHY Heike first sat on a pony at the age of two. She won her first Irish title aged 18 (1990) and has since won it 12 times. She trained with seven-time Olympic medallist Dr Reiner Klimke in Germany for many years and this will be her fourth Olympics. She was 26th in [...]

Sarah Ennis

Sarah has competed for Ireland since 2002 on more than 50 horses in over 280 competitions and beat the legendary British rider William Fox-Pitt in her first international victory. In 2012 she won the three-star at Ballindenisk and was Ireland’s highest eventer on the world rankings. Her individual fifth was vital to Ireland winning silver […]

Austin O’Connor

Austin O’ConnorEQUESTRIAN BIOGRAPHY Austin, based at Attington Stud in Oxfordshire since 1994, will be competing in his third Olympics in Tokyo. He was 21st individual and eighth in the team event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and he was 17th individual in the Sydney Olympics (2000). In 1995 he won team gold at the [...]

Shane Sweetnam

Shane SweetnamEQUESTRIAN BIOGRAPHY Shane began his Grand Prix career aged 16. In 2004, after qualifying in IT from the University of Limerick, he headed to Florida and got a job with US Olympic veteran Margie Engle and has been based in Florida since. He was eighth individually to help Ireland to team gold at the [...]

Cathal Daniels

CATHAL DANIELSEQUESTRIAN BIOGRAPHY In 2012, aged 15, Cathal won individual and team gold at the European Pony Eventing Championship in France. He won two team golds and individual silver at European U18s (2013/2014) as well as European U21 team bronze and fourth individually in 2015. In 2018 he was part of Ireland’s team silver at [...]

Bertram Allen

BERTRAM ALLENEQUESTRIAN BIOGRAPHY Bertram first competed for Ireland in 2008. He won individual gold at the 2010 European Pony Championships. He won team gold (2012) and individual silver (2013) at the European Junior Championships. He was 7th individually at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, 3rd at the World Cup Final in 2015 and a member [...]

Darragh Kenny

DARRAGH KENNYEQUESTRIAN BIOGRAPHY Darragh rode in his first Grand Prix at 14 and debuted in the Dublin Horse Show (2007) when just 19. He was a member of Ireland’s Nations Cup (Aga Khan) victors in Dublin in 2015. In 2007 he won a training bursary to work with a top American coach at North Run [...]

Cian O’Connor

CIAN O'CONNOREQUESTRIAN BIOGRAPHY Cian's introduction to equestrianism started at the age of 14 through his father Tadhg's love of horses. His first horse whom he shared with his father was a chestnut gelding called Radiman, whom Cian had great success with in hunter trial competitions. Having ridden in his first Nations Cup for Ireland at [...]


Performance Round Up – March

Catch up on the latest results of Team Ireland athletes throughout the month of March. Jack Woolley Qualifies in Taekwondo For Paris 2024 Three years on from the delayed Tokyo Games, where he became Ireland’s first participant in any Olympic taekwondo event, Woolley has again sealed his place in the 58kg division. Jude Gallagher adds [...]

Weekend Recap | Rugby, Athletics, Show Jumping

Ireland dominate to win fifth Wellington CSIO4* Nations Cup The Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping team won a fifth CSIO4* Wellington International Nations Cup after an utterly dominant performance at the Florida venue overnight. Michael Blake’s team of Darragh Kenny on Eddy Blue, David O’Brien on El Balou Old, Shane Sweetnam on RR Combella and [...]

Bernard Jackman Appointed Acting Head of Sport at HSI

JACKMAN APPOINTED ACTING HEAD OF SPORT AT HSI  Former Ireland rugby international to oversee high performance programme in run-up to Paris Olympics Bernard Jackman has been appointed Acting Head of High Performance Sport at Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) in the lead-up to the Olympic Games in Paris. The former Ireland rugby union international, who won a […]

Ireland win team silver at FEI European Championship

The Irish Senior Show Jumping team moved up the leader board in Milano to finish second  The Underwriting Exchange Irish Show Jumping team delivered an excellent performance to claim the silver medal in the team final of the FEI Jumping European Championship in Milano, Italy, this afternoon, Friday 1st of September. Michael Blake’s quartet of Michael [...]

Irish Eventing team secure Olympic qualification with superb performance at World Championships

A fantastic performance from the Irish Eventing team of Sam Watson, Padraig McCarthy, Susie Berry and Austin O’Connor, managed by Dag Albert at the FEI Eventing World Championships in Pratoni, Italy, has secured Olympic qualification for the Irish team for Paris 2024. A fifth place finish following today’s final Show Jumping phase saw Ireland take one of the seven coveted Olympic […]

Irish Eventing team in battle for Olympic qualification this weekend at World Championships

The Irish Eventing team, led by Horse Sport Ireland’s acting High Performance Director Dag Albert, are in 12th place overall following today’s (Friday) conclusion of the Dressage phase at the FEI Eventing World Championships in Pratoni, Italy. Ireland are just under 13 penalties off seventh position heading into the weekend, which is the all-important cut-off […]

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