DCU experienced mixed fortunes at the recent Equestrian Intervarsities at UCD. The club sent a four-person team consisting of Rob Sheridan, Alex Donohoe, Colm Fitzpatrick and team captain Niamh Higgins. Second year Business student Sheridan was the undoubted star of the show, advancing to the semi-final of his discipline.
Two poles knocked in the penultimate stage meant he couldn’t progress to the final, but Sheridan was rewarded with a place on the Irish Student Rider Squad. Sheridan is DCU’s latest Equestrian Club member to make the national squad, with teammate Alex Donohoe automatically making the cut due to her performance at the World University Equestrian Championships in Aachen.
Sheridan was delighted with his weekend given the standard of competition and is relishing the prospect of competing for his country.
“There was a high standard of rider this year throughout the rounds and I was fortunate to make the semi-finals. The support I got at the competition was tremendous as usual. Everyone around had a smile on their face and was so welcoming.”
“The venue was superb and the night life was second to none. It truly was a brilliant weekend. I am thankful for making the international squad and look forward to competing for Ireland. I am very grateful to our Captain Niamh Higgins for all the hard work and effort she puts in,” continued Sheridan.
Donohoe, Sheridan’s new colleague in the national set-up, cleared all the fences in the first round, but was unable to progress any further. Colm Fitzpatrick, competing in his first Intervarsities, also failed to progress past the first round as did the captain of the team Niamh Higgins, who had to retire after clearing her third attempt at the fourth fence and refusal at the fifth fence.
Donohoe and Sheridan will complete for Ireland at the Nation’s Cup in two disciplines; dressage and show jumping. The next major student competition will be the Interprovincial Championships in March, where DCU riders will be looking to get a spot on the provincial teams to compete in dressage and show jumping, a feat achieved by Higgins last year.
DCU went into the tournament with new sponsorship from the HorseMad Store and while not all riders progressed into the final rounds, the emergence of Sheridan to the national stage makes it an extremely worthwhile Intervarsity experience for DCU nonetheless.