A native of Ballinasloe, whose familiy have ran the Pillar House on Society St for decades and have been connected with Hunts, Shows and all matters equestrian recently won the Irish Field Young Rider Of The Year accolade.
Godfrey is the son of Godfrey and Marie Gibbons and has one sister Katie, has just started his fifth year in secondary school at St. Joseph Garbally’s.
Have been involved in horses since he was really young, Godfrey joined the East Galway Pony Club when he was seven years old and also started hunting with East Galway around that time. Godfrey’s aunt Sinead also has a riding school in Ballinrobe, where he spent many summers holidaying and improving his equestrian skills.
Godfrey began eventing through the Ballinasloe Pony Club, competing in some local competitions, and eventually moving on to national competitions. There was a really a variety of disciplines that Godfrey really enjoyed along with the dressage, showjumping, and cross country, he then progressed to compete with Eventing Ireland.
“I became part of a high performance program in 2019, unfortunately all the international competitions were cancelled in 2020 due to covid, but I continued to train hard and had a successful season on the national circuit, this along with the results in early part of 2021 put me in contention for the Irish team.” explains Godfrey Og.
Recently Godfrey travelled to Sweden waiting four days for the horses to arrive. The horses left Ireland on Wednesday, and Godfrey flew out on Sunday arriving right on time to take them off the truck!
Competing on a team of four alongside Tom McCormack, Susan Shanahan and Indya Rogers, they stared out well, lying third after dressage, when a few mishaps on the cross country course moved them down the leaderboard and they finished in sixth place overall out of 14 teams.
"My horse's name is Milchem Free Spirit. Nine years of age, we bought her two years ago and introduced her to eventing, moving her up the grades over the last two seasons”, states the young rising star.
Godfrey was really proud to be part of the team and enjoyed meeting riders from other countries. He was shocked to learn that he had been awarded Irish Field Young Rider of the Year Award for 2020 as he was unaware that he was even in the running for the award and the first young person of our community to do do!
“I will hopefully continue to compete in international events with Milchem Free Spirit and I am also breaking and bringing on some younger horses with a view to being able to compete them at that level in the future. Horse riding is an individual sport but it takes a team to make it happen – big thanks to my family and my coaches especially Ralph Conroy who have helped me along the way.” noted the young Eventer.
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