2011 is Emma's last year for competing on ponies as this year she attains her 16th birthday. For her it began with much expectation! In 2009 she had had her first taste of European competition winning a silver team medal on Edna at the European Championships in Belgium and finishing 4th individually.
Later that year, on her new pony Kalim De Montlieu, she won the Grand prix at Neeuroeteren Belgium.
2010 proved another fruitful year. Kalim won major classes in the UK, cumulating in winning the British National Championships in September. Kalim was her team pony at the European Championships this time in England, where they again won a silver team medal.
In October they travelled to Switzerland to Chevernez to the finals of the first EY Cup, where they won the Nations cup and also the league final. Kalim was also 3rd in the Grand Prix. Jacknell Street, another of her ponies, began jumping at European level, winning a class in Hagen, Germany. Jacknell was second to Kalim in the British Championships, won the Gillespie Finals and Grand Prix in Scotland, and won the Grand Prix at the English Home pony international at South View. He was also second in the Grand Prix at Neeuroeteren, Belgium in November.
Would Emma be able to achieve such good results in 2011? The year started well, Jacknell won a major class in Scotland in January. Then in February Emma had the wonderful opportunity of going to France to train with Penelope Leprevost, the leading lady rider in France, and at that time ranked 7th in the World. Returning home she competed in Ireland for the trials for the first Nations cup of the year in France, and also trials for the European Championships, this year in Poland. This year Emma was appointed to be the anchor rider on 3 winning Nations Cup Teams in Fontainebleau, France, Wierden, The Netherlands, and Hagen ,Germany. Jacknell Street won the Grand Prix in Fontainebleau which was the cumulation of a super show for Emma, as the young pony that she rides for Coolmores Aidan & Annemarie O'Brien won the 6/7 year old class and finished 2 in that Grand Prix. Jacknell was also 4th in the Grand Prix in Wierden. Jacknell went on to win a silver European team medal and finish 4 th individually. Then 5 days later back at Dublin, the RDS, Jacknell won the 148 National Championship and Kalim was second, a fairytale end to Emma's pony showjumping career as this was the first time this was achieved in Dublin!!
The next day at the RDS,with her horse Papaikou, Emma was 3 rd in the Young Rider 1,35 category, from which she was selected with 3 other young riders to contest a bursary competition. Emma won this bursary, the prize being an expenses paid trip for two weeks training in America with Beezie Madden, one of the top American international riders. Delighted with this, Emma's very much looking forwards to travelling to America to further her training! Two weeks later at the British Summer Championships she was 3 rd in the under 18 yrs category, and 8 th in the under 21 yrs final. Emma was thrilled as it is a big step up, to competing on horses! Then last week Emma achieved her next ambition to compete at her first International 2* show. It was in Barbizon, near Paris and in her first Grand prix ,standing at 1m50cm high, Papaikou was 5th from 39 starters, all riders much older than herself! Indeed 2011 has certainly exceeded all Emma's expectations!! This year Emma has received sponsorship from Barnadown Equestrian and also from Horseware Ireland. She is very grateful for the support from them, as are the horses, getting to wear such great rugs from Horseware!! Emma O’Dwyer, Fifth Year.