Grill The Equestrian – Sarah Ennis, International Irish Eventer

We are delighted to welcome back our “Grill The Equestrian Series” for 2019! What better way to open the series other than with the lady of the moment Sarah Ennis. Her name is popping up everywhere & we could not resist getting our hands on her for a good Grilling!!

She is really setting the stakes high for woman in Eventing, putting woman in the spotlight, finally! Keep scrolling to find the inside scoop on Sarah, an inside to her buckets of horse knowledge.

About Sarah Ennis

Sarah Ennis

Member of many Irish international teams, Sarah is Ireland’s top event rider with a HSBC World Ranking of 18th, bringing over 20 years of experience with horses to her job as a competitor, trainer, coach and an established CIC*** event rider. She is married to Niki Potterton and has an 8 year old son called James. With all of her success she also runs a competition livery yard outside Dunboyne Co. Meath that specialises in buying and selling horses.

Congratulations on the amazing year you have had, We can only imagine how good it felt to see all your hard work get you a Team Silver medal at WEG, how does one prepare for such an event, tell us about your training routine?

Preparation for WEG was the exact same as for a CCI3*. We incorporated a a little extra fitness work as we knew the last 2 minutes was up a very steep hill. My week consisted of trying to fit in a lot of galloping work every 4 days, alternating between the beach and hill gallops. The weekly routine consisted of, 2-3 days flat work and 2 day of jumping or pole work. 

The Irish Team consisted of 3 men, Cathal Daniels, Sam Watson, Padraig McCarthy and yourself, give us the inside scoop who was the team messer!

They were all good fun to be fair, we certainly had a great time & made great memories together!

Irish Eventing Team, Cathal Daniels, Sam Watson, Padraig McCarthy & Sarah Ennis

Sally Corscadden, what a trainer! Can you tell us a top training tip you have learned that you live by?

Sally is just amazing! We are very lucky to have her with all of her experience & knowledge, she gives us 200% all the time.

What are the main things you look for when doing your cross country walk?

To know all your routes inside out. Take time to walk out your long routes as well as your short routes, you never know what line you will need to switch up to make up time or to hold back.

How does it feel realising you are one of the most sought after Irish Eventers? Has your success sank in?

It is still quite hard to believe I have a medal! But it feels really good, all the hard work payed off, and the response from everyone has been extremely positive!

World Equestrian Games, Tryon

Have you any unusual or superstitious rituals you do before an event?

I Don’t allow myself to do superstitions or have lucky items, a lot of people have a lucky whip or set of gloves. I go out, ride and hope all my hard work training pays off!

Which do you prefer in a horse – scope or bravery – As an eventer which should you be looking for?

I would probably say bravery, but realistically you really need both!!

What’s been your worst injury so far, how did your confidence cope getting back in the saddle?

Breaking my coccyx! This took a few weeks to heal before I could even sit in the saddle again. Eventers wear all the safety equipment, air-jackets, helmets but you can never but fully protected!

What advice would you give to anyone beginning to school a green horse in cross country? A lot of people suggest hunting a young horse to get them brave, would you agree?

I would suggest to start by walking and trotting them into the fences. Try have an experienced horse to give you a lead also. Alternatively if you know someone good at lunging this works well too. I would only hunt them if it were over hedge country, ditches in Ireland are way too big!

Who do you look upto in the equestrian world, who is your idol & what horse would you love to take a spin on!

Chris Bartle is an amazing rider to watch. He is the highest placed British Dressage rider in the Olympic Games to date. “La Biosthetique Sam” would be the horse I would love a spin on, his competition record alone is unbelievable.

What advice would you give to riders just starting their eventing careers?

I would advise on going out & getting as much advise you can. Put some time onto investing in lessons from an eventer, someone who has been there done that, the experience speaks volumes. Us eventers love to help!!

There you have it, the inside scoop on Sarah and our first Grill the Equestrian contender of 2019!

She will be in Killossery this weekend doing a seminar, if you haven’t already grab your tickets while you can & get a glimpse of the lady herself!

We have an exciting contender for our next “Grill the Equestrian” series, keep your eyes peeled, an inside look at a completely different riding discipline!

Until Next Time,


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