Helen Sharp (HS): What are the sporting achievements you are most proud of to date?

Emma McEntee (McE): The majority of the achievements I’m proud of are with MHS New York.

He has a massive heart and always wants to try his best for me. One that stands out most is winning the six- and seven-year-old Hankook Cavan Class. When we qualified for the final, that was all I wanted; I never expected or thought that he would win!

At the start of 2021 with the Covid-19 pandemic, I was lucky in a way as I was the only one at home allowed to compete at shows, so we started to follow the TRM and Showjumpers Club Spring Tour.

For me, it was an opportunity for New York and I to step up and be competitive at that level. New York gained a lot of experience and it was all topped off by winning the league and becoming leading young rider.

From the Spring Tour, we stepped up to 1.40m which in itself was an achievement for me. This was really brought to life when New York and I won a leg of the Gain/Alltech 1.40m Grand Prix at the Meadows.

Jumping at that height was a step up for us both, I was just so happy when it all came together as a win.

Emma McEntee riding MHS New York, winners of the Gain/Alltech National Grand Prix at The Meadows EC \ Tori O'Connor

HS: If a younger rider asked you for advice about becoming a show jumper, what would you tell them?

EMcE: That it takes a lot of time, patience and commitment. Each day is a learning day and with horses there are so many ups and downs. For me, you have to have bad days to have good days, which makes you appreciate these amazing animals that much more.

HS: Do you have an equestrian hero, someone you look up to?

EMcE: I admire anyone who does the sport as a job because the time and commitment it takes is extensive. I would definitely look up to women riders in the sport like Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, who have achieved the highest of accolades in the sport.

Closer to home, I would look up to professionals within Ireland who have been able to compete and win at the top of the sport from within the country.

HS: Do you think being in Ireland supports or holds you back?

EMcE: Personally, I don’t think it holds me back no. It allows me to be based at home gaining incredible help, guidance and support from my parents.

My parents are very much involved in the day-to-day running of the yard.

I am in my final year studying marketing and so being at home with support from them has allowed me more freedom to balance the intensity of horses alongside maintaining my university education.

HS: What do you think is the secret to a healthy horse?

EMcE: At home our main priority is having happy and healthy horses, as without it they can’t compete to the best of their abilty.

We maintain a routine feeding regime with added supplements to boost their health as well as plenty of downtime and time in the field.

Especially a Monday after a show, all the horses are very happy to spend time in the paddock, it is like an escape for them to be normal and act like horses.

Sweden's Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Indiana at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup in St Gallen, Switzerland on 6 June 2021 \ FEI/Richard Juillart

HS: If you could have a spin on any horse in the world, who would it be and why?

EMcE: From watching the Olympics, one horse that stood out was Malin Baryard-Johnsson’s H&M Indiana, mainly due to the story behind her being such a green horse who made a slow journey to stardom. But she is a horse that tries so hard and has achieved so much in the past couple of years.

HS: What are your greatest ambitions in equestrianism?

EMcE: An ambition would be to progress in the sport and step up another level to then be consistent and competitive. I would love to have equestrianism as a competitive hobby and do it at a high level as well as work in my chosen career.