Niall Griffin's Profile
Niall Griffin has been one of Ireland's leading International riders for the last six years, and has represented his country on five of the last six Championship teams. He opted out of selection in 2007, choosing instead to compete in the CCI 4 star in Pau, where he achieved 4th place, making him the highest placed Irish rider at a 4 star event in recent times.
Niall left Ireland at 17 years of age to train in England with Mark Todd, one of the worlds greatest Event riders. Having spent over two years as a working pupil with Mark, he moved on to Shaun and Sally Parkyn's yard to gain experience riding and producing young horses This turned out to be a smart move in more ways than one as it was as it was at Parkyn's that Niall acquired his top horse Lorgaine.
Unfortunately, the time coincided with the awful foot and mouth outbreak in 2001, stopping all English competitions for that year. As Lorgaine was purchased with the sole purpose of making the Athens Olympics, a year of no competitions was not an option. It was then that Niall decided to go train with David and Karen O'Connor in America. After working for three months transporting the animals destroyed during foot and mouth to burial sites, Niall had earned enough money to pay for himself and Lorgaine to fly to America.
America was a great learning curve for Niall and having spent over a year training with David and Karen O'Connor, he finished 10th in his first two star and 7th at his second. He was then fortunate enough to spend some time with Philip Dutton who proved a huge help in Niall's progression to three star level. He finished off his time in America with a top 15 placing at Foxhall CCI 3 star in Atlanta, with Lorgaine only a 7 year old at this stage.
On returning to Ireland Niall was selected for the first time to represent his country at senior level at the European Championships in Punchestown in 2003 and has never looked back since. Niall and Lorgaine achieved the ambition of competing for Ireland at the Athens Olympics in 2004, with Niall having the added honour of carrying his country's flag at the opening ceremony.
Niall and Lorgaine have achieved some great results over the past six years, including 3rd at the Punchestown CCI-OG***, 5th at Punchestown CCI***, and that 4th at Pau CCI****. They have represented Ireland at two European Championships, one World Equestrian Games and now two Olympic Games.
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