Horse hero: Young Irish star Cathal Daniels’ ride Rioghan Rua *H&H Plus*

H&H finds out about the fast and feisty 15.2hh chestnut mare, known as Red at home, from her rider Cathal Daniels, while CCI5* ground jury member, popular Scottish-based coach and former top-level rider Les Smith looks at how the mare’s conformation has contributed to her success...

Rioghan Rua – 13yo, 15.2hh, chestnut Irish Sport Horse mare

Stable name: Red
Owners: Frank and Margaret Kinsella
Breeder: Margaret Kinsella
Rider: Cathal Daniels
Best results: individual bronze medallist, 2019 European Championships; team silver medal, 2018 World Equestrian Games; won Bramham under-25 CCI4*-L 2019; won Chatsworth CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) 2018; seventh Luhmühlen CCI4* (now CCI5*) 2018; team bronze medal, 2015 young rider European Championships; team gold and individual silver medals, 2014 junior European Championships; team gold, 2013 junior European Championships

A hot little chestnut mare may not be the most obvious candidate to be a top event horse, but Rioghan Rua has won medals for Ireland at every championship she has been to, from junior to senior level. Her team silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and individual bronze at last year’s European Championships catapulted her rider Cathal Daniels into the sport’s highest ranks. Still at her competitive peak at 13 years old, there should be more to come from this mare known at home as “Red”.