Tessa Harley

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Hometown: 
Kildare

Competes for: Ireland

Notable Achievements: 


Current String of Horses: Catsky, Portphilip Gypsy


Biography: Biography – Horses have always been a part of my life at home whether event horses or racehorses, my mum evented and my dad is heavily involved in the thoroughbred industry. I started riding as soon as I could walk really, I progressed through the pony club and also did lots of showing, all of which gave me great experience and was a lot of fun.   
 
I started eventing when we bought a just broken 6-year-old Connemara pony called Creemully Melody, who has now gone on to compete at two European Championships.  
 
Once my time in ponies came to an end my grand uncle Malcolm MacNaughton offered me the incredible opportunity of the ride on Catsky. Going from a 14h pony to a 16h3 horse was a massive step but luckily we clicked instantly and have gone on to do so much together.  
 
Our 3rd place finish at Tattersalls International was one of the many standout moments. Tattersalls has always been my favourite Irish event, there is always such a great atmosphere and to be able to stand on the podium made it feel even more special.  
 
I have big ambitions for 2017, I aim to be selected for the Young Rider European Championships in Millstreet and then to compete at 3*** level during the Autumn.  
 
Beyond 2017, competing at 4**** level would be ultimate goal. Portphilip Gypsy is my exciting new project. For this season I aim to build-up his confidence at pre-novice level and then move him further up the grades when he is ready. Our winter training has been going well and he is showing a lot of promise so fingers crossed for his future.  

Quick fire questions 

First riding memory – Doing the leadrein class at Rathbawn show on Domino 
 
First ponies name - Domino 
  
Career highlight – Being on the Irish team at The Junior Eventing European Championships at Montelibretti 2016 which was our 3rd consecutive championship, Catsky and I finished in the top 20 and the team came a close fourth. 
 
Greatest riding influence – My coach Jane Kinsella 

Equestrian idol growing up – Pippa Funnell 
 
Favourite way to unwind – Watching Netflix in bed 
 
Three dream dinner guests -  Michael Jung, Jenifer Lawrence, Michael McIntyre  
 
Childhood hero – Pippa Funnell 

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