It will be a first Badminton for Irish rider Cathal Daniels who aged 20 will be the youngest competitor this year by a wide margin. Last year Cathal, who is from Kilcullen, Co Kildare, made an impressive four-star debut finishing 12th at Pau with Badminton entry Rioghan Rua.
Cathal, who already runs his own yard, caught the eye and media attention when he won team and individual gold medals at the pony European Championships in 2012, riding Master Murrose (formerly ridden by his sister older Regina and then passed to a young sister). The following year he won team gold and was 7th individual at the Junior Europeans with Rioghan Rua and in 2014 the pair won another Junior team gold as well as individual silver. That year they also finished 16th in the World Young horse Championships at Le Lions and Cathal completed his first three-star at Ballindenisk in 6th place (Mr Brightside).
In 2015 with Rioghan Rua he competed for Ireland in the Young Rider Europeans winning a team bronze medal and the pair was a member of the winning Irish Nations Cup team at Boekelo. Cathal also claimed his first senior international win at Camphire on the stallion Barnaboy Freeman. In 2016 after a good result at Fontainebleau he was long-listed for the Olympic Games.
Cathal’s family are all involved in horses and eventing. In the summer they offer trail riding holidays from their stables in the west of Ireland and in the winter hunting breaks – they even have their own pack of 24 hounds.
Cathal trains Ian Woodhead and Ian Fearon.
Rioghan Rua owned by Margaret Kinsella, is a 15.2hh, ten-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare – one of the youngest and smallest horses in the field. Bred by her owner Margaret Kinsella, she was one of the first foals for the young stallion Jack of Diamonds who is a son of Irco Mena. She is out of a threequarter-bred mare by the Irish Draught Flagmount King. She was acquired by Cathal as a six-year-old having been started in eventing by Rachael Power. Rioghan Rua is described as ‘a pocket rocket with a huge heart’. The pair rose from one to four-star in their first three years together. Margaret Kinsella owner and breeder of Rioghan Rua has been an integral part of Cathal’s rise through the ranks – she also owns two of his other up and coming rides.
15.2hh , chestnut , mare
Sire Jack of Diamonds
Dam Highland Destiny (Flagmount King)
Breeder Margaret Kinsella
Owner(s): Margaret Kinsella, Co Galway, Ireland