Dundalk man proves yet again that age shouldn't a barrier to sporting success 11 months ago

Dundalk man proves yet again that age shouldn't a barrier to sporting success

Staying the distance.

Dundalk man Tom MacGuinness competed in his first FEI (International Equestrian federation) European Championships when he took part in the 160km Endurance Championship in Brussels recently.

The 66-year-old was the only Irish man to take part in the event, but one man was all it took to set the Irish flag flying high among Europe's elite.

85 competitors toed the line in Belgium, but the Louth debutante wasn't fazed by the sizable competition, and finished a creditable 11th place aboard his mount Sasha D'Allais.

This is just another box ticked off Tom's growing and wide-ranging CV when it comes to equestrian events.

Having enjoyed success in eventing, show-jumping and polo, MacGuinness took up the demanding sport of endurance racing in 2013, aged 60.

Age is only a number for MacGuinness, however, and he has proven time and time again that there are no limits when it comes to his talent in the equestrian sphere.

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He has now made 25 starts in these endurance events and has been well placed in a series of races from 80km – 160km, the highlight of which was an appearance in The World Equestrian Games in 2014.

MacGuinness, the CEO and founder of Horseware, a leading manufacturer of clothing for horses and riders, says he enjoyed the experience in Brussels and he is already looking forward to the world series next year.

"This was my first European Championship and was a complete unknown. I am absolutely thrilled with my result on a relatively young horse. The course ran over 12 hours through a beautiful park in the middle of Brussels and it was extremely well organised.

"The going was quite deep and it rained solid for the last two loops but it was incredibly enjoyable. I am so pleased with Sasha and am really looking forward to representing Ireland in the World Equestrian Games next year.

You just can't keep a good man down.