OMAGH showjumper Jenny Rankin has this week joined the international competition yard of Cian O’Connor in a move she hopes will help propel her to the very top of her sport.
Rankin has spent the last five years working and riding for Richard and Deirdre Bourns, Galway and in more recent times was competing from their base on the continent. The 23-year-old last year competed in the Global Champions Tour of Chantilly and back in May was a member of the Irish team which stormed to back-to-back Nations Cup victories in both Norway and Denmark.
The former Seskinore Harriers Pony Club member has recorded results up to 5-star level this season and she believes that a move to O’Connor’s Karlswood Stables will be a step towards fulfilling her ambition of one day competing in the senior European Championship and Olympic Games.
During a career spanning almost 20 years O’Connor himself has medalled in European Championships and Olympics and she is hoping that some of his experience and success at the highest level will rub off on her.
“I have got to know Cian fairly well over the last two or three years,” said the Tyrone native.
“I had been asking him advice on what I need to do to progress in the future. He said he had a job opportunity if I was interested and, of course, I told him I was.
“Cian runs a very professional set-up and they do everything to a very high standard. He has had the experience of competing at the very highest level of the sport and knows what it takes to succeed.”
Rankin has enjoyed no shortage of success while representing the Bourns stables and this season has enhanced her reputation riding the much-thought-of Benny’s legacy.
Moving to O’Connor’s yard will mean that Jenny will spend much of the winter season back on home soil in Ashbourne although she insisted that hadn’t any bearing on her decision to move camps. She is also well aware that her recent success on the international stage had helped her secure her switch to one of the world’s leading competition yards.
“I’ve enjoyed a very good season and obviously that helped me a get a job with someone of the calibre of Cian,” she added.
“The move provides me with the next step and I suppose it is every young rider’s dream to one day compete in the Olympics. I want to be in and around that profesional environment to learn something from it at the very least.
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S ULSTER HERALD
Posted: 10:14 pm July 16, 2019