IT Sligo Sports Scholarship student Kevin Gallagher secured the most prestigious win of his young equestrian career to date when he won one of the main showjumping titles at the 2017 Balmoral International Show in Lisburn last week.
20-year-old Kevin, who’s is a native of Ballygawley in Sligo, produced a clear round aboard Kilarado to win the Dengie six-year-old Championship, which is a jump-off against the clock.
“I was in with some very illustrious company, competing against international and grand prix showjumpers,” said a delighted Kevin.
The success comes in the middle of a very busy period for Kevin, both inside and outside the showjumping arena, as he is currently sitting his first year BA (Honours) in Accounting end of year examinations.
“Juggling my academic and showjumping commitments in recent weeks has been challenging but I’m very grateful to IT Sligo’s Sports Scholarship programme,” said Kevin.
“Without the Scholarship support, studying full time and competing at this level simply wouldn’t have been possible.”
The Balmoral Show event was a double success for Kevin as he also rode Libido Van D’hofken, to second place in the same competition. Both horses are owned by Declan McGarry from Carrowmore in Sligo.
Kevin’s busy showjumping schedule will continue after his examinations as he takes part in the qualifying competition for this year’s Dublin International Horseshow at the RDS.
The IT Sligo Sports Scholarship Programme has been running since 2003 and, each year, provides financial and mentoring support to athletes of outstanding talent, many of whom may have already represented IT Sligo, their county or Ireland in their respective sports. Recipients are supported by IT Sligo in keeping up their sporting commitments at the same time as pursuing their educational commitments and goals. IT Sligo allocates a €50,000 fund for the Sports Scholarships Scheme each year and all students are entitled to apply. To apply for a 2017/18 IT Sligo Sports Scholarship, click here.