Hometown: Tinahely, Co Wicklow.
Coach: Donie McNamara.
Horse: Serafina T
Classification: Grade III.
Events: Individual Test, Team Test, Freestyle.
This is Kate’s first Paralympics and she has been partnering Serafina for three years. She has been on the Irish High Performance team since 2011, was ninth in the World Equestrian Games in 2014 and finished eighth at the European Championships in 2017.
This partnership had a brilliant 2019, placing high in three star competitions in Doha, Waregem, Kronenberg and Hartpury before making the podium in Keysoe where they scored their PB of 71% in the Freestyle. Kate broke her wrist at the start of 2020 and then Covid intervened and limited their international competitions since. Even though she was in Wicklow and her coach was in Limerick they managed to work ‘live’ together through the use of technology.
When Kate was a toddler she was found unconscious in the family’s fields, possibly kicked by a horse. Her parents were told she might not walk again and she spent a year in the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH). She needed a tracheostomy (pieces of her ribs were inserted into her vocal chords) to help her breath until she was 11 and is weaker on her left side. Yet she recovered not only to ride but to compete in able-bodied and para-dressage. She has a degree in Equine Business from NUI Maynooth, is a qualified riding instructor and helps her mother Pam run their family business, the Broomfield Equestrian Centre.