Michael Murphy

17 October 2019; Michael Murphy at the official signing of an agreement between Paralympics Ireland and Narita City at the Paralympics Ireland Tokyo 2020 Team Conference in the National Sports Campus Conference Centre at Abbotstown, Co Dublin. Narita City will be the host city to Team Ireland's pre-games training camp ahead of #Tokyo2020. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Michael Murphy
Age: 24
Hometown: lives in St Barnet, Mill Hill, West London.
Coach: Elder Klatzko
Horse: Clever Boy
Classification: Grade I
Events: Individual Test, Team Test, Freestyle.

Michael qualified for Tokyo on his previous horse (Skjoldsgaard Hipp-vo) with whom he was 12th at the 2019 European Championships. He says COVID restrictions actually helped him as it made him focus on getting and working with a Paralympic-quality horse.

He first competed for Ireland in the Hartpury three star in 2018, a big moment as he was returning to the sport for the first time in three years, after struggling with motivation after the loss of his eldest brother James in a kayaking accident in New Zealand in 2015. Michael has only partnered ‘Clever Boy’ (aka ‘Charlie) in the past year but they’ve already excelled. They dominated their class, with a string of first places, at this year’s Munich and Hartpury three star events and scored a PB of 82% in the Freestyle in Hartpury.

Michael is a permanent wheelchair user. He was born, in London, with a rare progressive disorder called Dejerine-Sottas (a peripheral neuropathy which lessens reflexes, sensation, muscle tone and motor control). He had a double spinal fusion when he was 14 and is a permanent wheelchair user. He graduated with a biology degree from the University of Warwick last year and works as an environmental advisor for a large construction company in London. His grandmother is from Belfast, his grandfather is from Cork and, in 2012, Michael was a torch bearer on one of the relay legs for the London Olympics.

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