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Lily Kelly dressage
This week I’m chatting with Irish dressage rider Lily Kelly. Based at Prestige in Gloucester Lily is in her final year at Hartpury University and  hopes one day to represent her country. Read on to discover more about Lily, her ambitions, and top tips for success

Tell us about you and your horses

Lily Kelly dressage rider
Lily and Chippy at Keysoe CDI 2021
I’m Lily, I am twenty-one and currently in my final year studying equestrian sports science at Hartpury University. I’m originally from Ireland but have lived in the UK for nearly 3 years now.   My current horse Newton Tiger who is a 7yr old mare, who is perfect in my eyes.   My other horse Chippy has just recently retired and is enjoying living out at grass. He is 17 and was my young riders horse last year.  


When and where do you ride?

I’ve been based at Prestige in Gloucester for nearly three years. I ride usually 4-5 times a week.  


How did you start riding?

Lily and Newton Tiger in the Autumn
I started riding around four years old at a local riding school called Deanes Farm in Donegal. I didn’t really focus solely on dressage until 2019. I had two amazing Connemara’s that I did a bit of everything on throughout my teens.


What you and your horses currently working on?

I’m just about to do my final exams for my degree so I haven’t been riding the horses for the past while. But I can’t wait to get going again for the summer.


What do you love about riding?

Lily and Blackwoodland Quince at the RDS in 2017. Lily says “I’ve had him since I was 14 and love seeing him when I visit home.”
I love the process of improving as a rider or learning to overcome an ‘obstacle’. I also love the community that come along with the horses and that’s one thing I’ve really appreciate since attending Hartpury.    

What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

My aim for now is to continue riding and would love to compete internationally for Ireland.  


Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?  

Lily and High Boy Van De C, a horse that she had lessons with at Prestige and was able to lease for a year afterwards
Yes, I was so bad with nerves 1-2 years ago. I would forget my test (even the PSG), and if I made a mistake in a test, I’d probably make 3 more due to not being able to concentrate.  


How do you deal with them?

Lily and High Boy at Hartpury
I’m completely different with them now. I think experience and just doing more and more shows is the main thing that helps. But I have had sports psychology and have learnt through that how to manage myself and my mind better.

Your Top Tip

  Be organised. It such an easy thing to do and can prevent silly avoidable mistakes from happening.    



Down the Centre Line


Who would be your dream horse to ride?

  I haven’t a clue! As a rider I don’t really know what ‘my type’ of horse is yet.

Who is your equestrian hero?

  I think Abi Lyle is very inspiring  


If you could have 5 people to dinner, who would they be?

  5 of my close friends and cousins  

Favourite colour horse?



Favourite horse event?



Favourite food?



Favourite way to relax?



Favourite film?

  Blood Diamond

Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Lily you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here    You can keep up with Lily’s progress and check out her instagram page here

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

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