IN the world of showjumping, the Paul Darragh Memorial Special Recognition Award is a big honour, so there was understandable elation recently when Shane Carey from Clooney was named as its winner. Shane was presented with the award by Dave Darragh, brother of the late Paul, at the Showjumpers’ Club ball in Kildare.
“To be associated with such a prestigious award means so much to Shane. It is an acknowledgement of what he has achieved,” commented his mother, Ann, this week.
Shane, who is now 26, is profoundly deaf and according to his mother, “For someone with a disability to be able to do what he loves is brilliant. His whole life is horses and I could not explain how much it means to him to be associated with the name of Paul Darragh. It is really fantastic that his achievements have been recognised,” she said.
According to Ann, award winner Shane focused on being a farrier from a young age but he found it difficult to get an apprenticeship.
“At every show we attended, Shane got me to approach farriers to ask about taking him on as an apprentice. Most refused as they feared that his deafness might lead to an accident. Loughrea’s Eugene Casey took him on as an apprentice and I don’t know what Shane would have done without Eugene’s support,” Ann explained.
Shane studied with Jeremy Stanley at the farrier school in Kildare and amongst those who helped him here was the late John Boyne from Dublin.
Ann had particular praise for the late Kevin Burke in Newmarket. “He saw Shane’s talent at an early age and he gave him every support,” she said before going on to acknowledge the support of Marie Burke and Noel Barry also.
Amongst Shane’s many successes last year was his hat-trick of wins at the Ennis show, where he captured the amateur grand prix, the amateur derby and the amateur puissance for the third year in succession.
Shane, who hunts with the Tubber hunt each Sunday, took up pony riding at the age of eight.
He is the son of Ann and Eamonn and he has one brother, Brian and a sister, Emer.