County Armagh girl Dearbhail Savage will be returning home a hero this week after winning her second equestrian gold for Team Ireland in a relay event at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles.
Dearbhail began the sport just three years ago when she joined the Saddle of Reins Special Olympic Club, which is based at Oakwood Riding School in Mayobridge.
Her first competition was at the regionals in April 2013, where she won two gold medals which eventually lead to her being selected to participate at the Special Olympics Ireland Games.
It was quite clear from the start that Dearbhail was meant for the sport, she connected with the horses instantly. It’s natural for any youngster to be quite cautious around an unfamiliar animal, but not with Dearbhail, the chemistry was there from the start and continued to blossom over the past two years.
Her two favorite horses are called Tinkerbell and Skippy, unfortunately her beloved pair couldn’t travel to Los Angeles with the team, meaning Dearbhail had to start all over and build fresh partnerships.
Quite a remarkable achievement for all athletes considering they only got to meet their new teammates three days before hitting the main stage.
Dearbhail took part in three events overall, she warmed the hearts of many across the country when a video of her family reacting to the news that she had won a gold in her first went viral on social media.
She then won a silver on Friday, and rounded a spectacular trip by winning gold with her partner Thomas in a team event today (Saturday).
Her success has caught the attention of many across the country, and she really has done her county proud.