Top 10 finish for Ireland’s Emma Golding at Para Driving World Championships

A brilliant performance today (Sunday) in the final cones section saw Dublin’s Emma Golding secure a ninth place finish overall at the FEI Para Carriage Driving World Championships at Exloo in The Netherlands.

Emma and her one-eyed pony Mossy were in ninth place after the opening Dressage section on Friday and maintained that position following Saturday’s Marathon. An excellent fourth place in the final cones saw Emma Golding and Mossy secure a ninth place finish in the Grade 1 competition with a final score of 185,68. The gold medal went to Tracy Bowman (USA) with Albrecht’s Hoeve’s Lars on a score of 132.23.

Emma Golding has now represented Ireland at seven World Championships and speaking recently to the FEI about her unique relationship with her one-eyed gelding Mossy, Emma said:

“My pony Mossy is a quirky 13-year-old Lipizzaner gelding from Hungary. Initially, he suffered from recurrent inflammation in one eye, which hindered his ability to live a normal life tremendously. The decision to remove the eye was a turning point for Mossy and has greatly improved his comfort and quality of life. Mossy’s limited vision has meant that he is more reliant on me, but this has led to strengthened trust in each other. When I compare pictures from when we first started together to now, the change in Mossy’s posture from reticence to confidence is noticeable.
“Initially, while driving on the road or navigating a competition course, Mossy would rely on me for guidance, checking in with me every few seconds. But as we have progressed, he has started to press ahead with his ears forward, only occasionally looking back to check in with me.”

Emma Golding added:
“At the national level in Ireland, I’m currently the only para driver competing in the full marathon. There are para drivers with miniature horses but they complete a shorter version of the course as the horses are below the height requirement for an FEI competition. Due to the limited number of para drivers in Ireland and the UK, we do not have separate competition classes. Consequently, I compete against able-bodied drivers, which challenges and improves my skills as a competitor. The presence of more competitors always enhances the competitive experience.”