Are your parents or other members of your family involved with horses? Both my parents are involved in horses and are an incredible help to me in both selecting and breeding the horses that I produce. The Hennessy involvement all started with my grandparents, Doc Hennessy and Eileen Hennessy, and Granny is still president of the Cork/Kerry SJI having judged for many years on the circuit.

My uncle, Michael Hennessy, is part of the Executive within the SJI and he is always encouraging me and helping me in whatever way he can. My uncle, Colman Hennessy, is more involved in the thoroughbred side of the equestrian game. On my mother’s side, my aunt, Roisin Sherrard alongside her husband Liam Lynch, have a very successful thoroughbred breeding programme set up in their yard in Cloghduv, Co Cork.

Who helps you with your horses? My parents are the people who help me the most. Dad never hesitates to take me to any show, no matter what the journey it entails. Both my parents and I take care of the day to day running of the yard, we makes sure every horses’s welfare and wellbeing is to the forefront at all times and we are very blessed to have a superb farrier, CJ Fitzpatrick, and outstanding yard vets John Hyde, Dave Canty and Pat Meagher of Kedrah Stud.

Tell us about your top horses at the moment. King Louis and Ballynoe Clinton Jack are my top horses. I have two very talented young horses coming up, a five-year-old Ballynoe Ronocco Tyson by Tyson, and a home-bred four-year old Ballynoe Romacruise, by Romanov.

What height categories do you compete in? Currently I’m competing Louis in 1.40/1.45m Grand Prix, Ballynoe Clinton Jack is currently coming up through the age classes. The young horses are also competing in the Horse Sport Ireland four- and five-year-old classes respectively.

Who is your trainer? With regard to my training, I’m very fortunate to have Michael Condon both coaching me at home and at shows. He and Dad have been very good friends since they were in short pants so there’s a great rapport there. Paul Beecher also helps me and is more than generous with his time. Robert Splaine keeps me focused as well with his knowledge on all things show jumping and the technicalities.

Who has been your greatest influence in your career so far? I was very lucky to get an opportunity to work in both Anthony Condon and Paul Beecher’s yards. In both yards, I found their work ethic and phenomenal horsemanship very inspiring in my own approach to my horses and the way I work with them. I’d have to say from a performance point of view I think Scott Brash has achieved an amazing amount for such a young man.

Major achievements and/or wins. In my pony years I regularly qualified for the RDS both in ponies and Children on Horses. I was a member of the winning COH team in the RDS and came third in the individuals that year. Louis won the RDS qualifier in Cavan this year in the 1.35/1.40m young rider class. Again in Cavan I won the Young Rider Grand Prix.

Closer to home, Louis and I knocked into second place in the Munster Summer Series Grand Prix final. In November I headed to Peelbergen and there Louis had two thirds in the Junior Big Tour and then was placed fourth in the 1.40m Grand Prix final of the Big Tour.

What are your plans for 2022? I hope to qualify all four horses in their relevant categories in the RDS. I will be campaigning on the National Grand Prix circuit this coming season. Later on in the year or possibly during the summer, we hope to head back out to Europe.

Seamus Hennessy was in conversation with Emer Bermingham


Name: Seamus Hennessy

Age: 17

From: Ballynoe, Whitescross, Cork