Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate Ready for Burghley Cross Country

Meghan O'Donoghue & Pirate. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Meghan O’Donoghue & Pirate. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Everybody loves a good OTTB story, and they don’t get much better than Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate. Purchased as a scraggly 3-year old when Meghan was 15, Pirate was intended to be a project, but turned into much more before long. They moved up to the Advanced level in 2012, completing Fair Hill CCI3* in the fall and heading directly to Rolex CCI4* in the spring of 2013. It was there that they captured the hearts of many eventing enthusiasts, as they rocketed around the cross country for a double clear round that seemed effortless.

Fast forward a little over a year — after receiving a grant to go to Blenheim CCI3* last fall, where they finished 11th — and Meghan and Pirate completed Rolex again this spring with speedy and clean jumping rounds to confirm their status as a four-star pair. This year they received the Land Rover Competition Grant to compete at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials CCI4* this year for their first taste of a British four-star.

Photo by Kate Samuels.

Photo by Kate Samuels.

They performed dressage yesterday, posting their very best four-star dressage score to date, a 54.2, which places them in 30th place going into cross country. “I feel like the flatwork is improving a lot, and I do feel like there is a lot more in there,” Meghan said after her test.

As for cross country: “I’ll be watching the riders before me to give myself a little more confidence. I think the first water is really where you get into how difficult the track is. This terrain and this size of course I’ve never done in my time, so luckily I’m sitting on a Thoroughbred, and we all know he likes to gallop and has limitless scope.”

Watch the interview below to hear more of Meghan’s comments on going cross country tomorrow. Go Meghan, and Go Pirate!

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