HERE at Bluegrass Horse Feeds we are very proud of our team so we want to introduce our customers and merchants to the people who work so hard to ensure you get the horse feed which best suits your horses' performance. Next up is Conor Sheridan!
NAME: Conor Sheridan
WHERE ARE YOU FROM: Clara, Co Offaly
WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND: I grew up with horses. I have been around them all of my life. My family competed ponies and my father was huntsman for a local hunt the South WestMeath Harriers. I started competing in my teens and after my Leaving Cert I took over the running of our yard at home.
DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO WORK WITH HORSES? Not quite!! I had originally wanted to work in the creative unit for video games as a screen writer. Then I was told I had better learn Japanese and move to Japan, so that was the end of that!! My sister used to train thoroughbreds and when she fell out of training I took over the yard. Essentially I've been doing ever since and I love it. I showjumped nationally, where I was usually riding young horses. I used to start horses and then sell them on, never really had horses hang around too long. I also breed a few mares and I think my proudest moment was seeing BVS Echo Island be crowned the leading young horse in the 2016 Spring Grand Prix Tour.
WHY DID YOU STOP COMPETING: By accident more than anything else really! I stopped competing back in 2012 because I found out I had testicular cancer. When I came off chemo in the spring of 2013, all of the livery horses in the yard had gone home so instead of starting again from scratch I took the decision to go back to university. I had always promised the mammy that I'd eventually go back and get a degree for her. Seemed like the right thing to do at the time!!
HOW DID YOU REALISE SOMETHING WAS WRONG? I was sitting at home on a Sunday evening, September 30th, and I had a massive pain in my side out of nowhere. Like nothing I had ever felt before. So I went to the hospital and they kept me in to run scans for four days. Then on October 4, the doctors came in and said they had found something I couldn't believe it and they told me I had cancer. So, to have a broken back and cancer in the same year - let's just say it was a tough year. I was very lucky with chemotherapy. I hold my hats off to nurses. Incredible people to see what they see everyday. So, as a way of saying thanks, in 2013 I did a fundraiser. I started that April and finished in November. I did a different event every month. Started with a skydive and lots of other things, like 10k runs and cycles and duathlons and mud runs. Between myself and my friends, we raised £10,000 for cancer charities.
HAVE YOU DONE MUCH OTHER CHARITY WORK? In 2014 when I was at college I had the opportunity to volunteer in the Philippines after the typhoon. I worked with a team of people to build a primary school. Amazing experience!
YOU ARE A NEW ADDITION TO THE BLUEGRASS TEAM. TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB: I am a feed consultant and sales representative for Bluegrass Horse Feeds. It's the perfect job for me. I'm working around Munster, Leinster and South Connaught and will be working with merchants and riders my area. I studied Business and Management at Maynooth and I love getting out and about and meeting people. My job is flexible. I can continue to develop the stud I have always wanted at home - Brosna View Stables in Clara, Co Offaly. It's a performance stud. We have been feeding Bluegrass Horse Feeds for 10 years. We have about 15 horses in all between brood mares and young stock. I have more of a focus now on breeding since I stopped competing.
WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO YOU IN YOUR ROLE: What I love about my job is that I'll be continuing to build and foster new business and maintain relationships which is what Bluegrass Horse Feeds is all about. There'll be plenty of horse shows, dressage shows, three day events and horse racing events to be attending. Life is good!
AND YOU HAVE ANOTHER ROLE WE HEAR: Yes. I am an escort - a Rose of Tralee escort. Probably the best thing I've ever been involved with. I've been involved since 2015, escorting that year and being lucky enough to be invited back as a Returnee in 2017. As of 2018, I'll be too old so I'll be staying involved through the Offaly Rose Centre as I did in 2016. It is the best craic ever. Basically, we are a support unit for the Roses - all while having the craic. There's an awful lot of eyes on these girls and they miss their families etc. It's a lot on them so there's a lot of pressure for them. The escorts are very much there as a support unit and to help them to enjoy the experience as best they possibly can. Everyone has a great time. I would seriously urge any girl between 18 and 27 to just go for it. Put yourself out there and just do it. You meet great people, have great fun and it's such good craic. Fellas between 21 and 30, if you haven't considered being an Escort at the Festival, why not?