Newmarket's Tara Murphy excited and surprised after British Eventing Youth Performance Development Squad call-up
Newmarket’s Tara Murphy dreams of one day being able to perform on the biggest stages in her chosen sport.
And the 17-year-old is hoping that her inclusion in the 2021 British Eventing Youth Performance Development Squad will act as the perfect springboard in helping her to eventually realise that ambition.
Murphy was picked as one of 13 riders in the NAF Juniors section following an impressive 2020 campaign onboard her two horses, Monbeg Maximus and Rincoola Rolo.
The former St Louis Catholic Academy pupil chalked up one event victory on each of the horses, who are owned by Jane Duncan and Silvestre de Sousa respectively.
Nevertheless, she was still extremely surprised to see she had made the cut for the programme, which will work towards being a part of the British team for the 2021 Youth European Championships in Segersjö, Sweden, in August.
“It’s all based on the consistent results from last year but I was still surprised to make it,” said Murphy, whose mother Marie is assistant trainer to Charlie Appleby while her father Sean works for Sean Woods.
“I saw the link to the squad on Facebook but I didn’t expect to see my name on there when I clicked on it. I just thought ‘no way!’
“It’s very exciting and I’m also very lucky to ride the horses I do. Jane and Silvestre are amazing owners, I couldn’t ask for better.”
Once Covid-19 restrictions allow, Murphy will be under the tutelage of some of the best youth coaches in the country.
Her results will ultimately determine whether or not she is included for the Sweden trip, but either way she is determined to soak up the experience.
“I’ll have access to the best junior coaches and that can only help me improve,” she added.
“Everything depends on the trials and how consistent I can be throughout the year.
“One day I would love to compete in the five-star events at places like Burghley and Badminton, that would be amazing. Experiences like I’m having will only help.
“A lot of people have helped me to get this far, especially Vicky (de Sousa) and my mum. The Eastern Region under-18 coaches have also been fundamental in helping me for so many years.”
For Soham & District Pony Club, Murphy is the first active member to earn a call-up to a national squad.
The club’s district commissioner, Sally Green, said: “Tara has been connected with the club for a long time. She’s a great member and her family always help out when we have events.
“It’s a great honour to have someone come through the club to reach the level she has.
“It’s lovely to see Tara come through our system and it has given the club a lift in these tough times. It just goes to show you can start from scratch and still go far.
“We’d love to see her go as far as she can and everyone at the club wishes her all the best.”