Name: Camilla Speirs
Location: Co. Kildare, Ireland
We chatted with Camilla to find out more about her horses, career and ambitions…
Camilla began riding before she could walk, raised by parents with a keen interest in horses. Growing up on her family’s farm in Co. Kildare, there were always lots of horses around the yard for her to play with, and she attended Pony Club camps from the age of four.
Who is the biggest influence in your career so far?
My horse, Portersize Just a Jif.
What is the highlight of your career to date?
It was probably finishing 2nd in Boekelo in 2011. It was the year before the Olympic games in London, and Ireland needed to gain points to qualify, and I was elected to run here, under a lot of pressure – but we pulled it off and we qualified!
Can you share your best advice with us?
Staying level headed is extremely important. Horses are fantastic levellers also.
What are your goals for the future?
For me it’s about continuing to source and produce horses to compete at the highest level of the sport. Representing your own country is extremely special and I have been lucky enough to have done that on so many occasions but we’re all working towards that gold medal!
Tell us about your horses
We have a range of young horses – from foals to 4* horses! At the moment I have mostly 4, 5 and 6-year-olds, which I love, and a couple of horses up at 2* level. My Olympic horse Jif (Portersize Just a Jiff) has retired from top level competition but we’ve hopefully got the next bunch of superstars for the future!
What’s most important to you when you’re buying a horse?
A kind eye and good conformation is important for first impressions. A kind eye indicates they’re on your side and want to work with you, which is so important for a top-level horse. Conformation helps in dictating whether the horse can stand up to the amount of work and galloping required in training and competition. Breeding is important – for us we look for a horse with a lot of thoroughbred blood as they have to be able to gallop for a long period of time. A good jumper, of course, is also extremely important – careful, athletic and confident.
What are your favourite Shires Equestrian products?
Shires Rugs – I would recommend the entire range of rugs! Living in Ireland it’s impossible to predict the weather, so having a good rug is essential. The Performance Maxi-Flow Fly Rug is probably my favourite and most used rug during the spring/summer. The horses don’t over heat in them whilst turned out, yet, the waterproof top section protects them from light rain showers and shields the horse from harmful UV radiation and sun bleaching while the lower mesh section keeps the horse cool, dries quickly and blocks biting insects.
Shires is practical, affordable and extremely good quality – what more could you want?
Keep up-to-date with Camilla and her horses here: