Our first interviewee (victim) is 22 year old Irish showjumper Michael G Duffy. Michael is based in Germany but spends most of his time on the road competing at some of the worlds top venues. We caught up with Michael earlier this week to find out what his plans are for world domination and how he winds down after a long week of showing.
What would you consider to be your greatest strength?
"A positive attitude and a good team around me"
What about your greatest weakness?
What is your favourite song and why?
It's hard to pick one song, I love country music as I find the lyrics always tell a good story. My current favourite is Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton.
How about your favourite movie?
The Godfather or Walk the line
What can you tell us about your long and short term plans?
"In the long run, I hope to have a strong team of horses competing at the highest level week in week out, and to have the opportunity to compete at championship level and win medals for Ireland. I have a really good team of young horses at the minute so my current goal is to produce them to the best of my ability. Hopefully they will be ready for the the top sport in the years to come"
If you could pick another sport, what would it be:
Do you have a coach you work with at home? Talk us through your program
"I predominantly train with Carl and Cameron Hanley. We focus on improving the horses flatwork and like to use pole work as an aid for this. We also incorporate a lot of gymnastic exercises with the horses to make them stronger and more supple"
Tell us a bit about the larger team who works for you.
"My main team is composed of a number of people, the first being my boss, Carl Hanley, who sources our horses and trains both me and the horses. We have two stable managers, Carl’s wife, Nadja Hanley, and Alena Wilker. They organize everything at home and keep all our horses feeling great. Charlotte Oakes Is my show groom who travels to all the events with me and takes care of the horses to the highest standard, making sure they're feeling great so they can perform their best. Lastly we have Johanna Frauenrath and Yvi Kocher who are our flat riders and keep the other horses ticking over while I am on the road at shows"
What do you do to look after yourself?
"I try to have a good diet and exercise regularly. I also play some golf which is great way to clear the mind after a stressful weekend at a show"
Who has been an inspiration to you and who do you currently admire in the sport?
"I think any Irish rider who has managed to get to the highest level of the sport and stay there is an inspiration to me as it’s what I aspire to achieve myself, also outside showjumping Roger Federer and Tiger Woods inspire me. It would be hard to pick one rider I admire but to name a few I would have to say Cameron Hanley, Bertram Allen, Darragh Kenny, Marco Kutscher and Ludger Beerbaum"
A huge thank you to Michael for sharing all of that with us! Interested in sharing your own story? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org