Olympian Eric Smiley will be galloping into Whitchurch Canonicorum village hall to give an insiders view of the games
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Olympian Eric Smiley will be galloping into Whitchurch Canonicorum village hall to give an insiders view of the games

Eric Smiley

The effervescent four-time Olympic eventing champion Eric Smiley will be galloping into Whitchurch Canonicorum village hall at 7pm on July 12 to give an insider’s view of the Olympic Games in aid of The Friends of St Candida.
Eric, who lives in the village, is a famous face in the horse world, and a popular member of the Whitchurch Canonicorum community.
He spent ten years in the Army serving in a cavalry regiment and training with equitation officer Ben Jones, who represented GB in the Tokyo Olympics and winning team gold medal at the Mexico Olympics.
At the age of 28 and with a ‘natural flair’ for equitation, Eric embarked on what has become a truly inspiring and remarkable career with horses, becoming Irish Field Event Rider of the Year in 1982 and gaining his first team selection in 1985 for the European Championships at Burghley.
Since then, Eric has represented Ireland at two European Championships, winning team bronze medal on each occasion.
He has competed in three World Equestrian Games and four Olympic Teams competing at Barcelona and Atlanta and was Team Coach to the Belgian eventing team for the London Olympics 2012 and the European Championships 2011.

Eric and Sue Smiley
But these accolades just touch the surface of Eric’s impressive horsemanship, he is a British Eventing Master Coach, registered Fellow of the British Horse Society and a former FEI International Judge regularly on the Grand Jury including at Badminton & Burghley Horse Trials plus director of the International Eventing Forum (IEF).
Eric was also chairman of Eventing Ireland and director of the Golden Saddle Scheme for 18 years, identifying talented children in all equestrian disciplines.
Eric embraces village life and has found the time with the Paris Games in just two weeks, to give the talk.
Friends trustee Briony Blair said: “He is lovely man, warm hearted and generous with his knowledge and time.”
This event is free with a collection in aid of FoSC. There will be a cash bar.

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