Frank McGarry was the ‘father of Irish show jumping’ as it is known today. An entrepreneur and astute businessman as a cattle dealer, he had the foresight to bring the North and South together for the sport of show jumping, though this was not without its problems.
As Ireland’s leading show jumping owner and an early chef d’equipe to the Irish civilian team, he got to know all the household names of the sport from the 1950s to current times. He was a team selector and judge for many years, built the West of Ireland’s first indoor arena, and introduced the familiar green jackets of Irish show jumpers.
He met both Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, and bought a horse from film director John Huston while Huston was lying in a bath, cigar in one hand and a brandy in the other. He owned and trained one particular horse, Go-Sly-Up, who won more jumping events than any other in history, 513 Grand Prix and puissance competitions in total. He built Ireland's biggest and most innovative riding school, opened by Charles Haughey, and helped to win the Carrowmore Case to prevent a refuse dump being built next to Sligo’s famous megalithic tombs.
As a boy, McGarry was shipwrecked and marooned for two months on Inishmaan where, with no replacement ferry available to deliver provisions, he lived off potatoes and fish. When eventually Frank got back to the mainland, he walked the many miles home; boys on the local cross-roads scattered, thinking they had seen a ghost, and at his back door his mother fainted – all believed him to be dead.
The remarkable story of renowned Sligo man Frank McGarry is the tale of a bygone age and a fascinating insider’s look at the big business of international show jumping.
About the Author
Anne Holland has written over 20 books, mostly on the subject of horses and in particular horse-racing, including best sellers such as The Secret of Kit Cavenaugh: A Remarkable Irishwoman and Soldier; Grand National: The Irish at Aintree; Kinane: A Remarkable Racing Family; and Sea the Stars: The World’s Best Race Horse.
Anne trained as a journalist on the Kent & Sussex Courier, Tunridge Wells and as a freelance contributed to Horse & Hound for 30 years and many other national and local UK journals. She has edited various publications including County Living, the Grafton Gazette, Breeders Bulletin, and the Farming Page of the Banbury Guardian. She has also contributed to various radio and television programmes. Anne was a successful amateur rider; she won many point-to-points and was one of the first women to ride, and win, under National Hunt Rules in the UK. Anne now lives in rural County Westmeath.
- Additional Information
Author Holland, Anne Editor No Print Format Paperback ISBN-10 No ISBN-13 9781908308658 Illustrations B&W photographs throughout Date of Publication November 14, 2014 Number of Pages 240