Ellen McCarthy first started riding at the age of two on her Shetland pony 'Gilbert', progressing onto several very naughty ponies who all bucked her off multiple times and it wasn't until she found a special welsh pony called 'Zac' at the age of 8, that she started to realise that she wanted to do pure Dressage. He taught her so much and took her from never having ridden a Dressage test to medium level and various BYRDS home internationals and she still has him 13 years later.
‘Ellie’ also played polo for a couple of years, when she was 13, a sport which runs in the family. After her brief stint with polo, she then went back to Dressage and moved onto horses and started at Junior level when she was 14. She competed in juniors until she was 18 years old and then started her young rider career. It wasn't until her last year of young riders where she competed in many internationals with top 10 placings, that she was able to get onto the British European team with Donna Summer (Rio) where they finished in the top 15 in the freestyle at the 2017 Europeans!
Ellie currently resides in Germany with four of her horses, training with Olympic, World and European medalist Helen Langehanenberg. Helen has been a huge influence on Ellie’s training and riding and although competing for the German team herself, she dedicates herself to training Ellie and her other clients. Last year Helen helped Ellie find a very special horse 'Lancelot', who Ellie counts as her horse of a lifetime.
2018 has been Ellie’sfirst year at U25 Grand Prix and she feels very lucky to have been able to go to a lot of internationals with Lancelot this year to gain experience for senior Grand Prix in the future! After only having Lancelot for eight months, they were selected as first reserve for the U25 Europeans in Exloo in 2018, so she is very excited for the future with him and of course her other talented horses!