Tim MacDonagh, 22 runs his own business Hollypark Horses, with help from his family and staff, whilst studying B Comm at UCG.
Tim began riding at just 4 years old, and grew up hunting in Galway over stone walls, and jumping banks and drains in Limerick, of which his father was a Master of both, all upon a small but superb pony ‘Tiny Tom’ who stood at just 12.2hh. Tim lived for his hunting and would often hunt two to three times a week during primary school years, thanks to a few dubious excuses to the teachers over the years.
He began show jumping aged 8 and by 10 had made it to the prestigious Royal Dublin Show, in his last year of 12.2hhs had a third in the Main Arena on Wohld Copper. He also won the derby in Fontainbleau, France at 12 on the 14.2hh Diego flow and came third in the Gran Prix the next day.
This was followed by great success in ‘Children on Horses’, at just 12 riding Cor d’Alou, competing in the
FEI European Championships 2 years in a row, winning a team Bronze Medal in Jardy, Paris in 2010 and Team Gold in Comporta, Portugal in 2011.
More success was found partnered with a 14.2hh ‘Imagine If One’, who owned since a foal, took Tim to the Europeans in Arezzo, Italy for a Bronze Medal. Tim’s older sister Kate had taken him to the Europeans previously in Bishop Burton, England.
Tim grew up breaking and producing his own ponies which he took to the highest competitive level, so it came as no surprise when he had continued success with producing his own horses.
A fine example of Tim’s success producing his own, is Tick Tock Tina, a tricky grey mare who was considered ‘unrideable’, who he won the National YR Championship which had him recognised and awarded with a bursary to train in Florida. He spent an educating 12 weeks in Wellington working for Andy Kocher for 6 weeks and another 6 weeks with Katie Hinkley, getting a chance to jump a 6 year old in the main ring of Wellington under the training of Paul O’Shea.
Another prominent horse, Hollypark Galloway was purchased as a foal in Cavan and although was complicated and difficult as a youngster, Tim recognised his jumping ability and persevered, and he is now competing at 1.50m level. Beaute Van Herikhave was another horse Tim produced in his last year of ponies, who was later sold to America.
2019 saw a good year for Tim, winning a few classes and coming 2nd in the National GP League and 3rd in the New Heights 1.50m Irish League, whilst producing horses at home.
In the current lockdown circumstances of 2020 seeing the cancellation of competitions, Tim has focused on the backing and breaking of 60 horses at home, with his excellent team here at Hollypark; the Moloney brothers, who are a great asset and natural horsemen in their own right.
The eldest, Ian Moloney, began working at Hollypark at 12 years old, due to his enthusiasm for hunting and work ethic, and spent the following years learning his trade of how to produce horses both on and off the hunting field. He produced a superb Draught horse from scratch, Hollypark Bouncer, who came 4th in Ian’s first attempt at the Performance Classes in Dublin. The following year he came one better and won the 4/5 year old Performance Class on another of his horses Hollypark Prince and coming third in the 6 year olds with Richie, a fantastic model who also hunted hounds all season with the Blazers.
The Moloney Brothers
Younger brothers Keith and Patrick Moloney started a few years after Ian, and with the same level of interest to learn and develop their skills, have also managed to produce some incredible draught horses. Together the brothers had 8 different horses with the aim of Balmoral and the RDS, and all were on track to hit the ground running this summer when lockdown took plans off course.
Tim has trained with Ralph since he was very young, they have a great partnership together and Ralph is always on the end of the phone for advice. He has super facilities at Milchem Equestrian Centre, just 30mins from Hollypark, where all the horses go to be train and be schooled. They also run their own League Show.
Joe & Cora Sharkey
Hollypark also works closely with Joe Sharkey and his daughter Cora, who help with the breaking and producing of young horses at their yard in Castlerea.