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Gerry Mullins To Retire From Army Equitation School

THE EQUESTRIAN Federation of Ireland has learned that one of its directors, Lt. Col. Gerry Mullins, will shortly be retiring from his position as Officer Commanding of the Army Equitation School at McKee Barracks.

Lt. Col. Mullins will be be taking this step as a result of a medical check-up undertaken late last year, and a subsequent need to reassess his lifestyle.

He said last night (Wednesday):

<<I am taking this decision with great regret, but the truth is that years of almost continuous international duty, involving as they did a great deal of travel and training, allowed me very little personal time during the season, and this was one of the factors that forced me to take a close look at changing my lifestyle.

<<Although I will be stepping down as OC of the Equitation School, I hope that my involvement in the equestrian life of this country will remain intact, and my wish is to be able to to help wherever I am required, to aid both teams and individual riders, where appropriate.

<<I look back on my years of competing for Ireland with considerable fondness, but I am also glad that I have been on hand to pass on whatever knowledge and experience I have gained to younger riders on their way up.>>

Lt. Col. Mullins, who is expected to continue operating as Chef d’Equipe to the Irish senior show jumping team whenever required by the International Selectors, served as OC at the world-famous Equitation School in McKee Barracks, Dublin, for four years.

Born in County Limerick, Gerry Mullins joined the the Army in 1971, and began riding at the Equitation School in 1973. By the time he had retired from international competition in 1997, Lt. Col. Mullins had represented Ireland on 50 Nations Cup teams and had racked up over 100 international wins. He represented Ireland in show jumping at two Olympic Games (1984, 1988) and was fourth in the 1982 World Show Jumping Championships.

He had also served as Chef d’Equipe to both Senior and Young Rider show jumping teams, as well as Coach to Junior, Young Rider and Senior teams.

He added: <<I leave a fantastic unit at McKee which had a professional and dedicated staff from top to bottom. During my time there I enjoyed great support from all my Defence Force colleagues, and in particular from the Minister for Defence, Mr. Michael Smith, the recently retired Chief of Staff General Colm Mangan, and the current Chief of Staff, General James Shreenan. Much of our current success can be attributed to these men.>>

EFI Secretary General Dan Butler, commenting on the news of Lt. Col. Mullins’s retirement from the Equitation School, said: << Gerry’s contribution to the sport has been of immense value, and we have been privileged to have him as one of our directors. His highly distinguished career with the Army will put him in good stead for the
future, and we look forward to him maintaining a close association with equestrian sport in this country and to his continuing contribution to its development.>>

Lt. Col. Mullins is 50 years of age, is married with three children, and lives in Co. Kildare. He will be retiring from the Equitation School on April 15, 2004.


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