The upcoming Rolex Kentucky three day Event will see 21 Irish bred horses competing at the very highest level in the U.S but only one Irish rider is in action, Tim Bourke. The Irish Horse Gateway look forward to the event which we will be attending to promote Irish horses.
Tim and his wife Marley Stone Bourke run Bourke Eventing, located at Stone’s Throw Farm in Berryville, Virignia. Bourke Eventing specializes in training horses and riders at all levels in the sport of Eventing.
Growing up in Westport Co. Mayo, Ireland, Tim inherited his love for horses from his grandmother and spent his early childhood days developing his riding skills at her riding school, Knappa Beg Stables. Tim joined the Clew Bay Pony Club, achieved his A-rating, and attended Gurteen Agricultural College. During his years at Gurteen, Tim worked and rode young horses for John Craig, who has since played an integral role in Tim’s riding career in both Ireland and the United States.
Upon graduation, Tim was looking for a job and career direction and through mutual friends found himself on a plane headed Stateside to the legendary Bruce Davidson’s farm. Three months turned into two years working for Bruce, and Tim credits Bruce for starting him on the path towards establishing a life in the United States. With the help of Bruce’s guidance and support, Tim learned the inner workings of producing event horses to the top level of Eventing and got a true taste for Eventing in the States.
While travelling to the biggest competitions with Bruce, including the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Tim realized this is where he wanted to be! Tim and Marley headed to Ireland for the year knowing they would return to America, which proved to be a pivotal moment for Tim. In Ireland, Tim worked riding show jumpers for Jonathan Reape, during which time Tim met and started his soon-to-be top horse, Luckaun Quality. Recognizing the obsession Tim had with the rangy gelding, the Reapes’ graciously enabled Tim to bring him back to the States with him.
Upon returning to America, Tim landed a job as assistant trainer to top eventer Sharon White. In his six years working for Sharon, Tim had the opportunity to ride and compete all the sales horses and develop a widespread student base.
Tim has established himself as a top rider and sought-after trainer. Tim was named to the Irish High Performance squad and is looking forward to the development and future success of Bourke Eventing. In 2015, Tim and Luckaun Quality completed the Rolex Kentucky CCI4* finishing in 18th place.
As a dedicated and enthusiastic trainer, Tim thoroughly enjoys being a part of the progress of his students. From teaching beginners to competitors at the highest level of the sport, Tim’s ability to instill confidence in the horse and rider in a thoughtful and articulate manner has helped students reach their individual goals.
“If you look at the entry list at any top event in the world you will find the majority of horses are Irish bred horses. As you look at the way eventing has evolved into the modern format, you are required to have a horse with better movement, better jumping ability, and the brain to put it all together. With great contacts in Ireland, I have been successful in finding and producing horses that have these qualities. We think the desire and the marketability for Irish horses is the future for our business in the US”.
We, At the Irish Horse Gateway, would like to wish Tim the very best of luck at the upcoming Rolex in Kentucky.
Luckaun Quality (ISH) – 2005 gelding by OBOS Quality (OLD) out of Colwyn Bay (ISH), by Cavalier
Royale (HOLST) Breeder: Ronan Sheehan, Co. Laois. Owner: Tim Bourke.
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