top of page

Welcome to Our Team Page, where we would like to introduce you to the people that make Tralee Equestrian Centre what it is today.

Padraig Hayes. BHSAI, HND Equine, Dip Ag., ICES .

Padraig began riding at 8 years of age with the arrival of his first pony "Misty". Shortly he found himself riding up to 10 ponies which were being bred on the family farm, from youngsters up to 148cms SJI jumping ponies and novice horses. After finishing school he attended Portlaoise Vocational School where he attained the Irish Certificate in Equine Science (ICES) awarded by Teagasc. This qualification included the successful completion of his British Horse Society Assistant Instructor qualification (BHSAI).

At age 18 he commenced a Higher National Diploma in Equine Studies at the University Of East Anglia (Writtle College, Essex) and followed that with a diploma in Agriculture.

Padraig then moved on to train with the former Irish National showjumping champion Tom Vance at Robins Nest farm in Hertfordshire preparing young showjumping and event horses for sale. He was then offered a position as chief rider for Ms. J Petts at the Longwood Stud in Wormley , Herts. Situated in picturesque Hertfordshire countryside this yard was ideally located for competition being close to Norton Heath EC, Patchetts EC, Addington EC and Keysoe EC. He gained further training at Longwood from showjumper Geoff Luckkett and dressage rider Daniel Sherriff. Whilst working for Ms. Petts he competed on the national BSJA circuit for 4 years including all the major UK showjumping events at venues such as Hickstead, Solihull, Ardingly and Wales & the West.

In 2001 he returned to county Kerry with Nicola to commence the construction of Tralee Equestrian Centre.  

Click here to e-mail Padraig and to enquire about coaching at Tralee Equestrian Centre.

Nicola Hayes BHSAI, Bsc Equine Studies, BET Centre Manager

Nicola commenced riding at age 8 with the arrival of her first pony. She was taught in the well renowned North London and Hertfordshire riding school schools of Trent Park, Holly Hill and Ponsbourne, whilst during the summer months she rode out for Michael Jarvis (flat trainer) at Newmarket. It was at Ponsbourne, under the tutelage of BHS examiner Sally Fitzgerald that she gained her BHSAI at the age of 19. She then commenced studying at the University of East Anglia (Writtle College) where she attained honours in a Bsc Equine Studies, specialising in Breeding.

During the summer break at university she groomed for HRH Sheikh Mohammad's and Princess' Adhaba's Dubai International Showjumping teams. This involved travelling the UK to all the major shows and riding out the showjumpers daily. 

At age 23 she then started running her own livery and training business at Holborn Stud Wormley, then at Home Farm Bayford and then at Daniel Sherrifft yard at Bayford. Nicola received constant instruction in Dressage from Anna Wilks and she went on to become the Chiltern & Thames Dressage champion of 2000, qualifing for the finals at Solihull riding Ms Linda Milton's "Renkum Rusty".

In 2001 she re-located to county Kerry with Padraig. She quickly established herself as the the BHS "go-to" person in the county and started using her vast experience to train students for the BHS exams. She trained on average 15 students a year full time for their exams and many of them have gone on to start their own businesses' and be successful Instructors at home and abroad. Whilst not content with raising the standards of Equestrianism in county Kerry, Nicola has continued her own personal development becoming the counties first Riding & Road Safety trainer and probationary examiner. She also gained the increasingly more internationally recognised British Equestrian Training Centre Manager exam in 2012.

Click here to e-mail Nicola.

bottom of page