HORSE-riding is never as much fun as when you're doing it in front of a TV audience with everything at stake.
That's what one Tarbert native discovered this week as the first in a new six-part reality show entitled 'Jockey Eile' went out on TG4.
Caitlin Parkinson was among the 20 candidates who succeeded in making the cut at the end of Sunday night's first instalment from an initial field of 60. And it has been nothing less than a dream come true for the 17-year-old from Kilcolgan who is a self-confessed horse nut.
"I've been riding since the age of eight and have been taking part in hunts since I was ten, I just love it. There's nothing like being out riding with a hunt, it's full on and really exciting always," Caitlin - who rides with the Killarney-based Kingdom Hunt Club - said.
But it was only when she noticed an advert for the new TG4 programme she decided to take her interest in becoming a jockey to the next level. "I never thought I'd be accepted but I was given a place on the selection at Fairyhouse with 60 others and it was fairly intense!" she said.
"The toughtest part was a fitness test, but the whole thing has been a great introduction to what it takes to be a jockey and I hope to do a course in Croom in horse racing when I finish school," Caitlin added.
Best of all of her TV experience, however, was in galloping with Barry Geraghty, making up for the low point of badly injuring her back in a fall in an episode that has yet to screen.