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Celebrity Diary: Pippa's wedding was brilliant... but now it's time to give Ruth a hand with planning our own!

AFTER all the excitement of my younger sister Pippa O'Connor's wedding to Brian Ormond, it's now time to start planning my own big day.

My fiancee Ruth Maybin and I have set the date for New Year's Eve so we have just six months to finalise everything.

The venue is going to be the K Club, which I'm delighted about, being a Kildare man myself. Ruth is from Ballymena, Co Antrim, so her family will all be travelling down for the big day.

We're really looking forward to it now, although I have to admit I haven't been doing too much of the organising to date.

Ruth is great, she's been doing a lot of the planning as I'm away so much for shows.

We picked that date because obviously it's the perfect way to kick off the New Year and it's a great time of year for me in terms of showjumping events.

I'll be jumping in a Horse Show in London before Christmas and then it will be home to spend the holidays with the family.



HONEYMOON

We're not sure yet about the honeymoon -- I will have to grill Pippa when she gets home from her honeymoon in Singapore and Bali and get her advice.

We did pick up a few tips from their big day at the Ritz Carlton.

For me, the highlight of the day was definitely seeing Brian singing A Million Love Songs by Take That. I was a little teary!

He's a great guy and I have a lot of time for him. I think he'll be a great husband.

When it comes to my own wedding, I don't think we'll be having too many celebrities. It will be a smaller affair with close family and friends.

Our other sister Susanna is actually due to give birth this month so we can also look forward to having the first grandchild in the family there.

It's a really good year for the family, my mum especially is so excited about Susanna having the baby and of course both myself and Pippa getting married.

I'm sure she'll want a few more grandchildren so the pressure will be on for the two of us now as soon as all the excitement of the weddings is over.

For the moment though it's all go for me workwise. I flew to Belgium yesterday to have a look at a couple of horses there with a view to maybe purchasing them and then today I'm travelling again, off to Germany to compete at a show there this weekend.

I come back home on Tuesday and then myself and Ruth are heading off to Copenhagen on Wednesday for another show.

I work around the clock but I'm very lucky in that Ruth understands the business and she competes herself so she has a huge interest in it.

It would be difficult to spend long periods away if I was with someone who didn't understand horses.

A horse doesn't know it's a bank holiday or a Sunday!

The Olympics is obviously a big goal of mine next year so it looks like I'll be even busier after the wedding.

I just have to find a horse good enough to compete now. I'm hoping to find maybe a syndicate to get together to help me keep a horse like that. I'm actively looking for a horse and I'm looking for investors to come in with me so if anyone's interested I'd be delighted to hear from them.

It's a big dream of mine to be part of a medal winning Irish team so fingers crossed.

Obviously before that I have the highlight of the Irish showjumping calendar, The RDS Dublin Horse Show in August.

Ruth and I attended the launch on Wednesday night and enjoyed catching up with everyone.

There were a lot of familiar faces there such as Anne Doyle from RTE and model Roz Purcell.

We went to dinner at Shanahans after the event. I'm a big fan of the place. I don't drink or smoke so I allow myself the odd luxury when it comes to my diet!

I'll be in training for the next few weeks so it was a one off. For me, the Dublin Horse Show is always the focus of every year.

The show itself is an important showcase for myself and my business and even all my owners and people who support me.

I have my own stables in Ashbourne in Co Meath and I keep 40 horses there.

From that base I coach people, I buy and sell horses and I have some riders who ride for me as well. Although the economy is weak in Ireland, I'm still doing good business abroad, it's been a good year for buying and selling.

It's all go, you're constantly living out of a suitcase but it's good fun -- I'm very lucky that I get to do what I love every day.

The RDS Dublin Horse Show will take place from August 3 to 7


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