Kate is among bright young Irish women who are set to hit the big time

Lorna Nolan

SHE'S just back in the saddle after a riding accident -- but amateur jockey Kate Harrington is leading the pack of Ireland's up-and- coming women.

The Kildare-born beauty, who is the daughter of top Irish racehorse breeder Jessica Harrington, spent the past month in a neck brace after a terrifying fall and is now looking forward to showing her stock on the track.

The 21-year-old has been riding since the age of two and has made waves on the Irish racing circuit after taking the £100,000 Goffs Land Rover Bumper for Amateur Jockeys prize at the Punchestown Festival in 2009.

Kate, who was on hand when her mother was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sportswoman of the Year awards, explained how her achievement was all down to her beloved mum Jessica.


The young jockey is among those who appears in Image magazine's Bright Sparks feature and claims her family used to joke that she would race Moscow Flyer, a top-class racehorse trained by her mum, in a charity flat race when he retired. And then it really happened.

"I opened the Irish Field one Saturday and it said, 'Moscow's coming out of retirement'. My mum hadn't told me that I was riding him and then I couldn't back out. I've had a bit of a lean spell recently. It's my dream to emulate my mum. I'd love to go to the Olympics in 2016."

Kate is just one of 12 young Irish women tipped for big things in 2011.

And she's not the only one on the list with some powerful family connections, with producer Zoe Rocha, daughter of fashion designer John Rocha, also being tipped as one to watch.

The glamorous brunette (27) holds the position of head of production at Stephen Fry's company Sprout, but is adamant that her father's connections did not get her where she is today.

"If I wasn't any good at my job I'd be fired," Zoe insists.

The producer recently worked on three short films involving Fry, Bill Bailey and Chris O'Dowd for Sky's Christmas schedule and admits she loves to see the finished product on the small screen.

"We had our first press screening at BAFTA and it went down really well. It was just wonderful to see your name up there," she added.

Among the other big names being tipped to be big this year are model and jewellery designer Suzanne McCabe, Fade Street star Vogue Williams, designer Una Burke, TV presenter Anna Daly and shoe buyer and fashion designer Rachel Armstrong.