Belfast Telegraph

Christina Duddy boxes clever with Irish Army equine job

Christina Duddy’s brother may be The Derry Destroyer but he can’t bear to see his little sister in the ring.

That ring is usually in a showground where she faces opponents on horseback, but John Duddy still gets brotherly nerves when he sees her compete.

The former IBA World and WBC Continental Americas middleweight title holder is fiercely proud of Londonderry girl Christina, now a full-time member of the Irish Army Equitation School.

She said: “The school promotes Ireland and Irish horses; all our horses are Irish-bred and we take them to compete all over the world.”

She told of a life-long love of horses as she prepared stallion Mullaghbane for Captain David O’Brien’s upcoming competition at the Dublin Horse Show.

“I got my first pony when I was 17 and used to compete as part of Glenamore Stables, back home in Derry. I joined the pony club and took part in triathlons and competitions. Mum always told John she couldn’t bear to watch him in the ring. When I started competing, John told her he could relate to that, because he got so stressed every time I was in the ring!”

The pretty 20-year-old has been a full-time member of the Irish defence forces for two years, and was able to combine this with her love of horses over a year ago.

She assists with the welfare of the horses, often brushing and tacking up the animals in preparation for competition.

She hasn’t had much time to enjoy the show she’s working at, but says there is huge interest from Northern Ireland.

“I’m based in barracks in Dublin permanently, but I know there are loads of people coming down from round our way back home. It’s not surprising, it is the best show of the year.”

John may not share his little sister’s love of all things equine, but they share a mutual respect for each other’s achievements.

“He’s a brilliant fighter, I’m so proud of him. I didn’t realise how big he was until I was sitting in Madison Square Gardens and heard the crowd chanting his name! He’s always been into his boxing, he’s never had an interest in horses. But he’s really proud of me.”

Belfast Telegraph

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