Commandant Sharon Crean has been appointed as Second in Command of the Army Equitation School, becoming the first female officer to hold the appointment in the school’s 90-year history.

She takes over from Lt Col Tom Freyne, who was recently promoted to Officer Commanding at the Equitation School.

Prior to joining the Defence Forces, Sharon competed successfully in pony eventing at an international level. She joined the Defence Forces in 2000 and on commissioning was posted to the Equitation School as a Riding Officer. Under the command of Lt Col Gerry Mullins, Sharon competed in show jumping at a national level.

In 2003 she continued her military career outside the Army Equitation School studying in NUIG where she graduated with a First Class honours degree in Bachelor of Civil Law. Sharon went on to complete her legal studies at The Honorable Society of King’s Inns where she graduated with a Barrister at Law degree and took the “call to the Bar” in July 2011.

Sharon has served on two overseas peacekeeping missions.

In 2007 she served in Kosovo as part of a NATO-led force and in 2014 she served as a UN Military Observer in Western Sahara.  Sharon has served as the Administration Officer in the Army Equitation School since 2008. She has continued her involvement with horses by training young horses, hunting and she recently competed at the International Horse Trials in Tattersalls.

The Irish Army Equitation School was founded in March 1926 to promote Ireland and the Irish horse.