Karen O'Connor of the U.S. riding 'Mr Medicott' at the Olympic games in London, during the Eventing competition. 'Mr Medicott' was formerly owned by Athlone horse dealers Jim and Francis Derwin.
Two horses that once spent their days in Athlone have gone on to star at the Olympic games.
The horses in question, Electric Cruise and Mr Medicott, represented Ireland and USA respectively in the Eventing competition in London.
They were formerly owned by equine dealer Jim Derwin and his brother Francis who are based in the Derries, Athlone, and have over 300 horses at their stables.
"We got phonecalls to say they had been picked for the Olympics, so we were interested to see how they got on," said Jim.
"We had them when they were four or five year olds. We knew that they were two nice horses, but it's hard to tell at that stage how they're going to fare in the long term."
Electric Cruise was the horse on which Ballymore native Joseph Murphy competed with distinction in the individual and team eventing contests. The Irish team finished an impressive fifth overall, while Murphy and Electric Cruise were 14th out of over 50 competitors in the individual event.
Mr Medicott is something of an Olympic veteran at this stage. He was sold by the Derwins to Germany and won gold in 2008 with the German Eventing team in Beijing. He was sold again to top U.S. eventer Karen O'Connor in 2011.
Ms O'Connor and the horse finished ninth in the individual Eventing in London, while also forming part of the U.S. team which came in seventh place.
Jim said that there were four other horses he and his brother had previously owned who were shortlisted to take part in the London games but didn't get there in the end.
Asked if he was hopeful that more of their horses would go on to compete at such prestigious events in future, he replied:
"We can always dream. We'd have an idea that some of our horses would be good, but it takes a lot of hard work to bring them up to that level."