Meghan O’Donoghue grew up on her parents’ Southern Illinois boarding and training farm and as a member of the United States Pony Club, having a fierce competitive drive from a young age. From 2009-2012, O’Donoghue worked full-time at Surefire Farm learning the inner workings of a top eventing training facility. She was first included on the Developing Riders List in 2011 and has quickly risen to the top of the sport.
O’Donoghue found Pirate, an off-the-track Thoroughbred, and the pair rose through the levels together. In 2011, she and Pirate completed their first CCI2* at Jersey Fresh International, finishing in 13th place. In the fall, they moved up to the Advanced level and finished sixth at the Morven Park Fall Horse Trials.
In 2012, O’Donoghue and Pirate continued to improve and climb the levels. At the Jersey Fresh International, the pair finished an impressive seventh in their first CIC3*. They then finished 15th in the Richland Park CIC3*, before improving to 14th at the Plantation Field International CIC3*. O’Donoghue brought her year to a close by competing in her first CCI3* at the Dansko Fair Hill International, where she and Pirate finished 12th.
O’Donoghue had one of the biggest years in her career in 2013. She and Pirate completed The Fork CIC3* before heading to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover to tackle their first CCI4*. O’Donoghue rose to the occasion with Pirate, earning a 12th-place finish and being the highest-placed, first-time rider. She continued her rise to stardom, receiving a Jacqueline B. Mars Competition and Training Grant from the USET Foundation to compete overseas for the first time in the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International CCI3*. O’Donoghue and Pirate held their own against a field of experienced competitors to collect an 11th-place finish and be the highest-placed, first-time rider once again.
In 2014, O’Donoghue has continued to demonstrate that she is a solid competitor in international competitions. With Pirate, she finished 17th at The Fork CIC3* and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover CCI4*.