Stevie McKenna explains decision to go horseback riding during lockdown
Irish red hopeful Stevie ‘The Hitman’ McKenna turned to power as he galloped to his first league title.
The undefeated KO welterweight king and his equally talented brother Aaron, an undefeated super welterweight talent, both started riding to help their active recovery after strenuous training sessions.
Leader McKenna is featured on promoter Mick Hennessy’s big poster on Friday, September 10 at Coventry Skydome Arena, featuring Sam Eggington’s defense of his WBC Silver Middleweight Championship against undefeated French sensation Bilel Jkitou, exclusively live and free on Channel 5 in the UK and Ireland.
The County Monaghan ace came out of the starting gates as a pro, hitting a perfect 8-0 and flattening the whole thing by knockout – with five to come in the first round – and is in the saddle on the fast lane to his first. champion title.
Stablemates Stevie, 24, and Aaron, 22, recently took on the Sport of Kings on their return to Ireland after the lockdown and the brothers are now regulars at the Mullaghmore Equestrian Center at the luxury 5-star Castle Leslie hotel in Monaghan .
He said: “It started when Aaron and I came back from America to Ireland after the lockdown and we were looking for something to do on the weekends and we got the idea to go horseback riding.
“In Los Angeles we were jet skiing and shooting on our days off, we were always doing some sort of active recovery from our workouts, so back in Ireland we took up horseback riding and I’m glad I did.
“It’s very exciting and we get a great thrill from it. We get an adrenaline rush out of it just like you do in the ring, once the horse gallops up quickly and then once you start galloping it is a really amazing feeling.
“It’s a dangerous sport, but we are not afraid of anything and we have great instructors to do it safely. We decided to take it back and we learned pretty fast, it didn’t take long. to ride a horse and get used to it and we really appreciate it.
“It’s tough on the legs and you have to use your core and your balance to make it work. Instead of lying on the couch on a Sunday and doing nothing, you go horseback riding and we really feel the benefits when we get back to the gym.
“Balance is essential when you are standing on the horse and using the core, which also helps us when we are taking a day off and actively recovering. It fits well into our training program.
“We hope to do anything on the horse like gallop, jump as high as possible, we are ready for anything, we are still really learning and it will happen over time, but so far we are really enjoying it. ‘excitation.
The McKennas are even considering owning a stable of champion horses one day, but for now Stevie has the blinders on as he focuses on the World Championship title.
He added: “I hope one day we can own a few horses ourselves, but our goal right now is to become world champions first.
“We’re both a little tall to be jockeys, I’m 6 ‘1” and Aaron’s 6’ 2 “so we would probably need a jockey, our brother Gary is a bit shorter so we can use him !
“Watch out Paul Townend and Rachael Blackmore, in the future who knows, we might give them their money’s worth!”