There was an Irish win to celebrate on the first day of the Dutch Youngster Festival Wierden, Holland with Co. Kilkenny based rider Susan Fitzpatrick (grand daughter of Renee Fitzpatrick, Mathew Avenue, Thurles) winning the Big Tour 1.25m speed class with the eight year old mare Petrus Spartacus owned by her mother Sharon Fitzpatrick.
The pair were closely followed in second place by Darragh Ryan on Quantum Light securing a one- two for Ireland.
The Irish pony riders finished in 2nd place in the Pony Nations Cup in Wierden, Holland last Thursday with Tipperary rider Darragh Ryan having secured his place on the team from his good results at the two HSI Trials that took place over the previous few weeks in Mullingar and Barnadown, Wexford.
Fifteen year old Darragh Ryan is from Thurles and is a third year student of Rockwell College.
Darragh is tutored by both his parents Tomas Ryan of Tipperary Equestrian Centre, Thurles and his mother Fiona who owns the Cahir Equestrian Centre in Cahir, Co. Tipperary.
The most important class and the highlight of every show is the Grand Prix and with a foot perfect round and showing determination in every turn to stay inside the time allowed.
Darragh Ryan succeeded in capturing the clear round that all the other riders were striving for. Being 7th to go in the class, Darragh had a long wait until the last rider went to see if he would have to try and beat someone in the jump off.
With many having time faults and poles down, the last rider in was Dutch rider Lisa Nooren riding the Irish pony Rock Dee Jay and she was expected to give Darragh a run for the money in the jump off, but with a single pole down.
The Irish supporters rose and cheered the winner and only clear round of the CSIOP Wierden Grand Prix, Darragh Ryan on John and Cora McCarthy’s Quantum Light.
What an exciting win for Ireland and a very deserving 1st place for Darragh.
Next stop for this very talented pony rider is Hagen, Germany which is running from 13th-17th June 2012 and all going well his performance should help him in the selection for the Irish Pony European Championships to be held in Fountainebleau, France in July 2012.