BEN Walsh is 16 years old and is based at Malin Stables, Inishowen, Co. Donegal with Irish international show jumper, Ronan McLaughlin.
Ben had an amazing year of show jumping competition in 2022 and just topped it off by winning the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy final in Mechelen, Belgium (December 26-30, 2022)! This young man has gone from strength to strength!
The FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy is pony competition at the very highest level – it is an initiative of the FEI to create another top level challenge alongside the European championships.
Two qualifying rounds were held in Lyon and Stuttgart, with 19 riders making it through to the thrilling finale at Jumping Mechelen. Congratulations and commendation must be given to Ben on his qualification for this prestigious event.
Ben and his pony ‘Derryvane Belle’ excelled last year. Together, they produced five clear rounds in three days at the European Pony Trials; they went on to jump double clear on Ben’s first Nations Cup Team appearance in Zuidwolde, securing a win for the Irish Team.
The pair placed second in the 1.25m Speed class in the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy in Lyon and took third place in the 1.35m Lyon Grand Prix. They were second in the 1.25m Speed class at the FEI Ponies’ Jumping Trophy in Stuttgart and came fifth in the 1.35m Grand Prix.
This put them in second position overall in the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy standings and, after three days of phenomenal competition at Mechelen, they secured the overall win!
Ronan and his wife Caroline, their children and Ben’s twin Kadie all travelled out to the show in Belgium and they all had an amazing time. Some friends also travelled from Ireland to support Ben – their trip was definitely worthwhile!
Following his win, Ben said: “I have worked hard all year and it finally paid off today!”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.