History made as Kate Dwyer becomes first Irish Dressage rider to win five-star Grand Prix Special

Doha dressage BR Farm
MAKING HISTORY: Kate Dwyer made history at Doha by becoming the first ever Irish rider to win at Grand Prix Special at five-star level. (FW10-531NN)

MEATH-based Irish Dressage rider Kate Dwyer made history on Saturday morning at Doha in Qatar, by becoming the first ever Irish rider to win at Grand Prix Special at five-star level.

Last to go in the competition at the stunning Al Shaqab arena, Dwyer and the 14-year-old gelding ‘Snowdon Faberge’, who Kate owns along with her mum Maureen Dwyer, produced an outstanding performance to record a personal best score of 70.043% and take the winner’s prize of almost €6,000.

GRAND PRIX WIN: Kate Dwyer and ‘Snowdon Faberge’ won the Grand Prix Special at Doha. (FW10-530NN)

A delighted Kate Dwyer gave her reaction after her historic victory: “I am so, so pleased with ‘Fabio’ [‘Snowdon Faberge’] today. The feeling he gave me in the ring was amazing. The whole test felt much more confident and I really feel we showed a lovely harmony, which is so important in Dressage. I am delighted with his performance and I know this is only the tip of the iceberg of what he can give me,” she said.

Kate Dwyer was part of the Irish team, along with Judy Reynolds, Heike Holstein and Anna Merveldt, that made history last year by becoming the first Irish Dressage team to qualify for an Olympic Games.

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said: “On behalf of everyone at Horse Sport Ireland, I want to congratulate Kate and ‘Fabio’ on an outstanding performance in winning the Grand Prix Special in Doha. This fixture in Doha was very important as part of our strategy and preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. I am delighted for Kate and her mum Maureen and I would like to thank our High Performance Director Johann Hinnerman, all of the HSI Dressage High Performance Committee, along with the grooms and support team at Horse Sport Ireland.”

Meanwhile in Saturday’s Grand Prix Freestyle To Music in Doha, Ireland’s Dane Rawlins recorded another excellent result when taking ninth place with ‘Espoire’. The pair came close to breaking their personal best performance when scoring 70.925% with victory going to Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and ‘Delaunay Old’ on a score of 79.290%.

Irish Dressage duo Dwyer and Rawlins shine in Doha Grand Prix

Kate Dwyer and Dane Rawlins both recorded impressive results in Friday’s five-star Commercial Bank Grand Prix presented by Longines at the Al Shaqab arena in Doha, Qatar.

Meath-based Kate Dwyer recorded an impressive score of 68.326% with ‘Snowdon Faberge’ to finish in 10th place overall.

Speaking afterwards, Kate Dwyer outlined how ‘Snowdon Faberge’ is not a typically-bred Dressage horse: “He really tried his best and he really just depended on me to tell him that it was okay and we can do this,” Dwyer said.

“I have had ‘Fabio’ [‘Snowdon Faberge’] since he was four and we have gone up through the ranks together. He is an amazing horse, he always shows great harmony and willingness to go. It’s really exciting, because he is actually part Shire. We thought originally that he was part Welsh Cob, but he is part Shire, so he is not your typical Dressage horse.”

PERSONAL BEST: Dane Rawlins and ‘Espoire’ posted a personal best score of 67.348% to finish just outside the top 10 in 12th place in the five-star Commercial Bank Grand Prix in Doha. (FW10-529NN)

Drawn third to go of the 17 starters, Ireland’s Dane Rawlins and ‘Espoire’ were also in excellent form and posted a personal best score of 67.348% to finish just outside the top 10 in 12th place. Victory in Friday’s competition went to Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and ‘Delaunay Old’ on a score of 74.413%.

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