JACK Ryan finished a close to perfect tour in the United Arab Emirates with a runner-up finish in the five-star FEI World Cup in Sharjah on Sunday, riding the home-bred gelding BBS McGregor.
The 10-year-old Cardento gelding, who was bred by Jack’s mother Marguerite Ryan, was among 10 of the starting 37 to make it through to the jump-off after they picked up one time fault first time out when 0.20 of a second over the time allowed.
They joined the seven clears – including teammates Trevor Breen and David Simpson – and two others with time faults in the second round.
However, the 1.60m track caused plenty of problems, and a steady clear in the second round in a time of 50.90 saw the pair slot into second place to earn €30,000. Latvia’s Kristaps Neretnieks won the class with the only double-clear round about Valour.
Sweden’s Evelina Tovek took the final spot of the podium with Winnetou de la Hamente Z on two faults which she also picked up in the first round. Henrik von Eckermann posted the fastest time of the class but a fence down meant he finished fourth.
Breen also picked up four faults with Heather Black’s 10-year-old gelding Highland President, for seventh place, one ahead of David Simpson with his own and Breen Equestrian’s Foudre F who finished with eight faults.
Commenting on the result from the UAE, Ryan said: “It was fantastic. The horse is in great form and it has been an incredible month or so. It was his first five-star Grand Prix. I had a time fault but thankfully it was top 25% to come back so I managed to sneak back in. I didn’t go crazy against the clock, I wanted to jump a double clear and see then could I move up a bit. In the end there was only one double clear so it worked out well.”
Talking about the Nations Cup win last month, Ryan added that it was special to have his whole family there. “My grandparents were out for a holiday and they came to the show on Sunday so that was great.”
When Ryan returns from the UAE, he is heading to train with Jos Lansink for a month as part of the Young Riders Academy before deciding on his next move. “I had a very good time at Breen Equestran, I am very thankful for the opportunities. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be out here!”