30 December 2022

Ben Walsh wins the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy

In Mechelen champions are formed, we dare to claim. And champions they are, the ponyriders that participated here in the fourth edition FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy finale. After the two qualifying rounds in Lyon and Stuttgart, 19 riders competed for the thrilling final at Jumping Mechelen.

In three rounds the pony riders competed for the FEI Jumping Ponies’ Trophy, an initiative of the FEI to create a second top level challenge alongside the European championships.

As a result, the level of the competition on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday was phenomenal. The future is promising.

But now to the results. After the first two rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday it was only Belgium’s Laure Tijskens with Navayo who remained clear. So the pressure was high for this 15-year-old amazon. In the first round of the final, however, she did not stay clear and thus the competition was on for the other riders. Game on! In the first round four faultless rounds were delivered: Rachel Törnblom with Helga TH.O., Ben Walsh with Derryvanne Belle, Jersey Kuijpers with Lafaletta and Leonie Pander with Indimill A. Also in the second and final round on time Rachel Törnblom (FIN) and Ben Walsh (IRL) en Ruby Barrs (GBR) remained clear. Laure Tijskens had her last jump down in the second round.

It was the 16-year-old Irish Ben Walsh who took the final victory. With a total of 5 penalty points he was stronger than Ruby Barrs (IRL) who collected 7 penalty points. Belgium’s Laure Tijskens finally became third, Rachel Törnbllom (fin) finished fourth thanks to her strong final.

Ben Walsh

“After a year of hard training, this victory here in Mechelen is a nice reward. It was really incredible to win the trophy.”

Ruby Barrs

“I am really satisfied with my achievement. We had one mistake in the first round, so I knew I had to stay clear and my pony worked hard for it. I look forward to working toward the European Championships next year.”

Laure Tijskens

“I had a lot of stress for this competition. I knew the pressure was high after my first two clear rounds. In the end I had two mistakes but I am really pleased that I was still third. Next year is my last year pony year and I hope to be able to ride the European Championships and stand here again in Mechelen for my home crowd.”

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