The De Sousa name may well be familiar to those who follow the Sport of Kings — Newmarket-based Brazilian Silvestre De Sousa is the reigning champion Flat jockey.
But showjumpers need to take note, too, as the next generation of De Sousas is showing the same talent in the saddle — step forward 10-year-old son Ryan, who has big ambitions over coloured obstacles.
Suffolk Junior Academy member Ryan has ambitions to represent England in the Home Pony International this year, with qualification for Horse of the Year Show his big goal. As well as the horsemanship he has shown in the two years since he first joined British Showjumping, Ryan received recognition for his work ethic and attitude when he won the monthly NAF Shining Star award, having been nominated by his coach Mia Palles-Clark.
“Ryan is only 10 and has already achieved a lot in his showjumping career,” said Mia. “He works very hard, training every week as well as supporting other member of the academy in training and at competitions. Ryan is currently working hard to complete his NAF 5* awards spurred on by the fact that he wants to represent England in the Home Pony International.
“Like anyone in the sport he has ups and downs which he takes well and is learning to be mentally tough as well as developing strategies to cope with nerves. This is all starting to pay off as he recently achieved his first clear round in a 128cm class with his fantastic pony, Emily.
“Ryan has also been very successful in style and performance classes, he has the patience and good attitude to develop and produce ponies correctly and with sympathy,” added Mia. “Ryan will be in the sport for a long time and if he continues as he has started he will be a successful and shining example for other riders too.”
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Ryan receives some NAF equine products as part of his prize.
“I am really thrilled to get this award, I was so excited when I got the news!” he said. “I have to say a big thank you to my coach, Mia Palles-Clark. My ponies and I have improved so much since joining the academy.”
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