‘I have a lot to thank Shane Breen for’: meet the young Irishman soaring to the top of the sport

  • Young Irish rider Jack Ryan is one of the hottest talents on the showjumping circuit right now and the 20-year-old enjoyed a great start to 2022, finishing runner-up in the World Cup qualifier in Sharjah, UAE, and most recently competed in the five-star classes at The Dutch Masters in Den Bosch.

    “I would like to keep the year going in the same way that it started!” says Jack. “Hopefully I will compete at a few more Nations Cup competitions and more Rolex Grand Slam Majors.

    Jack was based at Hickstead for two years with Shane Breen but recently moved to Belgium to train with 2006 world champion and Olympic gold medallist Jos Lansink and he is part of the prestigious Rolex Young Riders Academy.

    “That opportunity [to train with Jos] came about through the Rolex Young Riders Academy,” explains Jack. “Usually, I start at 7.30am and ride [my horse] BBS McGregor, and the rest of the day I ride Jos’s horses. I am riding so many different horses, it has been great and so nice to get to know the whole team. It’s a very exciting opportunity.

    “I was with Shane Breen for two-years, and I learnt so much from him. I got to ride some amazing horses and go to some incredible shows. It was actually with help from him that I got into the Rolex Young Riders Academy – I have a lot to thank him for.”

    Another inspiration in Jack’s career has been German legend Marcus Ehning.

    “He is one of the best in the world and is so amazing to watch,” says Jack. “When he won the recent grand Prix in Doha, he made it look like it was a training round – he is incredible.”

    Jack’s top horse is his long-time partner BBS McGregor, an Irish-bred 10-year-old.

    “He has a great personality. Sometimes he can be a bit annoying as he always pokes your arm, but he is a very kind horse and lovely to have on the yard,” says Jack.

    Talking about his first experience at the prestigious five-star Dutch Masters earlier this month, Jack says: “It’s fantastic! I would like to thank the Rolex Young Riders Academy and everyone who helped me get into the show. Everyone in the Rolex Young Riders Academy have helped me so much. Frank Kemperman, Eleonora Ottaviani, Emile Hendrix and the whole team have been so amazing to me.”

    • With thanks to Rolex Grand Slam

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