It was an incredible experience to visit China for my first time last week.
I was invited by the organising committee to compete at the World Cup show in Beijing International Equestrian Club. It's a tremendous facility whose equestrian operations are well guided under the capable hands of Irishman Austin Melia.
During my stay I taught some of the club’s young riders and walked the courses and advised other local riders, enthusiastic to learn.
The great Irish tenor Ronan Tynan was also performing during the event as he sung at the opening ceremony.
Ronan and I were asked by the show to speak at Beijing National Day School to over 700 students on our experiences in life and how we both managed to come out on top despite setbacks.
This was extremely well received and we were both nearly mobbed at the conclusion of the talk as the kids wanted to speak to us and get posters signed!
As there are still quarantine issues in China regarding re-exporting horses it was not possible to fly in our own horses and thanks to Austin Melia I was riding a lovely grey mare called Wavanta.
It took a few classes to gel together but for the final day of the show we knew each other well.( See news story HERE.) We were the only double clear of the competition, becoming the first non Chinese national to win the FEI World Cup in the People’s Republic of China.
Home now for two weeks ahead of my indoor campaign which then gets underway in Caen France.
I'm also delighted to learn this week that Blue Loyd is one of the world's best horses. On his results he is placed 12th in the world, making him the highest ranked horse competed by an Irish rider. See the story HERE.