Mayo’s Michael G Duffy was named as the Jack Dodd Perpetual Rookie of the Year at the 23rd annual Irish Show Jumping Awards in partnership with Horse Sport Ireland, which were held in Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare, recently.
340 people attended what was a special night that helped to mark the memory of the late Jack Dodd, a talented young rider from Foxford, Co Mayo, who tragically lost his life in June of this year following a car accident in Belgium.
Jack was extremely well-known throughout the show jumping industry in both Ireland and abroad, honing his talent from an early age and competing in arenas all over Europe. A member of the prestigious Young Riders Academy, Jack also represented Ireland at youth and senior level and won the FEI European Championships as part of the national team in 2014.
The James Bond-themed event attracted plenty of slick tuxedos and elegant gowns, and attention quickly turned to matters on the stage where the leading riders in Irish Show Jumping this year received their awards.
Conor Swail was named as the International Rider of the Year, while Susan Fitzpatrick was named the International Young Rider of the Year.
Another notable award recipient was Donegal native Megan McGettigan who won the Tredstep Groom of the Year. Megan showed great bravery earlier this year to rush into a burning stable to save the lives of horses who were trapped inside following an arson attack.
Among the attendees on the night were Joe Reynolds, Chairman of HSI, Ray Buchanan, Chairman of Show Jumping Ireland, trainer Michael Halford and his wife Louise, Lucinda Creighton, a board member of HSI, and Andrew Nolan, Director at Goffs Properties.
Another award handed out on the night was the prize for the Best Dressed Lady, which was won by Galway native Jessica Burke. She received an 18ct gold Love Letter pendant set with round brilliant cut diamonds from bespoke and fine jewellery providers Boodles.
Martin Duffy from Mayo, who is a neighbour of the Dodd family, won the Best Dressed Male award, and he received a prize courtesy of boutique Dublin store Monaghan’s Cashmere.
Sophie D’Alton, Marketing Manager of Horse Sport Ireland, said; “On the back of a truly phenomenal year for Irish Show Jumping we enjoyed an absolutely fantastic night honouring some of our sport’s most special talents here in Killashee House Hotel. It was great to see so many passionate people from the world of show jumping together under one roof, and this year it was an especially poignant event as we honour the memory of Jack Dodd, a young man who was so well-known in our industry.
“I would like to thank all of the sponsors who supported us by sponsoring awards, providing auction items and for donating prizes for the Best Dressed competitions tonight. I would also like to congratulate all of our winners who collected their awards tonight, all of them were richly deserved following their efforts in 2018."