History made in Qatar as Kate Dwyer becomes first Irish Dressage rider to win a five-star Grand Prix Special
Meath-based Irish Dressage rider Kate Dwyer made history this morning (Saturday) at Doha in Qatar, by becoming the first ever Irish rider to win at Grand Prix Special at five-star level.
Last to go in the competition at the stunning Al Shaqab arena, Dwyer and the 14-year-old gelding Snowdon Faberge, who Kate owns along with her mum Maureen Dwyer, produced an outstanding performance to record a personal best score of 70.043% and take the winners prize of almost €6,000.
A delighted Kate Dwyer gave her reaction after her historic victory:
"I am so, so pleased with Fabio [Snowdon Faberge] today. The feeling he gave me in the ring was amazing. The whole test felt much more confident and I really feel we showed a lovely harmony which is so important in Dressage. I am delighted with his performance and I know this is only the tip of the iceberg of what he can give me," she said.
Kate Dwyer and Snowdon Faberge had finished 10th in Friday's Grand Prix at the same venue while Ireland's Dane Rawins finished just outside the top 10 in 12th place. Speaking after that performance, Kate Dwyer outlined how Snowdon Faberge's breeding is unusual for a Dressage horse:
"It’s really exciting because he is actually part Shire. We thought originally that he was part Welsh Cob but he is part Shire so he is not your typical Dressage horse,” she said.
Kate Dwyer was part of the Irish team along with Judy Reynolds, Heike Holstein and Anna Merveldt, that made history last year by becoming the first Irish Dressage team to qualify for an Olympic Games.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy said:
"On behalf of everyone at Horse Sport Ireland, I want to congratulate Kate and Fabio on an outstanding performance in winning the Grand Prix Special in Doha. This fixture in Doha was very important as part of our strategy and preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. I am delighted for Kate and her mum Maureen and I would like to thank our High Performance Director Johann Hinnerman, all of the HSI Dressage High Performance Committee, along with the grooms and support team at Horse Sport Ireland."
Meanwhile in today's Grand Prix Freestyle To Music in Doha, Ireland's Dane Rawlins recorded another excellent result when taking ninth place with Espoire. The pair came close to breaking their personal best performance when scoring 70.925% with victory going to Sweden's Patrik Kittel and Delaunay Old on a score of 79.290%.