Ryan de Sousa shines at first international FEI Championship
1am rolled around very quickly on a couple of hours sleep as we started packing up the last of the supplies for our Belgian adventure. Ryan de Sousa and Mighty Mouse had qualified months earlier during the summer, for their first FEI championships, which took place at Sentower Park in Belgium.
Mum, Vicky; brothers Max and Harry; nanny, Safron and Ryan and Mouse left Brickfield Equine on Monday 14 November for the week, heading to Dover for the ferry crossing to Calais, France for the first leg of their 345-mile journey.
Ryan had never jumped at Sentower Park before and was very excited; the facilities there are amazing and the whole complex is huge.
On Wednesday, we had a vet inspection which Mouse passed with no issues. Max and Harry had a great time scooting around the complex on their balance bikes.
In the afternoon, Ryan and Mouse had a nice warm up and leg stretch in the indoor arena.
Friday was our first competing day. Ryan and Mouse had a fantastic result in the 1.10m with a clear round in 23.97, finishing sixth overall in his first FEI show. They were class!
The following day, the pair teamed up for another super round in the small tour ponies speed class, finishing 10th place overall with a time of 0.51.67.
Ending on a high note on Sunday, Mouse and Ryan had a brilliant clear round in the 1.15m Grand Prix, finished fourth overall in the class.
Ryan was also the top British rider in the section.
We couldn’t be prouder of how he did in his first big European show, Ryan showed not only his natural talent but his innate skill with impressive turns and a sharp eye.
A big thank you to everyone who made this dream a reality, it takes a team to get to these shows.
Thanks, as always, to Ryan’s sponsors Equine Products UK and Millbry Hill for all the fabulous gear. Tom Vance for all the training hours before the show. Safron for looking after Max and Harry. Sarah, Rachel and the team at home for keeping the show on the road while we were gone and to FEI and Sentower Park for a fantastic event – we can’t wait to come back again.