Newtownforbes native Aisling Byrne had a fantastic win with her horse Wellview Classic Dream at the weekend when she claimed the top prize at the Liverpool International Show.
Aisling and Wellview Classic Dream proved to be a winning combination when they rode to victory in the prestigious Irish Horse Gateway Amateur Grand Prix.
Aisling also won a new Mini Cooper car after winning lead rider at the competition on the 14-year-old mare.
To top the weekend off, Wellview Classic Dream won an award for top placed Irish horse at the competition.
It was a superb victory for Aisling who was one of two riders to take top honours in the Irish Horse Gateway Amateur class on the day.
Speaking to the Longford Leader on Monday last, Aisling said she was very proud to win the event on an Irish horse, before admitting that she was still coming to terms with her win.
“I’m only realising it now, just how big it was. I’ve been getting great feedback and support since the weekend,” she explained.
The event was held in the massive Echo Arena in Liverpool.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable,” Aisling explained, adding that the stadium was full to capacity.
“I was afraid to look up!” she laughed.
Incredibly, it was the first time that Aisling and Wellview Classic Dream had jumped in an indoor venue and she feared that the venue would unnerve the horse. But she need not have worried - Wellview Classic Dream proved her mettle when it mattered.
“The horse was fantastic, she has a great temperament,” Aisling stated, pointing out that the win was particularly special as her mother owns Wellview Classic Dream.
“She’s our favourite,” Aisling agreed.
The achievement kicks off 2016 in style for Aisling after she notched up a number of successes in 2015. It was on the back of her success on the so-called Sunshine Tour in Spain and Portugal in September that Aisling was invited to compete in Liverpool at the weekend.
So that meant she had to work hard all Christmas.
“When everyone was out shopping, I was out in the yard smelling of haylage!” she laughed, though she affirmed that the sacrifice was worth it.
For now, it’s back to the day job running her own Tour Company ‘Journey Through Ireland’, which brings US and Canadian tourists on trips around Ireland. However in a few weeks’ time, it will be Aisling who’s back on tour when she heads to the US to ride in the WES Tour for a few weeks.