In Memoriam: Tommy Brennan

first_imgTommy Brennan, the legendary Irish Olympic event rider and championship course designer, has passed away after a short illness. He was 74.Tommy Brennan was born in Kilkenny on 29 January 1940 and grew up on the family farm at Dunnamaggin, where his love of horses started at an early age. He hunted with the local Co Kilkenny Foxhounds every Saturday, learning the art of jumping big fences that would be so important in his later dual career in Eventing and Jumping.After training in animal husbandry, he decided to further his equestrian and agricultural education by moving to Skiddoo Stud in Dublin. The young Tommy Brennan, or TB as he was known to so many, was given a key role in the operation and, not long afterwards, was running the stud and developing his famous partnership with a horse called Kilkenny.Brennan and Kilkenny were successful in both Eventing and Jumping, and went on to represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, finishing fourth in the Eventing, just outside the medals. The highlight of Brennan’s career came in 1966 when he and Kilkenny were on the gold medal team alongside Virginia Freeman-Jackson (Sam Weller), Major Eddie Boylan (Durlas Eile), and Penny Moreton (Loughlin) at the FEI World Eventing Championships at Burghley (GBR).Kilkenny was then sold to the USA where he was ridden to continued success by Jimmy Wofford, including team gold at the 1967 Pan-American Games and team silver at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games.Tommy Brennan was also instrumental in the early career of another great Irish-bred Olympic hero, the grey Ambassador, which went on to claim individual gold at the 1972 Games in Munich with the great Italian Jumping rider Graziano Mancinelli.In 1968, Brennan became the first Irishman to be selected to compete in two disciplines at one Olympic Games, when he was named for both the Jumping and Eventing teams travelling to Mexico. Sadly, one month before the Games, his Jumping horse Tubber Mac broke a leg in a fall at the water at the Dublin Horse Show. Unbelievably, water played a major role in the Cross Country at Mexico too, with torrential rain causing the river at the second last fence to burst its banks. Brennan and his horse March Hawk bravely jumped in but were swept downstream in the raging torrent. The horse could swim, but Brennan couldn’t and he only survived by clinging onto the saddle until he was hauled out of the water by the then FEI President, HRH Prince Phillip.Brennan notched up 67 international Jumping wins, and also claimed nine Irish National Championships on nine different horses at the Royal Dublin Society, home of the Dublin Horse Show. But his talents were not just on horseback. He also used his creative and artistic talents to produce stunning Cross Country courses around the world, drawing particular praise for his design of the European Championships course at Punchestown (IRL) in 1991 and 2003. He named the final fence on the 1991 course, “They will rise again”, a quote from the Book of Kells, the gloriously illuminated religious book widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure.He helped countless riders over the years, particularly at junior and young rider level, and was also an inspirational chef d’equipe. Between 1981 and 1985, the Irish junior Eventing team won a gold, two silver and a bronze with Brennan at the helm. On occasion he also took on chef d’équipe duties for the senior Jumping squad, notably at the FEI Nations Cup™ in Linz (AUT) in 2007 when Ireland scored a hat-trick of wins that included Drammen (NOR) and Poznan (POL).In 1985 Tommy Brennan was awarded the FEI Gold Badge of Honour and in 1997 he was entered into the Irish Sports Council Hall of Fame for Services to Equestrian Sport.“Tommy Brennan was a real character, a legendary producer of top horses and a very talented course designer,” FEI Eventing & Olympic Director Catrin Norinder said. “His designs for the European Championships in Punchestown were brilliant. He always had a story to tell, and his many talents will be sadly missed.”He is survived by his sister Kathleen (O’Neill), brother Peter, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. A huge crowd attended his funeral mass on 22 July, prior to his burial at Callan in his home county of Kilkenny.The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Tommy Brennan’s family and huge circle of friends both at home and abroad, to Horse Sport Ireland and the wider equestrian community. Tags: Tommy Brennan, Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Horse Sport Enews SIGN UP Email*last_img read more

Richard Childress Racing reacts to news of Paul Menard’s move to Wood Brothers Racing

first_imgRELATED: Blaney to move to Penske, Menard to Wood BrothersStatement from Chairman & CEO Richard Childress, regarding Paul Menard & Menards Inc.“Paul Menard and Menards, Inc. have had a partnership with RCR for seven years. Together, we have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, including Paul’s emotional win at Indianapolis in 2011. He is a very talented driver and a good friend. Everyone at RCR wishes both Paul and Menards nothing but the best in the future.Our entire RCR organization is 100 percent focused on getting all three of our Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series programs in the playoffs this year, and bringing another Cup championship to RCR in 2017.We will be announcing our plans for a third Cup team and our overall 2018 team lineup at a later date.”last_img

NPFL: Abdu Maikaba Attributes Plateau United Strong Start To Better Players (AUDIO)

first_imgPlateau United head coach Abdu Maikaba says the club’s stellar recruitment in the offseason and a gruelling preseason programme are contributory factors to his side’s impressive start to the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).Plateau United walloped Lobi Stars 3-1 in Sunday’s opener with Nerot Silas and Amos Gyang scoring either side of a Solomon Kwambe own goal at the New Zaria Road Stadium to put them on top the log.United’s strong start contrasts markedly with their start to last season when they were held to a goalless draw by FC Ifeanyiubah in a fixture marred by horrible fan violence which led to a fine and banishment from Jos and cast a pall over the rest of their season from which they never really recovered.It was a decidedly different atmosphere and result this time around and Maikaba said having players who fit into his philosophy has helped.Download Audio“We recruited players that will fit the philosophy, that was the first step, and we worked so hard during the pre-season and I believe that is the result we are seeing now,” he told newsmen after the game.Maikaba joined the Jos side last season from Akwa United with whom he won the 2017 Aiteo Cup and was handed an expensively assembled squad with the remit to challenge for the title.What ensued instead was a disaster with United escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth finishing level on 30 points with Gombe United but surviving because of a superior goals difference.That experience Maikaba says is done and dusted with their target for this season firmly set on finishing “on the top”. “As I always say, the target is to finish on the top. We want to compete at the top and that is the target. The boys know about that, the management knows it and we are all in line with that thinking.”Download AudioPlateau United are away at Jigawa Golden Stars on Match Day two on 10 November.RelatedAUDIO: Our Target Is To Win The League – MaikabaJuly 5, 2017In “Nigeria”Angelo Da CostaJune 30, 2017Similar postAUDIO: Maikaba Confident of NPFL TriumphAugust 1, 2017In “Nigeria”last_img read more