The daughter of rock star Bruce Springsteen has splashed out on a top Irish show jumper. Jessica Springsteen, 22, has bought one of Ireland's top sport horses to compete in international events.
Lisona, a bay mare bred in Co Meath by former Irish Army rider Commandant John Ledingham, has been ridden by Darragh Kerins over the last three years, helping the Irish team to victory at Hickstead and in Dublin at the 2012 Nations Cup.
Sligo-born Kerins, who was co-owner of the horse with Maarten Huygens, said: "It was a very hard decision for us to make, she will be sadly missed in my barn."
This weekend the chairman of Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) Pat Wall said he was delighted to see an Irish thoroughbred go to such a high-profile competitor: "It's great to see an Irish horse sold for mega-money, and with a high-profile rider like Jessica Springsteen the horse will remain in the limelight, flying the flag for Irish breeders."
The sum paid for Lisona has not been revealed, but top Irish-bred horses are highly thought of in global equestrian circles.
Jessica's father, Bruce, will be playing some live concerts in Ireland this summer, with shows in Kilkenny, Cork, Limerick and Belfast. It's well worth his while – as his ticket sales in Ireland will amount to about 140,000 for the year at around €100 each.
This means that Springsteen Snr will be grossing around €13m in Ireland this summer. That should cover the price of the pony.
The Boss has strong Irish roots, with the singer's great-great-grandmother, Ann Garrity, hailing from Mullingar.
His first Irish appearance was at Slane Castle in 1985.