Popular showjumper Jack Dodd (25) passed away following car accident in Belgium
The Irish equestrian community have paid their tributes after the tragic death of talented show jumper Jack Dodd.
Dodd (25) sadly passed away on Wednesday in a Netherlands hospital, as a result of injuries he sustained in a car accident which occurred in Belgium last week.
One of Ireland's best prospects, Dodd won the FEI European Championships in Arezzo, Italy, as part of the Irish team in 2014. He was also selected in the International Young Riders Academy, a prestigious position in show jumping reserved for talented young athletes.
After spending several years learning his trade from the world's top riders, Jack worked at Bertram Allen's yard in Germany before setting up his own business in Balen Belgium, where he achieved success both in Young Horse events and in the top international classes in European show jumping.
The young star was set for a bright future in the sport before he met his untimely death and tributes have poured in for the much loved member of the Irish equestrian community, who competed for Ireland underage and at senior level.
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Ronan Murphy paid his respects to Dodd's family and recognised the Mayo man's talent on a saddle.
"On behalf of Horse Sport Ireland, I wish to offer sincere condolences to Jack's family and the many friends he made at home and when representing Ireland with distinction around the world," he said.
"Jack Dodd was an extremely talented and hard-working young man and was much loved by all who met him. This is apparent in the many tributes being paid to Jack since the tragic news of his passing reached us on Wednesday.
"Our thoughts are with Jack's family and friends at this very difficult time."
Irish Show Jumping Development Team Manager Michael Blake also offered condolence to Dodd's parents and praised the youngsters motivation to achieve the life he dreamed of.
"I and everybody else am devastated at the tragic news of Jack's passing," he said.
"I have known Jack most of his life and admired the mantra which he applied to his work, 'success is the reward for effort'. Jack knew what he wanted and went after it.
"In 2007 he was part of the Irish Children On Horses (U14) European Championship Silver medal winning team. He was on the Young Rider European Team in Arezzo in 2014. I remember thinking then how focused and professional he was, while still maintaining a genuine niceness."
"When Jack left Coolcronan Equestrian Center in Foxford, Mayo, he was single-minded on the journey he was going to make," he added.
"He knew, that to be the best, he must learn from the best and spent time in many top yards. In 2016 we nominated Jack for the Rolex Young Riders Academy and he was inducted into the Academy. Jack really learned his trade here and made a lasting impression on all whom he met. Jack recently set up his own business and was doing really well.
"I offer my heartfelt sympathy to his parents Trish and David, along with all of his family and numerous friends. Jack, we will miss you terribly, you were truly one of life's great guys. Rest in peace, heaven has gained an angel."