A Co Meath man who, along with his friend, became the first Irish team to take part in and win a major skijoring event has returned home.
Barry O’Brien Lynch from Navan and the accomplished equestrian Susan Oakes recently took part in the Skijordue Festival in Calgary in Canada.
The sport involves a skier being pulled by a horse at full speed around an obstacle course and having to complete a number of tasks against the clock.
Barry returned home to his farm this week.
He said that while he has skied a little on holidays he would not describe himself in any way as a professional.
The pair caused a sensation after winning the 2.5 furling main event and beating strong competition from competitors from the US and Canada.
Barry explained that the idea of taking part in the competition was hatched between the pair in the local pub after watching videos of the sport.
However, they faced a particular dilemma in their preparations as there was no snow in Ireland.
So in a novel approach, they used a vintage 1940 Massey Ferguson tractor to tow Barry along a length of carpet laid out in the farmyard.
Barry said that it worked a treat “as it gave me the feeling of what it’s like to be suddenly pulled at speed, even though I was being towed behind a tractor by Susan on a child’s snow sleigh..”
Susan is enjoying a holiday after their sensational win but Barry said that they fully intend to return to Canada next year to defend their title.
Asked whether they will upgrade or change their training methods, Barry replied: “Absolutely not, sure Fergie (the Massey Ferguson) is doing her job, but sure we might invest in a new bit of carpet”.