Billy Ringrose – a memoir of my father
By Fergal Ringrose
Just-published 280-page book on a true legend of Irish show jumping
Dublin, October 2017 -- Within the space of one month in 1961 Army rider Captain Billy Ringrose won the Grand Prix in Nice, presented by Princess Grace, and then the Grand Prix in Rome, presented by Queen Elizabeth II who was at the time on a State visit to Italy.
Col Billy Ringrose signs copies of ‘Billy Ringrose – A memoir of my father’ by Fergal Ringrose, at the book launch in the RDS Library November 2.
Photo credit on that one: Irish Photo Archive
In his riding career Ringrose won six individual international show jumping Grand Prix and seven Nations Cup team events –- including being part of the first mixed Army-civilian Irish team to win the Aga Khan Cup in 1963 along with Diana Conolly-Carew, Seamus Hayes and Tommy Wade.
Later Ringrose became CO of the Army Equitation School and Chef d’Equipe of the Irish team. He was Chef when the great team of Paul Darragh, James Kernan, Eddie Macken and Captain Con Power won their famous three-in-a-row Aga Khan Cup victory in 1979.
Ringrose’s son Fergal has written and published a 280-page memoir of his father’s life and equestrian career, including nearly 80 images taking the reader back in time to his days as a rider on the international circuit in the Fifties and Sixties. Ringrose’s Dublin Nations Cup successes came on the very same RDS turf that his grand nephew Garry Ringrose has now become a major star with Leinster Rugby. The book is self-published by the author so not available in bookshops: copies are available online at www.billyringrose.ie.
Billy Ringrose is the only person to have won the Aga Khan Cup as a rider, then as Chef d’Equipe of the Irish team, later presenting the trophy to the winning Irish team Chef d’Equipe in his role as President of the RDS. He is also the only rider to have won the Grand Prix event at all four shows on the American tour; Washington DC, Harrisburg Pennsylvania, Madison Square Garden in New York and the Toronto Winter Fair.
Over the course of over a year Fergal Ringrose sat down with his parents and recorded a series of conversations about his father’s career. He also spoke to other equestrians – Ned Campion, Dermot Forde, Sneezy Foster, John Ledingham, Brian MacSweeney and Des Ringrose – to help complete the story of one of the greats of Irish show jumping: his father, Colonel Billy Ringrose.
At the book launch in the RDS Library November 2 2017, clockwise from top left: author Fergal Ringrose, RDS President Bernie Brennan, Col Ned Campion, Mrs Joan Ringrose and Col Billy Ringrose
For further information visit www.billyringrose.ie
Tel: 087 234 8311