Captain Billy Ringrose with his top horse Loch an Easpaig was an international show jumping star of the 1960s, competing on the grand prix circuit in Europe and North America. On one trip in 1961 Ringrose won the Grand Prix de Monaco in Nice, presented by Princess Grace, and the Grand Prix di Roma, presented by Queen Elizabeth II who was on a state visit to Italy.
He is the only person to have wont the Aga Khan Cup as a rider, as Ireland Chef d'Équipe and then, as President of the RDS, to present the trophy to a winning Irish Chef d'Équipe. Ringrose is believed to be the only rider to have won the Grand Prix at all four North American shows the Irish team attended in the 19450s and 1960s: Washington DC, Harrisburg Pennsylvania, New York and Toronto. He competed at the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games and was Chef d'Éqipe in 1984.
All of this - and Billy had never ridden a horse before he joined the Irish Army Equitation School in 1952. Through a series of conversations with his parents Billy and Joan, plus many others including Col Ned Campion, Sneezy Foster and Comdt John Ledingham, Fergal Ringrose tells the remarkable story of an Irish sporting legend: his father, Colonel Billy Ringrose