THEY went mad last Friday when Bryan Cooper rode to Cheltenham Gold Cup victory on Don Cossack and last night the people of Blennerville got to cheer him in person.
The young jockey came to the village fresh from riding in Thurles that afternoon and a large crowd greeted him as he crossed the bridge on a pony and trap, led by local man Jim Sugrue.
Bryan brought the gold trophy that he won for riding the winning horse with him, as locals and people from town posed for photographs and congratulated him on the win.
Speaking briefly to TraleeToday.ie, Bryan and was delighted with the turnout.
“It was a last minute decision to come down so it’s great to see the people come out. Thanks to Tom [Quane of Skelper Quane’s Bar] for organising it,” said Bryan.
He was well aware of the support from home after his success last Friday thanks to a video of the celebrations in Quane’s and other places in town on social media.
“I had a look at it alright, the place was pretty mad so it’s great to come home to this tonight. Fair play to them all for the support,” said the son of trainer Tom Cooper. Tom’s father Des had horses in the area, while his mother Catherine had the post office in the village years ago, thus forging strong links to Blennerville.
So has last week’s victory sunk in yet?
“Ah definitely now, over the past day or so it’s quietened down a bit. You’d come back to reality, riding again in Thurles today.”
Tom Quane said it was like a victory for Blennerville when Bryan won the race.
“There’s a lot of history here in Blennerville with the Cooper family, so it was extra special for us in the village to see him cross the line. There were fellas crying, laughing and screaming at the same time. It was like an Olympic gold medal for Bryan and it was something we’d rarely experience here. It gave everybody a lift and the place has been buzzing since,” said Tom.
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