AN outstanding performance from Ireland's Gain Equine Nutrition Irish Pony (U16) show jumping team saw them crowned European Champions on Friday, taking the gold medal at the FEI European Championships in Strzegom, Poland.
The Irish team of Kilkenny’s Eoin Brennan with Glor Tire Cruise (ISH), Kilkenny’s James Brennan with MHS Glow (ISH), Sligo’s Paddy Reape with Valma De Fougnard, Clare’s Coen Williams with Saxton Freedam (ISH) and Westmeath’s James Derwin with Rincoola Babog (ISH), managed by Gary Marshall, finished on a zero score to take the gold medal ahead of France who took the silver on four faults while The Netherlands collected the bronze on 12 faults.
Irish pony Show Jumping team manager Gary Marshal said: "We are over the moon. We worked hard, had a plan and the team all executed it brilliantly. They are a great bunch of kids and were well prepared. We didn't have the best preparation last year with Covid but this year we were prepared. I want to thank all the support staff at Horse Sport Ireland, all the people on our committee that helped me with everything I needed, our fantastic sponsors and of course the riders and their families."
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Denis Duggan added: "This was an absolutely fantastic performance from our Irish pony team to win the European Championship gold medal against the very best riders around Europe. Huge congratulations to Eoin, James, Paddy, Coen and James and to all their parents and families and to team manager Gary Marshall. The gold medal win adds to the silver and bronze medal wins for our Junior and Young Rider Eventing teams last weekend in Britain, and a bronze medal win for our Junior Show Jumping team last month. It is a really positive refection on our High Performance Programmes which continue to deliver European medal success. I also want to wish our Eventing team and individual riders the very best of luck for the rest of the weekend in Strezgom."
Ireland's athletes are also well-placed on the individual standing heading into Sunday's individual Show Jumping final. Just seven riders are on a zero score with three of those coming from Ireland.
Horse Sport Ireland’s athletes in Strzegom are kindly supported by title sponsors GAIN Equine Nutrition and suppliers TRM Equine Nutrition Dubarry of Ireland GAIN Equine Nutrition Berney Bros Saddlery Kilcullen Horseware and Uvex Equestrian.