THE Irish pony show jumping team recorded a superb win in Saturday's FEI Youth Nations Cup at Opglabbeek in Belgium.
Managed by Gary Marshall, Ireland held the lead at the halfway stage with just four faults and secured victory after completing the second round with a clear scorecard after brothers Max and Tom Wachman delivered brilliant double clear rounds.
Francis Derwin was first to go for the Irish with Rincoola Babog (ISH) and finished with one fence down in each round. He was followed by Max Wachman with the Coolmore Showjumping-owned Cuffesgrange Cavalidam (ISH) who didn’t put a foot wrong over two rounds to finish on a zero score.
His superb effort was matched by his brother Tom Wachman with Coolmore’s Quaprice d’Astree who also jumped double clear.
Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and the Barbara O’Reilly-Hyland-owned Rock Dee Jay had a foot in the water in the first round and produced a vital clear when last to go in the deciding round to leave Ireland one fence ahead of their hosts Belgium who finished on eight faults. Netherlands took third place on the podium ahead of Germany in fourth and Sweden in fifth.
Speaking afterwards, Irish Team Manager Gary Marshall was over the moon with his team’s performance: “The whole team were fantastic and we are really delighted to win. Belgium beat us here last year so to win this year is fantastic.
"The course designer Frank Rothenberger is well known for not building easy courses and I am really proud of how we jumped. I want to thank everyone involved who played their part in what was a real team effort.”