Irish youngsters score hat-trick of Grand Prix podium finishes in Florida

  • 6 March 2016, 20:19

IRELAND’s underage Show Jumpers continued their superb form at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, with a hat-trick of podium finishes in today’s (Sunday) Grand Prix classes.

Co Clare’s John Gallagher got the Irish youngsters off to a perfect start, with a third place finish in a hotly contested Children On Horses (under 14) Grand Prix. Gallagher guided the Noel Delahunty and Tomas O’Brien-owned Irish Sport Horse, Sportsfield Eterina, to one of just three double clear rounds. Caelinn Leahy also made it into the jump-off and grabbed sixth place with the Steve Schaefer-owned Caladesi.

The Junior (under 18) Grand Prix saw Clare’s Conor McMahon score an excellent third place finish with the Pine Hollow Farm-owned Casinjo EX Z. They kept all the fences standing, finishing just over a second behind the winners time. Kilkenny’s Jack Ryan also finished in the top 10, taking seventh place with the Wood Run Farms-owned Irish Sport Horse, Mullaghdrin Rado. Jennifer Kuehnle slotted into eighth place with the Carl Hanley-owned Larineta.

Mayo’s Cormac Hanley then added a third podium finish for Ireland, when he also finished third in the Young Rider Grand Prix. Hanley piloted the Missy Clark and Stephex Stables-owned gelding Twan to a double clear round. Co Tyrone’s Jenny Rankin slotted into sixth place with the Richard Bourns-owned Colorland’s Cheynne, while Paraic Kenny finished eighth with the Jennifer Gates-owned Irish Sport Horse, Pepperpot.

These Grand Prix results, come on the back of three top-four finishes for Ireland in the underage Nations Cup classes in Florida, where the Irish senior team won their thrilling Nations Cup contest on Friday night.

Cormac Hanley Twan

Photo: Cormac Hanley finished third in the Young Rider Grand Prix on an excellent day for Ireland in Florida

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