Horse Sport Ireland announce Irish Pony Eventing European Squad for European Championships

  • 5 July 2023, 16:21
Jane Kinsella has named the six athletes that will travel to the championships in Les Mans, France

Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) are delighted to announce that Pony Eventing High Performance Manager Jane Kinsella has named the squad of six athletes that will represent Ireland at the 2023 FEI European Championships for Ponies that will take place in Le Mans, France 24th – 30th July 2023.

The Irish Pony Eventing Squad in alphabetical order is:

  • Ben Connors with Cornafest Fred, from Co Kildare
  • Erin Mathieson with Longwood Dawn, from Co Tyrone
  • Ciara O’Connor with Agharanny Minstrel, from Co Wicklow
  • Molly O’Connor with Coolnaleen Rebel, from Co Down
  • Carla Williamson with Galco, from Co Meath
  • Hannah Willis with Kilnaspic Lily, from Co Wexford


Non travelling reserves in alphabetical order are:

  • Gearoid Bolger with Whitethorn Honeys Rock, from Co Waterford
  • Ben Connors with Tullibards Cloneenagh Ted, from Co Kildare
  • Zara McCarthy with Romans Special Envoy, from Tipperary
  • Gilby Monaghan with Longwood Laura, from Co Carlow


Speaking about the announcement, Kinsella said: “I am thrilled to announce the squad for the upcoming Pony European Championships in Le Mans, France. We have some really experienced and exciting combinations in the squad this year, including the 2021 and 2022 individual silver medallist Ben Connors on Cornafest Fred. Ben was also on the 2021 bronze medal-winning and 2022 gold medal-winning teams.

“The athletes selected have performed well at the observation events and have posted some impressive results at national and international level. I am really excited to see how they rise to the challenge of Le Mans and am hoping to continue the incredible success of last year’s pony squad at the European Championships – we will be aiming to bring back medals.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the incredible athletes and thank the parents and the support teams for their engagement with the High Performance Pony Eventing Programme. I would also like to thank all our sponsors.”

HSI Youth Athletes are kindly supported by GAIN Equine Nutrition.


Cornafest Fred (CP) – 2013 gelding by Gwennic De Goariva (CP) out of Corrnafest Nora (CP). Breeder: Thomas Grimes. Owner: Kieran Connors and Michelle Nelson. Rider: Ben Connors (IRL).

Longwood Dawn (CP) – 2013 gelding by I Love You Melody (CP) out of Dawn Delite (CP). Breeder: Conor O’Meara. Owner: Hilary Mathieson. Rider: Erin Mathieson (IRL).

Agharanny Minstrel (CP) – 2007 stallion by Castleside J.J (CP) out of Silver Mint (CP). Breeder: Sean Hynes. Owner: Noreen O’Connor and Sharon O’Connor. Rider: Ciara O’Connor (IRL).

Coolnaleen Rebel (ISH)[TIH] – 2010 gelding by Rebel Mountain (ID) out of Crested Ten Lady (IRE)(TB). Breeder: Noeleen Redmond. Owner: Paul O’Connor. Rider: Molly O’Connor (IRL).

Galco (UNK) – 2014 gelding. Owner: Janet Williamson. Rider: Carla Williamson (IRL)

Kilnaspic Lily (ISH) – 2013 mare by Woodfield Sammy (CP) out of Our Queen (UNK). Breeder: Anneline O’Malley Neary. Owner: Laura Bowe. Rider: Hannah Willis (IRL).