Ireland impress on Day One of European Championships

  • 11 July 2023, 20:47

The Children on Horses Show Jumping team. From left, Harry Rush, Ruby Lily Gaines, Showjumping Youth high performance manager James Kernan, Alice Moloney, Gillian Brosnan of Sport Ireland, Lily Tunney and Cian McMunn. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The GAIN Equine Nutrition Irish Youth teams head into the second day of competition at the FEI Youth Show Jumping European Championships in quietly confident mood after an impressive first round in Gorla Minore, Italy.

The Children on Horses and Young Riders were in action, and both finished the afternoon with four clear rounds, leaving them poised to make a run at medals later in the week.

Having won at FEI Nations Cup level recently, hopes were high for both teams, and they didn’t disappoint. The Children on Horses were first up, and Cian McMunn set the tone early.

Instructed to jump clear, McMunn did just that in a time of 80.95 seconds on board Limited Edition before Lily Tunney had an unfortunate round with her horse Caravago getting spooked at a fence.

Ruby Lily Gaines got the team back on track next with an excellent clear round on the Irish Sport Horse Castle Lux Clover in a time of 76.93 seconds to leave her in 11th place.

Harry Rush was fourth in for Ireland with Tabby (ISH) and he put in the performance of his life – going clear in a time of 75.93 seconds to finish the class in fourth place overall.

Alice Moloney anchored the team on board Cosima and she too was foot perfect to round off the performance with a clear round in 78.70 seconds and 15th place.

A delighted Team Manager, James Kernan, said: “I couldn’t be happier, it was a brilliant day but we’ve obviously won nothing yet. But obviously with both teams on scores of zero it’s where we want to be for now and I’m looking forward to the Juniors tomorrow.

“Cian did exactly what was asked of him – we wanted a clear round to get the ball rolling and he delivered. Lily was very unfortunate and it had the potential to upset the applecart but the team has character and Ruby Lily was fabulous, before Harry came in and jumped the most incredible round.

“He finished fourth in the class and he will jump in the individual now for the rest of the week. I’m so proud of him, he contributed to getting the team into position now and he was done Ireland so proud.

“I’ve decided to go with the team that won the Nations Cup in Hagen so that will be Lily, Ruby Lily, Cian and Alice and I’ve no doubt they will do us all proud and give it their all.”

The Young Rider Showjumping team, from left, Seamus Hughes Kennedy, Niamh McEvoy, Showjumping Youth high performance manager James Kernan, Rhys Williams and Max Wachman during Horse Sport Ireland Youth Show Jumping Final training at the National Horse Sport Arena in the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

It was a similar story for the Young Rider team of Max Wachman, Ciaran Nallon, Rhys Williams, Niamh McEvoy and Seamus Hughes Kennedy, who finished on a score of zero after for clear rounds.

“Ciaran was very unfortunate with his round – it’s always difficult going first. He was fantastic for the first 10 fences before an unlucky eleventh and twelfth came down and he finished on 12.

“This team also has great character and they made it look effortless. Rhys finished second, he was fabulous on board Playboy JT Z, as was Niamh on Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH).

“Seamus then was only a place outside the top ten with ESI Rocky (ISH) – he looked so comfortable out there and then Max was just rock solid with Quintini. It never looked in doubt and the team were the talk of the venue afterwards.

“I obviously said beforehand that we were coming with three excellent teams and day one proved that so I’m looking forward to the juniors tomorrow. Confidence is high but we’re only finished day one and there’s lots of jumping to be done yet.”


Castle Lux Clover (ISH) – 2014 gelding by Boherdeal Clover (ISH) out of Cloonagh Luxury (ISH) by Lux Z. Breeder: Jennifer Devlin. Owner: APM Ltd. Rider: Ruby Lily Gaines (IRL)

Tabby (ISH)[TIH] – 2005 gelding by Captain Clover (ISH)[TIH] out of Majestic Cruise (ISH)[TIH] by Cruising (ISH)[TIH]. Breeder and Owner: Pamela Donaghy, Co. Galway. Rider: Harry Rush (IRL).

ESI Rocky (ISH) – 2015 gelding by Stakkato Gold (HANN) out of Clonaslea (BWP) by For Pleasure (HANN). Breeder: Ennisnag Stud. Owner: Clare Hughes. Rider: Seamus Hughes Kennedy.

Templepatrick Welcome Limmerick (ISH) – 2010 mare by Limmerick (HOLST) out of Go Luckey (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeder: Dorothea Wilson. Owner: Robin Bingham. Rider: Niamh McEvoy (IRL).

Keep an eye out for updates on HSI’s social media channels and website for updates, with the action streaming live on or Facebook page.

Horse Sport Ireland Youth Athletes are kindly supported by GAIN Equine Nutrition, Bucas, Dubarry of Ireland, TRM and Berney Brothers Saddlery.