Ireland Pony Show Jumping team win Compiegne FEI Nations Cup
- 29 April 2023, 16:21
The GAIN Equine Nutrition Irish Pony Show Jumping Team have emerged victorious at the FEI CSIOP Nations Cup in Compiegne.
The team, expertly managed by Gary Marshall, of Kian Dore riding Sparkling Lackaghmore Joey, Katie Nallon on Balthazar De Bordes, Chloe Hughes Kennedy with HK Zena (ISH) and James Derwin on board Rincoola Babog (ISH), finished on top of the podium after a perfect second round of jumping.
Ireland lay in second after the first round on eight faults, four behind Great Britain but three clear rounds in round two secured the victory after James Derwin’s faultless final round.
France, Great Britain and Belgium couldn’t be split in behind, with all three nations finishing on 12 faults.
Delighted team boss Marshall said: “I’m so happy with the team – with how they rode under pressure.
“It’s been very tough jumping here all week, the course builder builds tough courses and you have to have a plan that needs to be executed.
“There’s not much room for mistakes if you want to win a Nations Cup here and two of my riders did make mistakes in round one.
“But credit to them, they came out second time around and jumped perfectly to fix those mistakes.
“It’s getting tougher all the time because everyone is giving 100 per cent all of the time and Great Britain were obviously in the lead after the first round, with four others in behind on eight faults.
“And we were brilliant then with a couple of clears before James Derwin stepped up with a super round of jumping on Rincoola Babog.”
This victory is the latest addition to the Irish Pony team’s impressive record, following a hugely successful campaign last year where they won team gold in the European Championships and a sensational 1-2-3 on the individual podium.
Ireland have also tasted Nations Cup success this season, having won at Sentower Park in Belgium last month.
The team’s achievements have put them at the forefront of the sport and it’s a pressure that Marshall embraces.
“This programme that we have at the moment, the preparation that goes into getting to these Nations Cups that brings these young riders on.
“Since we’ve been winning gold medals, success breeds success and everybody wants a piece of it.
“The whole group, they thrive under pressure. I keep telling them that pressure is a privilige – and they keep putting themselves into a place where they’re capable of winning!”
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