Irish teenagers cement position as best in Europe as Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes-Kennedy wins prestigious international final in Belgium

  • 30 December 2017, 14:22

In a fitting end to memorable year for Irish Show Jumping at underage level on the international stage, Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and Cuffesgrange Cavalidam (ISH) have been crowned overall winners of the 2017 FEI Pony Jumping Trophy following today’s (Saturday) final round of the series at Mechelen in Belgium, where three Irish riders finished in the top four.

(l-r) Belgian four time Olympian and former World Cup winner Ludo Philippaerts pictured with runner-up Abbie Sweetnam (IRL), overall champion Seamus Hughes-Kennedy (IRL) and third-placed Aaron Tijskens (BEL) on the podium following the FEI Pony Jumping Trophy final in Mechelen, Belgium (Photo: Jumping Mechelen)

A new concept on the international jumping calendar for 2017, the FEI Pony Jumping Trophy is competition at the highest level for riders under 16 years of age, with the goal of promoting Jumping as a true sport for youth. The competition was run on a league basis beginning in Oslo (NOR) in October and visited Herning (DEN), Verona (ITA), Lyon (FRA), and Stuttgart (GER) before the final in Mechelen.

Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and Cuffesgrange Cavalidam (ISH) (Photo: Jumping Mechelen)

Irish pony riders dominated the series, with Cork’s Abbie Sweetnam finishing as runner-up with Dynamite Spartacus (ISH) while Athlone’s Kate Derwin took fourth place with Cul Ban Mistress (CP).

Abbie Sweetnam and Dynamite Spartacus (ISH) (Photo: Jumping Mechelen)

The result crowns a memorable year for Irish pony riders who also won pony team gold at the 2017 European Championships in Hungary. The team included Ciaran Nallon, Abbie Sweetnam, Seamus Hughes-Kennedy, and Kate Derwin who won individual silver and Harry Allen who also won individual gold.

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