Irish U18 and U21 Eventing teams both claim fantastic medal wins at FEI European Championships
- 31 July 2022, 21:06
Ireland’s GAIN Equine Nutrition Youth Eventing teams have enjoyed huge success at the 2022 FEI European Youth Eventing Championships in Hartpury, Great Britain, with the U18 (Junior) team claiming the silver medal while the U21 (Young Rider) team took home the bronze.
The GAIN Equine Nutrition Irish Junior team of Co Down’s Tom Rowlatt McCormick, Kildare’s Julia Adams, Westmeath’s Ted O’Leary and Galway’s Godfrey Gibbons, managed by Dag Albert, were in third place after the opening Dressage phase on Friday. An excellent Cross Country performance on Saturday saw them remain the bronze medal position heading into the final Show Jumping phase.
All four Irish team members jumped clear in the final jumping phase to keep Ireland on their score of 95.7 and this saw Ireland overtake Germany to win the silver medal. Britain won gold on 92.8, while the bronze went to Germany on 95.8.
On the individual standings, Godfrey Gibbons with Milchem Free Spirit (ISH) finished just outside the medal places in a share of fourth place. Tom Rowlatt McCormick with Mon Ami Alme finished in sixth, while Julia Adams with Milchem Ardeo (ISH) finished in eighth. Susan Shanahan with Eisfee took 22nd place and Ted O’Leary with My Ballintoghers Cracker Jack finished in 35th position.
Horse Sport Ireland Junior Eventing High Performance Director Dag Albert said:
“It was a brilliant performance all week. They all had very solid dressage tests to start off with. Today in the final Show Jumping they were all outstanding. We have all been working hard preparing since Christmas. They have all turned up and worked hard through the winter and it is paying off now. We are very happy, they were rock solid, very consistent throughout and we were close enough to the gold in the end. It was a real team effort. Our Junior riders and Sue’s Young Riders – we were all working as one big team together. I have to thank all of the parents for their hard work and support, our sponsors, trainers, everyone at Horse Sport Ireland and all of our excellent sponsors.”
Just a few hours later, Ireland were back on the podium as Sue Shortt’s Young Rider team of Jennifer Kuehnle from Co Laois, Kildare’s Alannah Kelly, Waterford’s Heather O’Connor and Kildare’s Zara Nelson, held off a strong challenge from France to take the team bronze medal. Ireland finished less than one penalty ahead of the French at the finish, with a brilliant clear from Ireland’s last rider, Jennifer Kuehnle with Sammy Davis Junior (ISH), sealing third place on the podium for the Irish who finished on a final score of 123.9. Britain took their second team gold of the day with a score of 105.6 while Germany collected the silver on 109.6.
On the individual standings, Jennifer Kuehnle and Sammy Davis Junior (ISH) finished just one place outside the medals in fourth. Alannah Kelly and Cooley Bounce (ISH) finished 12th, Sadhbh Bolger and Cooley Cappuccino (ISH) finished 16th, while Zara Nelson and Ols King Aragon (ISH) finished in 27th.
Horse Sport Ireland Young Rider Eventing High Performance Director Sue Shortt said:
“I am delighted that the Young Rider Team won a well deserved bronze medal today. We started the competition with solid dressage performances thanks to Heike Holstein. Our fortunes turned on Saturday morning when Ava had to go to hospital with what turned out to be a stomach abscess, and our second team rider Heather, had an unlucky fall at the influential fence 18. Sadhbh put in one of only four clear xc rounds inside the time to settle the ship. The riders dug deep and fought hard to stay in a medal position for the rest of the weekend. Our vet JP King was very professional as always, Gerry Flynn was excellent in the show jumping when we were battling the French for bronze. But all credit to the riders who stepped up under pressure to medal.
The Junior and Young Rider medals would not have happened without the help of so many people particularly Aileen our HSI administrator, coaches, vets, parents, supporters and sponsors.”
Horse Sport Ireland CEO Denis Duggan added:
“Massive congratulations to our Junior team manager Dag Albert, our Young Rider team manager Sue Shortt and all of our athletes on a fantastic weekend of double European medal success. Our Junior team of Tom Rowlatt McCormick, Julia Adams, Ted O’Leary and Godfrey Gibbons put in a brilliant performance to win the European silver medal. For all four team members to jump clear in the final show jumping phase was outstanding, and to have three Irish riders inside the top eight individually was also a fantastic result.
“Our Young Rider team of Jennifer Kuehnle, Alannah Kelly, Heather O’Connor and Zara Nelson showed huge strength of character to hold off the French team to win the team bronze medal. Huge credit is due to all involved including the riders, their families, trainers and support team and of course all of our sponsors.”
Horse Sport Ireland thanks team sponsors GAIN Equine Nutrition, and team suppliers TRM Equine Nutrition Dubarry of Ireland Flex-On Ireland Berney Bros Saddlery Kilcullen and Horseware.
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