Irish U18 Show Jumping team win European Bronze Medal

  • 14 July 2022, 17:55

The Irish U18 (Junior) Show Jumping team of Francis Derwin, Rhys Williams, Tom Wachman, Niamh McEvoy and Conor McLaughlin, managed by James Kernan and sponsored by GAIN Equine Nutrition, have won the team bronze medal today (Thursday) following an excellent final round performance at the 2022 FEI European Championships in Oliva, Spain.

Ireland started the day in bronze medal position on a score of 11.67 following the opening two rounds held on Tuesday and Wednesday, and added just 4 penalties in the final round to hold their third place and take home the bronze medal.

Westmeath’s Francis Derwin and AHG Whiterock Cruise Down (ISH) were first in for Ireland in the deciding round and jumped a perfect clear. This was followed by another impressive clear from Clare’s Rhys Williams and Cowboy Balou. Tipperary’s Tom Wachman with Lazzaro Delle Schiave and Tyrone’s Niamh McEvoy with Templepatrick Welcome Limmeric (ISH) both finished with 4 faults apiece, with Ireland discarding one of those scores to complete three rounds of jumping on a score of 15.67. The Irish squad also included Conor McLaughlin and Kilbarron Rue (ISH) who jumped clear in Tuesday’s opening speed round.

The gold medal went to Belgium on a score of 8.71, Netherlands take silver on 9.89 with Ireland collecting the bronze on 15.67. Britain finished just outside the medals in fourth place of the 18 teams on a score of 22.48.

Francis Derwin is now best-placed of the Irish riders heading into Saturday’s Junior individual final on a score of 4 penalties. Tom Wachman is in 15th place on 6.18 while Belgium’s Evelyne Putters leads on 0.84.

Irish Youth Show Jumping team manager James Kernan said:

“Coming here I was very hopeful that we could win a medal and possibly even gold considering the quality of horses and riders that we have. We had a great start in the opening competition on Tuesday but things went against us a bit yesterday in the second round. But today my riders dug deep and Francis had an unbelievable round and then for me the ride of the day was from Rhys. He had a fence down on Wednesday and his round today was just sensational.

“Everybody really played their part and its fantastic to win the bronze medal. The course builder did a good job. Maybe we would have preferred bigger courses but the conditions have been very tough here in Spain with the heat and humidity. I want to thank our team sponsors GAIN, and our team suppliers. Hopefully we will have more great Irish performances here at the Championships over the next few days.”

Horse Sport Ireland CEO Denis Duggan added:

“I want to congratulate James Kernan and his team members Francis, Rhys, Tom, Niamh and Conor on a brilliant performance over the last three days culminating in a fantastic bronze medal win for Ireland. They showed great composure in the final round to hold their medal position and we are all very proud of their performances. I wish our Junior, Young Rider and Children On Horses teams the very best of luck in the remaining competitions at the Europeans over the next three days.”

James Kernan’s GAIN Equine Nutrition Irish U21 (Young Rider) Show Jumping team of Max Wachman, Harry Allen, Seamus Hughes-Kennedy and Jason Foley, are in fourth position following today’s first round of the team final at the FEI European Championships in Oliva. The Young Rider team medal-deciding final round takes place on Friday afternoon, while the Irish U14 (Children On Horses) team will also be in action on Friday in the first round of their team final.

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