Irish wonderkid Michael Pender wins two World Championship medals

  • 18 September 2016, 13:39

In an incredible result for Irish Equestrian Sport and Irish Breeding, 16-year-old Michael Pender has won both the Silver and Bronze medals today in the five-year-old final at the World Breeding Jumping Championships at Lanaken in Belgium – with both medals claimed aboard Irish Sport Horses.


Pender from Co Kildare, who is a student at Knockbeg College in Carlow, took on some of the world’s most experienced riders in what is one of the most prestigious competitions on the world Show Jumping calendar. A massive 229 horses and riders started in the five-year-old competition alone, with Ireland qualifying five combinations for today’s final.

Pender was double-handed in the decider and took the early lead in the 20 horse jump-off with the mare Z Seven Canya Dance (ISH), who was bred by Anne Hughes from Co Kilkenny. Incredibly Pender then beat his own target time with his second mare, Z Seven Caretina, who was also bred by the Hughes family’s Marion Hughes – herself a former Olympian.

Second last to go, Tipperary’s Darragh Ryan almost made it onto the podium with Lackamore Storm (ISH) who was bred by Ian Heslin in Co Longford. They knocked just the very last fence but would still hold on for a top 10 finish taking ninth place overall.


The final rider into the arena, experienced Dutchman Willem Greve with the stallion Garant (KWPN) took the World Championship Gold medal finishing just four tenths of a second ahead of Pender who took Silver with Z Seven Caretina and Bronze with Z Seven Canya Dance. Michael Pender had earlier scored a win in Saturday’s six-year-old consolation final with Curra Clover Flight (ISH) who was bred by Harry Quigley in Co. Wexford.

Comdt. John Ledingham, manager of The Irish Sport Horse Studbook team who travelled to Lanken said:

“To win two medals is a fabulous performance. Michael (Pender) has had an incredible season. He was on the Irish Junior team at the European Championships and also had brilliant results in the young horse classes at the Dublin Horse Show. We had a very strong team of young horses here in Lanaken this year and to get 12 through to the finals was exceptional. Darragh Ryan also was very unlucky to knock just the last fence and almost took the Bronze. This is a great achievement for the Hughes family who have a huge contingent who travelled here to Lanaken and a brilliant result for Irish breeding.”

The World Breeding Jumping Championships continue at Lanaken in Belgium this afternoon, with Irish representatives in both the six and seven-year-old finals.
Z Seven Caretina (ISH) – 2011 mare by Coltaire Z (ZANG) out of Caretina (HOLST), by Caretino (HOLST). Bred by Marion Hughes, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Team Z7. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL)
Z Seven Canya Dance (ISH) – 2011 mare by Can Ya Makan (HOLST) out of HHS Chantilly Lace (ISH), by Cavalier Royale (HOLST). Bred by Anne Hughes, Co. Kilkenny. Owner: Team Z7. Rider: Michael Pender (IRL)
Lackamore Storm (ISH) – 2011 chestnut gelding by Kroongraaf (KWPN) out of Currabawn Shauna (ISH), by Indoctro (HOLST). Bred by Ian Heslin, Co. Longford. Owner: GBBS Int Ltd. Rider: Darragh Ryan (IRL)
Curra Clover Flight (ISH) – 2010 mare by Barnaby Flight (ISH) out of Ramiro Clover Lass (ISH), by Ramiro B (BWP). Bred by Harry Quigley, Co. Wexford. Owner/Rider: Michael Pender (IRL)

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