Seamus Hughes Kennedy Claims Young Rider Grand Prix

  • 1 April 2023, 19:22
Kilkenny’s Seamus Hughes Kennedy wins the 1.45m Young Rider Grand Prix in Opglabbeek, Belgium

Seamus Hughes Kennedy pictured ahead of the Young Rider European Championships in 2022.  
Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

20-year-old show jumping rider Seamus Hughes Kennedy is no stranger to success in the international arena. Today’s victory came in the 1.45m Young Rider Grand Prix at the Youth Nations Cup show in Opglabbeek, Belgium. 

Riding the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Castlefield Hera, he was one of only five clear rounds to progress to the jump off where he posted the fastest clear round in a time of 39.88 seconds. Bred by Jim O’Neill and owned by Clare Hughes, Hughes Kennedy has produced this mare up the international ranks since 2020, recording numerous top ten placings and a win in Oliva, Spain in 2021. 

Sweden’s Beata Hermelin was second and Jules van Hoydonck finished in third for the home nation. 

Hughes Kennedy has represented Ireland twice at senior level, in 2019 and 2022 at the FEI/WBFSH World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken, Belgium, winning Gold with Cuffesgrange Cavadora (ISH) in the 7-Year-Old division in 2019. He has also represented Ireland at three Youth European Championships.

Today’s success comes on the back of a very successful day yesterday, when Ireland’s Pony (under 16) and Junior (under 18) Show Jumping Teams both won their respective Nations Cups competitions.



Castlefield Hera (ISH) – 2014 mare by Plot Blue (KWPN) out of Little Miss Puissance (ISH) by Puissance (ISH). Breeder: Jim O’Neill. Owner: Clare Hughes. Rider: Seamus Hughes Kennedy (IRL).